Thank you Lindy and Will

Left to right – Tree of Hopes Volunteer Nestor with Will and Lindy

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.   We have so much to be grateful for as we prepare for Thanksgiving dinner hosted by friends in El Paso.   Currently we have 46 guests in our shelter who are staying with us as they await their asylum hearings.

Thanks to our new friends Lindy and Will from Seguimos Adelante in El Paso for donating a new water heater and water pump for the shelter’s bathroom.   Now our guests can take hot showers.




Alimentación tradicional

Leonel granados

Como cada uno de nosotros tenemos diferentes culturas alimentarias al ser de distintos países coincidimos en algunas cosas que son parte de nuestra alimentación básica

Gracias a la secretaria de salud.

Leonel granados

Ximena perea

Decire hinojosa

Quienes nos acompañaron para poder compartir con nosotros el conocimiento del buen comer,

Los muchachos aprendieron y nos enseñaron diferentes nombres de platillos de sus. Lugares de origen y compartieron sus experiencias con la comida mexicana, hondureña y guatemalteca.

Cada platillo es diferente pero siempre termina en nuestras mesas para alimentar al cuerpo.

También tuvimos la oportunidad de un Chequeo rápido de piezas dentales para nuestros migrantes quienes se toman el tiempo y brindan su amor para compartir con ellos y también los atienden en la clínica donde los muchachos pueden ir a recibir atención dental de calidad.

Ximena Perea

Decire Hinojosa


Dando un poco de color

Esta semana los muchachos pusieron manos ala obra para brindar un cambio al frente de Treeofhopes.

Agradecemos al lic.Naldo Beltrán quien donó parte de los ocotillos que hoy dan un color distinto a nuestras instalaciones.

One cup of coffee

IMG_5453We have planted a tree of hopes, can you spare a cup?

For the price of a cup of coffee, one time, once a week or as often as you wish, you can help grow a tree of hopes.  Near the northwest edge of El Paso a tree of hopes in growing in a community in Mexico called Anapra.  Tree of Hopes is inspired by the lives of Victor Villalobos and his wife Velia who with the help of their entire family and friends have dedicated their lives to helping people in need.


Every day Victor and his family are helping people who are hungry, in need of clothing, medical aid and oftentimes a place to live.  Some live in extremely poor conditions and are able to receive assistance from organizations like Casas Por Cristo.  For many years Casa volunteers have traveled to Anapra to build homes for families living in small shacks made out of pieces of wood, pallets, blankets and metal sheets.  Volunteers have often slept in the Tree of Hopes church called the Aposento Alto and have their meals at the Comedor nearby.  In Spanish “Aposento Alto” means high on a hill and “comedor’ means dining room.


Today the Comedor Aposento Alto is a refugee center for over 50 migrants who have come to the border seeking a better life from terror-stricken regions in Latin America like Honduras and El Salvador.

Two years ago, I was so impressed by everything Victor’s family was doing that I felt God calling me to grow a Tree of Hopes.  It’s a very young tree, almost a seedling, but with the help of Rotarians in Juarez and El Paso and people from all walks of life who have helped, Tree of Hopes is making a difference in the lives of people in tremendous need.  I can assure you that they are very grateful for every act of kindness and we are giving them hope.

Just to give you some idea of the impact of the Victor’s family’s efforts over the past six months, the Tree of Hopes facility has provided food and shelter for nearly two hundred migrants.

As I write this blog on a late summer evening, the Mexican Government has brought 30 more migrants needing a place to stay.  Some who are with children are crying.  Most have appointments for asylum hearings and will have to wait months.  There is no more room in the dormitory area on this night so many will have to sleep in the church.

Victor is a humble man as is his wife Velia and their two children Grissel and Nestor.  The entire family is dedicated to these people volunteering their help seven days a week.  They live on donations from people in El Paso who help them buy food, gasoline and pay the bills.

victorVíctor Villalobos Camarena founded Comedor Aposento Alto in Anapra, a small community in northwestern Juarez. He has not only has helped thousands of people living in this poor area of Juarez with food and clothing, but was also able to convince the City of Juarez to build a very popular community park and soccer field nearby.

