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Supply Drive for Hope

Esperança is holding a summer drive to collect surgical equipment for our international programs and hygiene supplies for our domestic programs. This fall, Esperança will send an entire sea shipment container full of donated medical goods to their partners in Central and South America for use in their clinics and hospitals.  We accept both expired and non-expired materials and supplies. However, we are not able to accept medications or liquids of any sort (i.e. saline, iodine solution, ointments, pre-filled syringes, etc.)For a complete list of medical items they are seeking, visit http://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/.

We  are also collecting toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, dental floss, lotion for our domestic program that helps low-income and underserved families in South Phoenix.

Donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., at Esperança’s office, located at 1911 W. Earll Dr. Phoenix, AZ 85015 or you can call Anna Ortiz, Surgical Program Coordinator in regards to the international program donations at 602-252-7772 Ext. 114 to arrange pick-up. For donations designated to the domestic program please contact Jared Leslie, Development Director at 602-252-7772 ext 101



Welcome to the Warm House

“Home is where the heart is.” This saying is true across all cultures and nations. In the Peruvian highlands south of Cusco this saying stands true, but there are real dangers for families in their homes. Traditional housing that has been used for hundreds of years has been the staple for sound construction for generations. But the traditions and materials were established out of available resources; the wind pierces through rock walls, rain penetrates straw roofs, soaking families; and openings in the walls allow vermin in. Not only were families exposed to the harsh elements of the high Andean mountains, but when they needed to bathe or go to the restroom they would have to walk across fields in the black of night, no matter if it was raining or cold. This lack of shelter from the elements exposes families to illness, and in remote areas this could mean your life.

Basilia saw these dangers and was tired of exposing her husband, Wilber, and their three daughters, Talia, Anna Lee, and Crisari, to the risks of constant disease. Recently she heard about a solution to all of her fears: the option of of joining a program to construct her very own acclimatized home that Esperança and CADEP, our partner in Peru, are bringing to the region. Basilia leapt at the chance to learn more and see if she could provide a better life than the one she had known.

When Basilia returned from the training she learned of the benefits of an acclimatized home. With thicker insulated walls, the wind would not reach the inside of their home. A tile roof would mean the rain would not wake them at night. A bathroom inside her home would end the long walks at night and would bring warm showers that the solar panels provided. With all of these great amenities there were two additional benefits that she never dreamed of. One was separate bedrooms for Basilia and Wilbur, and their children. The second was a greenhouse allowing her family to eat vegetables they never thought possible. Since the greenhouse is attached to the home, it serves not only as a way to grow vegetables but brings warm air into the home through a connecting window that can be opened and closed as needed. This option allows families to bring the temperature of their home up to 16 degrees warmer than ever possible.

This home came with the agreement of hard work. Basilia and her family committed to making the adobe bricks and learning the new ways of construction. They were not alone; the community rallied behind them and offered support. When the project was completed, Basillia offered her expertise to families who wanted homes like hers.
This tradition of sharing knowledge and labor originated with the Incas, but it helps to spread the work of Esperança, and is allowing us to transform communities.
Basilia wanted to share the following with Esperança supporters: “I am happier now, my family lives better, we are getting ahead. My children no longer get sick with colds, flus and diarrheal diseases. My house is more orderly and it is easier to keep clean. My children do their part to clean, but with more time they can now do their homework. This truly means a different life for my children.”


This is a completed home.






Typical Homes before they are improved.


Your compassion gave them life.















Thanks for nothing. I’m serious. “Nothing” is a beautiful gift.

When you’re desperately ill, and you have to go in for surgery, you urgently want to feel nothing … until it’s all over.

Anesthesia is the gift of “nothing” … and this past year this gift has been given to 82 people this year in Nicaragua.

With the strong support of friends like you, we had the joy of delivering a brand-new anesthesia machine — replacing one that was 30 years old and terribly defective — in Operating Room #1 in the clinic at San Rafael del Norte.

Without this extraordinary gift, 82 people wouldn’t have had the surgery they needed — or simply couldn’t have survived the pain.

Your compassion gave them life

On their behalf, I bring you my thanks.

