What would you do if you discovered an incredible experience that opened eyes, softened hearts, empowered service and changed lives?
To serve the most vulnerable children of Nicaragua
Empower orphaned and
Driven by volunteers and partners with passion for the kids of Nicaragua
To pouring our heart into the work of serving the poor
Deepening relationships with kids we serve, local project leaders and our
partners and supporters.
In the future of the children,
a hope for a better future.
Building bridges with partner organizations to increase collaboration and impact.
helping children in latin america
HOLA (Helping Orphans in Latin America) is an officially registered 501c3 status charity based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Our mission is to empower orphaned and abandoned children in Latin America through building structures, essential needs, financial aid, educational, vocational, and social support, and relationships within the community, enabling hope for the hopeless.
The organization began with a with a small group of Virginia Beach businessmen that visited Nicaragua in 2007 and discovered a beautiful country populated with amazing people but with staggeringly level of poverty. This trip ignited a passion to help abandoned and neglected children. The organization is committed to serve the most vulnerable children of Nicaragua.
our current works
HOLA successfully launched its music program in 2008. This program focuses on bringing musical instruments and instructors to the orphanages we support. Through music, students improve their logical thinking, math and problem solving skills while having fun and enhancing their spiritual lives. Where there were no instruments or music, there are now bands and choirs enjoying the beauty of making music.
HOLA Board Member, Andy Kline knows first hand how learning music can transform a child’s life and add great value to the development of critical thinking and math skills. The vision he has casted for this program has lead to a powerful impact and development for these children.
The program initially launched in Casa Bernabe Veracruz, but quickly grew to all of ORPHANetwork's West Coast homes - Hogar de Fe, Casa Bernabe Veracruz, Puente de Amistad, and Brazos de Amor. ORPHAnetwork expanded the program to one of it's East Coast homes in Puerto Cabezas.
In addition to staffing a music director for the homes, HOLA has invested in instruments and equipment that start with the basics - drums, keyboards, guitars, children's flutes and now also include horns, violins and many other instruments. Local Nicaraguan musician, Noe Leyton serves as music director.
The program has been very significant in the progress to move forward towards our shared vision of children reaching their God-given potential. As children learn a skill, one many thought they weren't capable of learning, you can see the confidence and self-esteem grow in both learning music but it also carries over to other areas.
The children have performed concerts and have led worship at events such as Nicaragua's Annual Global Leadership Summit. Our children work hard towards their dream to one day perform at the National Theater.
“Music is the best thing that ever happened to me. Before I used to get sad and bored, many times angry with everybody, but now I have something awesome to do. I love music; I love my guitar and I love to praise the Lord with the talent He has given me. I was born for this matter. Thank you and thanks God that we have music program and instruments to play.” Linda, Casa Bernebe
““I just wanted to thank God because my trumpet and the music class. Before this I was a sad and trouble maker every where, but now I know I was born for, my trumpet makes me feel useful and now I can praise the Lord Jesus with a different instrument, a hard instrument to play, but I love It. Now I am happy. Thank you all.”
José Luis - Hogar de Fe
More than 150 children have benefited from the music program since inception with 89 children currently enrolled.
In 2013, HOLA built a state of the art computer lab and Learning Center on the Hoger de Fe grounds. During its first year of operation and pilot phase only children residing at Hogar de Fe attended classes. The program has experienced growth to offer training to both children from Hoger de Fe children and from the surrounding community. More than 300 children attend classes weekly.
HOLA has worked closely in supporting students that grew up at Casa Bernebe. In partnership with ORPHANetwork efforts to provide English, Computer and Life Skills Training are successfully preparing our kids for jobs around Managua.
Some examples of success include: Mauricio and Julio both got jobs - they are financially independent! Oscar Oldesmar and Mauricio graduated from university (Mauricio currently finishing thesis). Jenniffer, Tania, Zaida, and Oscar all secured paid internships. Our students maintained an average of 81% in the first semester and 80% in the 2nd semester of 2015.
Future goals include focusing our program support towards finding employment and financial independence.
A small group of Virginia Beach businessmen visited Nicaragua in 2007 and discovered a beautiful country populated with amazing people but with staggeringly level of poverty. This trip ignited a passion to help abandoned and neglected children. It led to the founding of HOLA.
After spending time with the children of Casa Bernebe, an orphanage located Vera Cruz a village right outside of Managua, they knew this would be the site of their first project. Working together, the team started planning the build of a HOLA-funded Team Center that would comfortably accommodate mission groups to volunteer at the orphanage, proceeds from which help guarantee the sustainability of both projects.
What would you do if you discovered an incredible experience that opened eyes, softened hearts, empowered service and changed lives? HOLA understood Mission Team trips play a critical role in ending apathy toward poverty and creating champions for our cause. Mission trips builds relationships, broaden perspectives, challenge our comfort zones and empower us to serve.
More than 3,000 team members have stayed at the Team Center at Casa. People from all over the U.S. have had the opportunity to discover a beautiful country while also empowering them to serve and become champions for the children of Nicaragua.
HOLA remains committed to their vision to serve the most vulnerable children of Nicaragua.
2018 Project Coming Soon!
Learning Center at Hoger de Fe
Team Center at Casa Bernebe
The HOLA Center for Global Development
a statement from Whitt Sessoms
"HOLA – Helping Orphans in Latin America began with a small group of Virginia Beach businessmen that visited Nicaragua nearly ten years ago and discovered a beautiful country populated with amazing people but with a staggeringly high percentage of orphans.
This trip ignited a passion to help these abandoned and neglected children. This commitment has resulted in expanding our board to over twenty dedicated individuals with a mission to help the most vulnerable children that truly have no safety net.
HOLA is continually evolving. Our leadership has forged partnerships with other nonprofits including OrphaNetwork, Fill the Bowls, Operation Smile, and other NGO’s to bring more opportunities to Nicaragua’s most vulnerable.
HOLA has developed projects aimed at helping these children in strategic ways to prepare them for life after leaving the orphanages. The synergy among the membership of HOLA is amazing and I’m proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of caring and generous individuals that are truly making a difference.”
– Whitt Sessoms, HOLA VB Board Member
meet our committed volunteer board members
click here to learn more
about our Board of Directors
For the fifth year in a row, HOLA is hosting its Annual Pig and Oyster Roast to to help abandoned and neglected children in Latin America.
Join us at Eagle’s Nest Rockin Country Bar at 600 Nevan Rd, Virginia Beach, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thurs. Nov. 16, 2017.
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we're looking forward to hearing from you!
524 Winston Salem Ave
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Your one time donation will help with our costs of clothing, housing
and education for Latin American children