El Camino Restoration Home
More than 5,000 children and teenagers live on the streets of Santa Cruz, which is the fastest-growing city in South America. Living conditions for these kids are extremely harsh, and they are vulnerable to becoming addicted to drugs, sniffing glue, and alcohol. They are also at risk of being manipulated into entering the criminal world through stealing and prostitution. WGM has partnered with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) to help boys aged 8 to 17 rebuild their lives at the El Camino Restoration Home. A rescue home for girls is also in operation, but WGM staff currently work with the boys’ home. Over the last 10 years, these two homes have seen over 200 children come through their doors.
The Work of Restoration
El Camino’s work begins on the streets, with the First Contact Team working to build relationships and trust with the kids. Once a child has decided to leave his or her life on the streets, a staff person takes the child to a halfway house for a week of “detox” and adjustment. After a week, the child is brought to El Camino, which becomes their home until they graduate from high school. While at the home, the child receives academic education and vocational training in a Christ- centered environment.
El Camino’s caring staff is primarily Bolivian, and volunteers come from around the world to join them in working one-on-one with the boys. In addition to education, the kids receive counselling and prayer to overcome past traumas. Through a whole- person-restoration approach, the goal of El Camino is to raise up godly young men capable of being thriving members of society.
This ministry started in 1991 with street work and has grown over the years to include a reception house, El Toborochi; two restoration (residential) homes, El Camino and El Alfarero; and two reintegration homes for those who have graduated from high school, with supported living during their higher education.
Partner with El Camino Restoration Home
Pray: Pray that children living on the streets will find their way to Jesus through the First Contact Team. Pray that the kids currently living at the home will adjust well and remain strong in their desire to stay in the home and not return to their former lives on the streets. Pray for staffing needs; although the boys’ home has capacity to house 50 kids, there is often insufficient staff to care for that many.
Give: El Camino is supported solely by donations. Funds are needed to pay for school supplies, food, and utilities. Donations can be made securely online, and WGM staff will disburse funds to El Camino.
Go: Bilingual Home educators are urgently needed to serve at El Camino Restoration Home for a minimum of six months. For more information about this service opportunity, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More: Click here to view a speaker outline about El Camino Restoration Home.