We would like to share the news of the fact that we will be delivering a medical container with 10 tons of equipment and supplies — from a complicated anesthesia machine to simple things like sutures, bandages, antiseptic, and everything in between — to the people of northern Nicaragua this fall. Our supporters will ease the suffering of people trapped in poverty. They have given the gift of quality medical care to people who have nowhere else to turn. And in turn lives have been saved. Hundreds, even thousands of lives.

And because we gather donated equipment and supplies, every dollar of given to this program will EXPLODE into $211.50 worth of medical supplies!

It seems almost impossible, but it’s literally true. I don’t know of any way you could possibly make a bigger impact with a simple gift. And not just in dollars. This will make a life-changing impact on children and families.
A little boy, wracked by stomach pain and urgently in need of surgery, will finally get help and healing.

A terrified mother, after watching her daughter waste away week after week, will see that little girl miraculously begin to grow strong, and smile again.

In a house where all hope has been lost, where sickness has stolen all joy, the sound of laughter will be heard once more.

Your compassion will rewrite the future.




New Ways to Transform Lives Like Luke

With yields on CD’s, savings accounts and money market funds near historic lows, it is no wonder that many savers are taking a serious look at the benefits of gift annuities. There are a number of advantages that gift annuities offer, indcluding:

Attractive Rates. Mary Jones is receiving a modest income from her Certificate of Deposit.
When the CD matures in one month, she plans on obtaining an Esperança gift annuity and will start receiving 5.8 percent. Gift annuity rates are very attractive for older friends of Esperança. Many folks in their retirement years are pleased when they compare their low investment yields with the current annuity rates offered by Esperança.

Tax-Free Payments. Part of each annuity payment is tax-free. For example, Mrs. Jones, age 75, contributed $50,000 towards a gift annuity. Every year, she will receive $2,900 (5.8%). Of this amount, approximately 70% will be excluded from income taxes. The tax-free portion of the annuity payment is considered “return of principle” and continues through estimated life expectancy.

Income Tax Deduction. Since a gift annuity is partially a gift and partially an investment in an annuity contract, the donor who itemizes is entitled to an income tax deduction for the gift portion of his or her annuity. With the example of Mrs. Jones above, her $50,000 gift annuity gave her a tax deduction of more than $22,000. The deduction is available for the tax year when the gift annuity is established. If the deduction cannot be used entirely that year, Mrs. Jones has up to five years to carry forward the unused amount. The tax advantages make the effective rate of the gift annuity even higher than the rate used to establish the annuity.

Fixed, Regular Payments. It’s nice to be able to count on a specific payment no matter what happens with fluctuating interest rates. Your annuity payments will not change from year to year.

Passing On A Legacy. Perhaps the greatest benefit of an Esperança gift annuity is the personal fulfillment you receive by helping Esperança as well as yourself. Your gift annuity helps Esperanҫa continue its important mission of transforming lives. People with highly appreciated stock and other assets can also benefit from a gift annuity. They particularly like the partial bypass of capital gains they receive.

You owe it to yourself to find out more about a gift annuity with Esperança. To obtain a personalized illustration, please contact Tom Egan at 602-252-7772 ext 103 or email

Boat I


No longer living in fear

Benito Herrera














Its bite is painless. The red welt it leaves behind is almost unnoticeable and, because it strikes long after the lights go out, you’ll never see it coming. It’s called the vinchuca bug.

This tiny little bug was responsible for what they call “muerte subita” or rapid death. Officially known as Chagas, this deadly disease is caused by a blood-borne parasite carried by the vinchuca bug, and every year it claims more than 50,000 lives.

It attacks by slowly eating away at cardiac muscle until the heart ruptures. It can devour a host’s intestinal wall leading to toxicity and massive internal bleeding. In children it can also produce inflammation of the heart and brain causing immediate death.

Can you imagine what it would be like to hear about children dying in your neighborhood, suddenly and without explanation? As a parent, can you imagine the terror of wondering if your child is next?

These are sobering thoughts. But as horrifying as the vinchuca bug and Chagas are, there is really only one reason they are capable of so much destruction. Vinchuca bugs only strike while their victims are asleep and then retreat to hide in cracks and crevices during the day. This means vinchuca bugs are rarely seen by the villagers they infect.

