• LOCATION: Rio Hondo, Guatemala
  • PROJECT: Casa de Estér Women’s Shelter
  • DIRECTOR: Pastor Otto Morales
  • FINANCIAL NEED: $14,400 One year of salaries for shelter staff and food costs for residents

Guatemala is considered one of the four most dangerous countries in the world for women—along with El Salvador, Mexico and Colómbia. This is why The Mordecai Project decided in 2015 to build a women’s shelter in the community of Rio Hondo. Women in this poor area do not have access to legal aid or any other form of assistance if their husbands beat them or threaten to kill them. And many of these women suffer continually because their husbands are alcoholics.

Our project in Rio Hondo is guided carefully by Pastor Otto Morales and his wife, Ilma. They will be assisted by their daughter, Ana Estér Paz, and her husband, Rev. Erick Paz. They have dedicated their lives to bringing the healing power of Jesus Christ to disadvantaged children, needy families and single mothers. Casa de Estér will serve as both a counseling center as well as a place of refuge and empowerment for many women. We also plan to use the center as a place of refuge for victims of sex trafficking who need a place for rehabilitation.

With a gift of $5,000 six years ago we bought land and began construction of a women’s shelter for domestic violence victims. We have raised more than $70,000 for this project and the building was completed in June of 2022. I dedicated the shelter to the Lord during a visit to Rio Hondo in July. This will be the only domestic violence shelter in the entire state of Zacapa, and the local government will be referring women to our center. The shelter is now operating but we need monthly support for the shelter.