In June of 2012, a group of friends from Calvary Chapel Mountain View traveled to Paraguay to visit El Puente Girls Home.
The girls shared about how they got to El Puente, and our hearts broke. We heard stories of abuse, neglect, rejection, pain and hardship. However, their stories also included incredible examples of resilience, joy, perseverance, redemption and, above all, a boundless hope for their future. Our hearts have been bound to these girls ever since.
We contacted Operation South America, the British non profit that established the Home and supports it to this day. We soon discovered that we shared the same passion to care for vulnerable children in Paraguay. We became friends and partners with them, and decided to work alongside them and support the work they had started.
We continued to make yearly trips to Paraguay. Our support base grew, donations increased and more and more people became interested in El Puente Home. Initially, we were fundraising a modest amount by selling baked goods at our church and doing several garage sales in our neighborhoods. In time, through people's generosity, that amount grew exponentially and it became obvious that we needed to establish formal procedures in order to wisely steward these gifts. We also felt it was time to affirm our commitment to the Home. Out of this desire, the organization Friends of El Puente was born.
Our goal and prayer is that all the girls that come to El Puente Home successfully transition to an environment where they can continue to flourish and thrive. We do this by partnering with a qualified, committed team of professionals that oversee each girls' transitional process. You can read more about it here.
We are a Christian non-profit. We love Jesus and desire for everyone to experience the joy of knowing Him, including the girls at El Puente. We believe that the best environment for a child to thrive in is a family. This is supported by scientific evidence and, most importantly, it mirrors what Scripture teaches about God being our Father who adopts us and includes us in His family.
At the same time, we have worked, and are currently working, with amazing friends of different faiths and worldviews. We seek to partner with anyone who cares about vulnerable children. This shared goal allows for a unified, concerted effort within a team that is diverse and inclusive.