Mission of Love

$25,000 goal

Campaign created 5 months ago
MISSION OF LOVE – Making Room for More

The story of Mother Isabel and her 62 children

There lies atop a cliffside a home like no other. Hundreds of children have passed through its doors, fed and nurtured, given a bed and clean sheets to sleep on, knowing they are safe. Today the Foundation "Santa María De La Esperanza" houses 62 children, tomorrow it may be more. The children arrive from towns up to 300 miles away, throughout all hours of the day or night. Some come alone seeking shelter, others are dropped off by the police.  Some are orphans brought in from earthquake-stricken areas. All of them are traumatized, many are violated and suffering forms of abuse or neglect. Children and adolescents at risk find refuge and care in the loving arms of Isabel Dietrich, Founder and the Mamitas (little mothers). The charitable Foundation Isabel envisioned 28 years ago has become an innovative leader in child and adolescent trauma and mental health care. The building of the Foundation is a remarkable story.

Second in line only is Fatima, a missionary who traveled to Ecuador 27 years ago, met up with Isabel and hasn’t left her side since. The Mamitas’ only concern is for the safety and health of the children. They ‘mother’ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The children blossom under their nurturance and guidance. Many of the children only know Santa María De La Esperanza as their home and have stayed until adulthood.  Some children may be fostered until such time as their own families have healed and the child is no longer at risk. Some of the orphans have been adopted. This model of inspiration and compassion is located in the small, poor, fishing village of Olon, Ecuador.  The challenging environment further supports the need, value and professional contribution of the Foundation Santa María De La Esperanza. Isabel and Fatima’s model serves as an organizational blueprint for any community, worldwide, to replicate and implement. Yet the Mamitas have remained quiet and humble throughout the years. Today, however, the Mamitas are raising their voices in need, asking the global community for help to make room for more.

Three dorms, a children’s, adolescent girls and one for boys have been built on the property. The common area remains hard ground, turning to mud during the months of rain and laying bare the scorching heat of summer’s sun. Heavy pots are carried to each dorm from a central kitchen. With darkness falling by early evening the children are driven indoors. Isabel says they need a permanent outdoor shelter to allow all the children to dine together, to perform music and dance, and to play and learn from each other. For this she asks for your help and support. Charitable receipts are available for donations over $25.00.


The Foundation has signed an agreement with the State, which affords $4 per day, per child up to a maximum of 50 children. This contribution only covers the cost of food and some personal grooming needs, and the salaries for the Technical Team - Social Worker, Psychologist and Early Education teachers (average wage $11 per day). To cover all other costs the Foundation must rely on donations.

Brief History

Some 40 years ago, Isabel Dietrich traveled from Germany to Santa Elena province in Ecuador, accompanied by a Catholic priest from Switzerland. She received a job as a Social Worker and served 10 parish districts. In these small rural villages, she found some children neglected and abused, and without any support or aid. Isabel used her own money to purchase the land and build the first homes. Patrons from her hometown in Germany have largely financed the Santa María De Esperanza operations for the last two decades but now many are old and/or can no longer provide funds. The Expat community has been most generous and kind, coming to their aid whenever need was great.

The outdoor shelter is a capital building project. Preliminary assessments estimate the cost to be $25,000 for a basic design to accommodate a dining, meeting and performing arts stage, in a roofed facility that will provide seating for 100.

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$25,000 goal

Campaign created 5 months ago
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