My Rotary Club’s foundation accounts for many of the tax-deductible contributions.  The need is always great and Tree of Hopes we will continue to raise funds to pay the bills and make further improvements.  We hope that you will help in any way you can.  For the price of a cup of coffee, one time, once a week or as often as you wish, you can help grow a tree that produces the best fruit anywhere – a fruit called “hope”.

We need 60 pillows

Hello everyone. Tree of Hopes in Juarez just received 20 more migrants with no place to sleep. We are using every part of our facility. I just learned that we need 60 pillows. If you can donate pillows please contact us as soon as possible.

Be a part of our tree

With the help of the Juarez Executive Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of West El Paso, the Zaragoza Rotary Club, the Municipal Government of Juarez and many friends, Tree of Hopes is growing one day at a time. We are helping one of the poorest communities in Juarez with warm food, clothing, medical needs and shelter. Please help us reach our goal of raising $100,000 to sustain this effort over the next few years.

Let us hear from you.  Tell us how you want to be a part of the tree.  You can be a part of the trunk, a branch, a stem, a leaf, a flower or simply a ray of sunshine. Thank you for taking time to learn about Tree of Hopes.

Thank you Nextdoor app!

Last week we posted on here and shared with our community in West El Paso using the Nextdoor app our need for a used refrigerator. The response was tremendous and we were given three refrigerators! Thanks everyone for your help. They have already been delivered to the Aposento Alto Tree of Hopes facility in Juarez and work great.

Large refrigerator needed

Over the past few months Tree of Hopes has been providing hundreds of meals each week for people in need.  Today our large refrigerator broke down and we are in need of a new one.   Anyone who can help with a new or used refrigerator can contact Rick LoBello in El Paso by email or phone at or 915-474-1456.

We have planted the Tree of Hopes in Anapra, a neighborhood in the city of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders the Rio Grande.  The mission of Tree of Hopes is to support “One Health” humanitarian efforts to help needy families living along the US Mexico border in the Juarez, Chihuahua – El Paso, Texas region.  One Health recognizes that the health and over all well-being of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

Thanks to our partner organization, the Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation, all donations to Tree of Hopes project are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.


Volunteer of the month

This month we honor Jose Luis Almonte as our Tree of Hopes Volunteer of the Month. Jose has helped us paint buildings and supervise others working on a wide variety of projects including kitchen and housekeeping projects and landscaping. Thank you Jose for all the ways you help Tree of Hopes. We wish you all the best.

We are all the same

Over the past few months I have witnessed up close what is happening on our border with Mexico. Like most people supporting legal paths for immigration, treating people humanely and with respect is as important as all the ongoing debates.

We all know how divided we are when it comes to immigration. How do we break the divide and find lasting solutions? Recently I listened in on a meeting with about 40 migrants being cared for on the Mexican side of the border. They were brought to the shelter where they are being protected by the Mexican government with the help of volunteers offering food, clothing counseling and medical assistance. As they listened to a volunteer talk about some of the issues they were facing, many eyes filled with tears. I realized at that moment how much they need our help. Clearly respecting our immigration laws, these people only ask that they be given a chance for a better life.

Most people in the US do not understand that the migrant problem on our border with Mexico is not just a humanitarian challenge on the US side, but on the Mexican side as well. Most migrants being processed by Homeland Security in El Paso do not have the same level of care in Mexico. In Juarez the Mexican government counts on people who have very little themselves to come to the aid of those hoping for a better life.

Here in El Paso we are living on the front lines where every day people from all over Latin America are trying to come to the United States for a better life. Over the past few months I have met people from Cuba, Honduras, Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexican States where drug lords are making life extremely dangerous.

