We visited Casa Padre Wasson (an NPH home) in Bolivia for the first time in March of 2019. Located in a small rural village south of Santa Cruz, the orphanage is home to 105 children and lives up to everything we have come to expect from an NPH home. A loving staff, trauma-informed care, strong values and a focus on education and creative thinking.
Like so many orphanages we visit, they are stressed financially and are always looking for ways become more sustainable. They already raise 5,000 Pacú fish annually (a vegetarian cousin of the Piranha). They also grow a small amount of corn, yucca (cassava), and rice. The home sits on 96 acres of prime land, presenting an opportunity to expand their existing agricultural program by growing more food for the children and hopefully create a surplus for the local market.
The challenge was that their tractor is 30 years old and dead as a doornail. Replacing it is an expense they simply couldn’t afford. We provided a grant for $53,000 so they can buy a new tractor.
It will reduce chronic repair costs and allow for the introduction of additional crops like tomatoes, watermelons, and peanuts. Beyond better nutrition for the children and income opportunities, the tractor will enable them to cut acres of tall grass, lessening the challenges with spiders and rattle snakes, as well as reducing a mosquito population that can carry yellow fever and malaria.