The Chagas disease the bugs leave behind is also just as insidious. It only exhibits mild flu like symptoms for the first few days of infection. Then it can be a year, five years or even a decade before Chagas suddenly manifests itself in a variety of devastating and many times, deadly ways.

That’s why Esperança is doing everything it can to spread the word. Last year, we were able to educate 50,000 Bolivians on the dangers of the vinchuca bug. We taught them how to locate them, capture them and find out if they carry Chagas. We were also able to show them how to protect themselves from future infestation by cleaning and sanitizing their homes, repairing gaps in their roofs and walls and, in some areas, using specialized paint that contains insecticides. The villages we reach with this vital information see their infections rates dramatically drop – most to less than 3%!

Benita lives in Sunchal with her husband and four children. Located close to the border of Argentina, Sunchal has a high vinchuca infestation rate due to the mud and thatch they use in the construction of their homes. Benita has always been fearful of rapid death, so when Esperança promised to give her village a way to combat this mysterious disease, Benita jumped at the chance. She was chosen by her community to be trained in Chagas prevention and to relay her knowledge to the rest of the village.

“Because of the Chagas training, I’ve learned how this disease kills people and how we can prevent and eliminate the vinchuca bugs in our homes. Esperança gave me posters and cards which my husband and I have used to teach others about this disease and show them how to look for and capture the bugs. Within a week of our visits, many families have turned in small bags of captured vinchuca bugs, which we give to the community health center to determine if they are infected or not. Today my family and I do a search once a month to look for the vinchuca because we now know it keeps our family safe.”



Esperança Announces New Board Member Kayte del Real

Esperança is pleased to announce Kayte del Real has joined the organization’s board of directors.

Kayte del Real serves as Legal Nurse Consultant for Kent & Wittekind, PC. She is responsible for discovery and critical analysis of medical and surgical issues for medical malpractice defense lawsuits, liability review, as well as evaluating standard of care, causation and damage claims made against her clients.  She also works with R.N. First Assistant, PLLC, in Tempe, as a independent contractor assisting with all specialties of surgery at various surgical facilities throughout the Valley.

“She has a vast background in medicine, surgery, and medical mission planning and organization,” said Tom Egan, president and CEO of Esperança. “Kayte has traveled to Ecuador for various medical missions and currently serves on the Hacienda Healthcare Board.  Her perspective will be valuable for our international programs.”

Kayte holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Towson State University and completed the Registered Nurse First Assistant Training Program with Mesa Lutheran Hospital.

Katye del Real







Esperança partners with Murphy Education Center for Mother’s Day Celebration















Esperança and The Murphy Education Center are hosting an invitation only event to celebrate Mothers on Friday, May 9 from 8:30-11:30am at the Murphy Education Center.  The Murphy Education Center is a free medical and dental clinic and home to the Murphy Elementary School District offices.  Esperança is proud to participate in the ongoing partnership with The Murphy Education Center by providing nutrition courses for those families with children in their schools. The Mother’s Day event is a great way to provide support to the families in the district and honor their Mothers.


For more information on the Murphy Education Center contact, Jared Leslie, Development Director, at Esperança by phone at 602-252-7772.


Dixon’s Wishes are Answered

Meet one of the children that has been saved, 10-year-old Dixon who lives in El Pavón, Rio Blanco, Nicaragua. He hated going to school, where the other children made fun of his severe cleft lip.

Knowing that education was Dixon’s best hope for a better future, and wanting the best of everything for her son, his mother had sought help to repair his cleft when he was younger. The local doctors told her that she would need to travel a great distance from home to reach the doctors that had the skill to provide the surgery and that it would be very costly for the surgery itself. She knew that she could not afford even the trip, let alone the expensive surgery.

Out of options, Dixon and his family resigned themselves to a lifetime of teasing and prejudice. This was when hope arrived over the radio in the form of Esperanҫa. His mother heard an announcement that Esperança was sending a plastic surgeon from the United States to Jinotega to operate for free on children with problems like Dixon’s.

