Faces of Chile

I didn’t expect to see it in Chile but it was there… in facial features, names, and architecture: the influence of Germany


The town of Los Muermos, Chile, population 6,000, is located in a rural municipal district of 16,000 people. The majority of the population is poor, but – in drastic contrast to what we see in Brazil – they show great pride in ownership. Notice the clean appearance of these homes and the sidewalks surrounding them.


Renaissance Man and I were invited to Chile specifically to visit this little town… and to meet some girls there. What beautiful memories we made!


From our own experience as parents of two daughters to our work with Hope Unlimited for Children, one thing I know for certain: No matter where they live, Girls will be girls!


Older ones like to show off “their space”…


… and little ones are easily entertained! I played the same game with this little 3-year-old beauty as I have my own Little Sir and Little Man before him. This time it was with the luggage handle: alto, bajo, alto, bajo… (up high, down low, up high, down low…)


This is where we were… at a residential home for girls who have been removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse. Do the pictures above feel any different to you now?


We were invited there to consult with city officials and girls’ home staff… to see how parts of the highly-successful model we use at Hope Unlimited might be of benefit to these girls as well.


The gentleman at the table was our host and is manager of The Cliffs Preserve where they have a longstanding relationship with these little girls. We were delighted to share their delicious early evening meal with them… and I was thankful for the years of Spanish I had in high school and college but wishing I hadn’t let that knowledge get so rusty.


Before we left Tennessee for South America, Renaissance Man and I put together packs of “goodies” to take to the girls. They included things like:

  • art supplies (drawing tablets, crayons, pencils, stickers)
  • hygiene items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, Kleenex)
  • Pure D “fun” (noisemaker instrument, necklace, M&Ms)
  • companionship (Teddy bear)


Do you remember the soft way some of these Teddy bears whispered a hard fact back at Christmastime?


After our meal, we surprised the girls by spreading the packets out across the floor…


… then one-by-one, youngest to oldest, each girl chose her favorite.




We had the best time! The little pink bear is MY favorite!


At the present time, the girls living here range in age from 3 to 21. This government-run home’s model calls for girls to leave when they turn 18, but, in an unprecedented case, they’ve chosen to “look the other way”. Why?


Here’s why… This young lady arrived after we’d been there awhile. She grew up in the girls’ home and is now about to graduate from college with a degree in early childhood education. When she turned 18, she asked to stay longer because she knew the stability she found at “home” was her only chance to stay focused and get an education. To have a future.


The moment she arrived, the girls’ faces lit up… and she made her way around the table, giving each one a hug and looking at their Teddy bears and gifts. Even in this sadly necessary setting, it was a beautiful picture of FAMILY.


Here’s another beautiful picture for you…


Can you tell? This little one stole my heart!


All around the world, there are children who need us to speak up for them. They need us to share hope with them.


What will you do THIS WEEK to make a difference in their lives?



Click below to see one small thing you can do TODAY to make life large for a young girl… FOREVER.





  1. Susan, I love being able to watch you deliver all this goodness. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Debra Loyd says:


    Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with me! These precious girls are blessed to have you on their side!

  3. Beautiful, beautiful girls and an even more beautiful post. I’m sitting in a dark hospital room trying not to wake my mother with too much clicking or I would say more.

  4. This is sooo heartwarming, Susan. I could tell before you mentioned it, who had stolen your heart. What a sweetie she is! I’m humbled by your work. Thank you for your visit, and your tactful decline to vote on the goblets :). Hardly a worthwhile “game” in light of your work! ~Zuni