Teaching orphans to make discarded bottles into beautiful Products Of Hope

Orphans are creating Products Of Hope out of up-cycled cans and bottles.

Orphans just having fun

Indescribable joy on the faces of the children we serve through Haven Of Hope. That which has been discarded can become beautiful. This is the message we teach the orphans who are producing Products Of Hope. The program teaches older orphans seeking vocational training, how to make candles, cards, and jewelry out of discarded bottles and cans. Through this program we are changing their future.

cutting aluminum cans

Before we left, some wonderful women from Caloosa Yacht and Racket Club and Riverside Church helped prepare aluminum cans and up-cycled plastic egg cartons to take with us. Preparing these components helps to make the process easier to teach when we arrive. Thank you so much for your help.

Refugio De Esperanza Sea Glass


Last July we launched phase 1, which included teaching orphans  to make sea glass from discarded bottles. This week we moved forward into phase 2 and presented hands on demos. Through these classes each child was taught to take the sea glass and turn it into sellable product. The success of this phase was strengthened by donations of product sent to us by donors who purchased supplies from our Amazon wish list.


Our first project was sea glass and aluminum cards. We started by providing materials for them to do their own designs, followed by teaching them to copy and use templates to duplicate into card lines that we inserted into packaging with labels to sell.


Day two included making jewelry from the same materials. Aluminum cans were cut into flat sheets and transported to Santa Cruz where they were  die cut and embossed to give them a very artistic look. It's amazing to see this through the eyes of these orphans, who have never been exposed to this kind of creativity. So many aha moments. 

Making jewelry from sea glass

On the third day we switched to cake decorating. Many of the girls at the orphanage are already baking cakes which they sell to their friends and church to raise money. Currently they have saved $3000 Bolivianos which is about $428 dollars. To continue with this program they are saving for a refrigerator.  With the donations of cake decorating tools and training they will be able to offer their expertise to the local community and generate funds, which will help them be self sustaining.  Our classes included use of fondant, gum paste and using new cake decorating tips. All of these supplies were donated.


We have gathered discarded bottles from local restaurants which are used to make our packaged sea glass, but on the fourth day we took the bottles and taught them how to cut, sand, decorate and turn them into candles. All of the kids participated and the focus was to get the boys interested in the program. Even the counselors wanted to participate. It was a magical moment.


An important part of  training includes, teaching these young entrepreneurs  how to resource the components from the project, create packaging and photograph their work for marketing purposes. That meant a field trip into the market with a scavenger hunt for materials. A local shop owner helped us by showing the girls the difference between buying by package or bulk to get the best prices. To complete this adventure we stopped by the printer who showed them how to make packaging designs and apply graphics. The lesson was priceless. To watch them their eyes light up as they began to understand the process, is an experience not forgotten.


All work and no play. Not on this trip. A wonderful volunteer accompanied me on the trip and her contribution was priceless. She belongs to an acrobatic group and taught the kids to do all kinds of tricks. They loved every minute. Her gentle love spilled over and she had no idea she was teaching the children about trust. The kids followed her around and loved her so much.


As we wrapped up our trip our last mission was to create samples for sales purposes and setting up a photography studio to teach them how to create photos for marketing and packaging. These new products will be sold on face book in Santa Cruz and also to the high end market there.  

The trip was exhausting but you don't leave these trips without a renewed sense of purpose. The orphanage director said you can see the Jesus through the eyes of the children and that is quite evident. 

If you would like more information on Haven Of Hope or would like to be more involved. A new missions trip is in planning stages now so go to: Haven of Hope International



I'm proud to introduce you to Products of Hope! As we grow this program, many of these products will be made available for purchase. So stay tuned and wait to see what God will do through Products of Hope.



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  1. Pingback: Programs make progress as people get involved | Haven of Hope International

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