Esperança has been working in Southern Bolivia with our partner Esperanza Bolivia since 1982 in order to improve the quality of life of needy families, with programs in health, education, environment and integral development since the organization’s inception.
The foremost public health concern in Bolivia is Chagas disease, caused by the T. cruzi parasite, and transmitted primarily through a bug known as the vinchuga bug. Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) estimates that Bolivia is the most infected country with 1.1 to 1.8 million Bolivians currently infected. This parasitic sickness is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease in South America and causes irreversible heart, esophagus, and colon damage.
The best way to prevent the Chagas disease is to eliminate the vinchuga bug that passes on the deadly parasite. Esperança educates the community about the disease through trained community health workers, and improves housing and sanitary conditions. At each project site, families learn how to refurbish their homes to protect their families from Chagas. The vinchuga bug lives in thatch roofing and cracks in walls and floors. Esperança provides the supplies and the education to replace thatch roofing with tiles, plaster the walls, and pour a concrete floor. With these simple changes, we can protect an entire family from long-term effects and eventual death caused by Chagas.
In addition to our fight against Chagas Disease, Esperança also offers the following:
- Provides life-changing surgeries through our volunteer surgical program
- Trains hundreds of community health workers on important health issues affecting their villages
- Helps families learn agricultural practices that will improve their nutrition and help make an income
- Educates parents and teenagers on communication skills, vocational opportunities, and healthy living skills
These initiatives improve the quality of life for thousands of families every year!