BRINGING HOPE TO THOSE WHO HAVE NONE
—What Hope House is all about!
By Kina Dutro
On what I thought was to be a typical Thursday morning, I journeyed to Hope House in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, parked, walked to the entrance and stood helpless as my heart was slowly consumed by three little boys who had just arrived. It was immediately apparent they were brothers, joined not only by blood, but by carrying the shared burden of looking out for each other. They were so young, much younger than the other boys currently living at Hope House, but they had the serious countenance that comes from survival on the streets—a look I have seen on too many young faces.
A social worker from a state governmental agency had just dropped them off, asking if Hope House could watch them over the weekend until a more permanent solution could be found. I looked at them, sizing up their ages, my best guess: 1, 4 and 6. Seeing such little boys in the doorway and knowing without words they had come from abusive conditions, simply broke my heart.
Until today Hope House’s youngest boy had been 8 years old. The staff looked at each other and wondered what to do. They weren’t prepared for “little” boys. They had no toys, no baby bed, no baby clothes nor diapers, and yet they knew that even with these limitations they could provide a better home than the one the boys had known. The decision was unanimous: they would make whatever adjustments necessary to keep all three brothers together at Hope House.
As the day progressed, I learned a little more of the boys’ story—The oldest brother had wandered the streets scavenging for food, had dug through trash and begged from those he found the courage to ask. He was dirty, cold, and hungry. Denied the right to a “normal” childhood, the oldest played “mom” to his younger brothers. Food was scarce, but he shared what little food that was found as the three huddled together wishing for a better life.
They were welcomed with loving arms. Finally safe, they received food, clothes and medical attention. That day I unsuccessfully tried to comfort the baby, but the only one who could calm him was the one who comforted him all along, his oldest brother. Remembering the old life of neglect they experienced, it took a while for the boys to settle in to their new surroundings.
During meals they hid food in their clothes, still unsure when the next meal would come. At night, sleep was often disturbed by nightmares of their old life. After a while, the boys began to grow accustomed to their new home. One night as the oldest reclined on his bed, he placed his hands behind his head and wondered aloud, “What will I do, now that I am rich?”
Hope House exists to provide a better life for boys ages 2-18. Hope House is dedicated to helping break the cycle of neglect and abuse by providing abandoned, abused, orphaned and poverty-stricken boys with a safe and loving home, the opportunity to receive counseling, an education and vocational training so that they can have the HOPE of a better future.
If you desire to know more about Hope House, would like to visit, or to see how you can positively impact the life of a young man, please call. (376) 762-0032. Office hours: Monday – Saturday 8AM-4PM (For English, please call Monday or Friday.)
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com