Although Dixon and his mother live only 65 miles from Jinotega in the Department of Matagalpa, it was still a long and costly journey for them. They had to travel on foot much of the way, and they had to spend precious money to buy food as well. However, Dixon’s mother knew it was a good investment of time and money since she so wanted to transform her son’s life. At the completion of Dixon’s surgery, the entire family was very happy with the outcome. This will allow him to live a life free from the prejudice a cleft lip brings.







A Mission of Hope, A Mission of Success

During the week of February 22nd through March 1st, Esperança was able to embark on one of the largest supporter mission trips completed to date. The total number of people that traveled with Esperança was 26! This included long-time surgical volunteer Dr. Retson and his team who have succesfully completed 40 surgical missions since 1990. Travelers didn’t know what to expect, but anticipation was high and was increased with the ability to meet and transform the lives of families in Nicaragua.

Many lives were touched that fateful week, and one of those lives was Hervin, age 3. He first met Dr. Retson in 2013, traveling with his grandmother from a great distance that brought them from the Honduran border. This was not the first attempt from Hervin’s loving family to try to find a solution to his medical complications. His mother had attempted reaching out to local surgeons but was continually turned away because of the severity of his condition. But when Hervin and his family first came through the doors of our clinic they knew that hope was there. With such a severe cleft there was the need for more practiced hands and Dr. Retson was there for Hervin and his family because of your support. After three procedures, Hervin’s cleft was corrected. The photos of Hervin truly show the transformation that took place, and the travelers on the Mission of Hope were able to see this miracle first hand.

The Mission of Hope was one of the first trips with Esperança for many of the supporters, and it was also the first opportunity for our new Program Director, Karen Resseguie, to see our work in Nicaragua. With Esperança’s close relationship with the volunteers of the community she learned plenty about our projects; but when it comes to transforming lives, nothing is like being able to speak directly with a family that has walked for days to have a glimpse of hope to see a doctor, or turn on a functioning water system that brings clean water to thousands.

Karen finished the trip with the following comments: “It was such a pleasure to see a surgical mission in progress as well as being able to sort and organize medical supplies. We also got to see Esperança projects such as the gravity-based aqueduct system, life-changing latrines, cooperatives supporting cacao producers and egg-laying farms.Everywhere we went, we were greeted by enthusiasm, appreciation and hand-cooked meals by project beneficiaries. I can say with great confidence that the people of Nicaragua have been touched by people like you who care enough to help improve lives of those who need it.”

With the Mission of Hope complete, those on the mission are left with stories of hope and transformation. As an organization we are touched everyday with these stories, and we are excited to share them with you.

If you are interested in joining us on the next Mission of Hope please contact Jared Leslie, Development Director at (602)252-7772 ext 101 or by email

Center graphic


Medical Supply Driver











Each year, Esperança is able to send a 40-foot container packed full of donated medical supplies to the developing world.  These donations are used by local health professionals, as well as by our own volunteer surgical teams to change the lives of poor through operations and medical services. All of the medical supplies are donated from business and individuals in the Phoenix metropolitan area and other states in the continental U.S.

Volunteers are needed to deliver boxes of medical supplies to our partner located in Tempe, Az. Volunteers will load boxes from our Esperanca office into our partner’s provided vehicle, deliver the boxes to the partner’s office and unload them. Volunteers will need their own transportation to pick-up the partner’s provided vehicle but not to transport the medical supplies.

Location: Volunteers will drive between Esperança’s office located at 1911 W. Earll Drive, Phoenix, Arizona 85015 and our partner’s office located in southwest Tempe.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Pick up/drop off medical supplies
  • Carry, load and unload boxes


  • At least 18 years of age
  • Driver’s license required with clean driving record and vehicle insurance
  • Reliable transportation
  • Dependable and friendly
  • Flexibility with scheduling -  times are between 9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday through Friday
  • Be in good physical condition; able to move boxes weighing at least 25lbs

Time Commitment: Once a week for 4 hours; flexible schedules.

Contact: If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact Anna Ortiz, Surgical Program Coordinator via email or 602-252-7772 x114


Esperança is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS rules and regulations.