Everyone has a different story. Every individual is a child of God with the same feelings and desires all of us have in living this life. As I open my eyes and think more about these people I am reminded of the words from a Janet Jackson album recorded decades ago. “In complete darkness we are all the same, it is only our knowledge and wisdom that separates us, don’t let your eyes deceive you.”

Aposento Alto Tree of Hopes Mexico is on the front lines doing all we can to help people in need. Every offer of support with donations and volunteer assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thank you Display Services

Special thanks to Display’s Services in El Paso for their help with our new sign hanging on the Aposento Comedor Tree of Hopes Mexico. The Comedor (dining room) is the hub of activity at the Aposento Alto Tree of Hopes Mexico where people in need are provided with food and clothing, consoling and medical services. This same facility also provides sleeping areas for Casa Por Cristo volunteers helping to build homes for families living in very poor living conditions in the area.

Sponsorship opportunities abound

be a sponsor

As a Tree of Hopes sponsor you or your business can help our tree grow into a vibrant force for good on the border.  Sponsors will be listed on this page for one year by making a Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation tax deductible contribution at one of the following levels:

Pinyon Pine Oak Forest Sponsor $10,000

Rio Bosque Wetlands Forest Sponsor $5000

Ponderosa Pine Sponsor $1000

Douglas Fir Sponsor $500

Desert Willow Sponsor $250

Oak Tree Sponsor $100

Mesquite Tree Sponsor $50

Click here to learn more and donate online

Mission accomplished

Using a welding machine purchased with funds donated by the Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation, volunteers like Ismael have played an important role in helping to install a badly needed water storage tank also donated by the Foundation. Thanks to all for your contributions and support of the Tree of Hopes Aposento Alto Comedor where we help people in need every day.

Volunteers are installing a water tank this week

Using a welding machine purchased with funds donated by the Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation, volunteers today have been installing a metal frame for the badly needed water storage tank also donated by the Foundation. The Juarez Diario reported on the serious water shortage problem last week and Tree of Hopes Mexico is happy to report that help is on the way.

Thank you Rotary

IMG_3250 (2)

We have some great news.   Thanks to the Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation, donations to support Tree of Hopes will continue to be tax deductible.   The Foundation recently helped Tree if Hopes purchase a new oven for the Tree of Hopes facility in Juarez plus dishes and cups for the kitchen and a badly needed 300-gallon water tank.  Water to the facility has been very unreliable and a second water tank is important to not only all the people being fed in the Comedor, but also for volunteers working there from the area and all across the country.


To give you some idea of how many people use the facility this week we are expecting a work crew from Casas Por Cristo coming to the area to build more homes plus more refugees from Central America.  Both the US and Mexican governments need the help of churches and humanitarian organizations on both sides of the border to help care for refugees traveling to the border.   Over the past few weeks Tree of Hopes has helped to care for nearly 100 people from countries like Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba and Mexico.  We have no idea how much help the Government of Mexico will ask of us.  The need is great and we need help maintaining and repairing the facility’s infrastructure.   For more information on how you can help us in 2019 please use our Contact Us form or donate online.

The Mustard Seed Cafe


Last week we were happy to support the work of the Mustard Seed Cafe in El Paso with a donation of food supplies.  The Cafe has been feeding hungry people and caring for every heart that comes through their door since 2011.   They have a new location in West El Paso at  the Westside Community Church, 201 E. Sunset Rd.  Check out there website to learn more including business hours.

The mission of Tree of Hopes is to support “One Health” humanitarian efforts to help needy families living along the US Mexico border in the Juarez, Chihuahua – El Paso, Texas region.  One Health recognizes that the health and over all well-being of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

The following information from their website describes this wonderful community cafe.

The Mustard Seed Café is a NonProfit, Pay-What-You-Can Community Café. We want to tell and demonstrate the love of Jesus to every single person who comes through our doors! We serve delicious, nutritious food with an accompanying commitment to treat each person with dignity and honor.

Guests may volunteer an hour with us in exchange for a meal or they may choose to pay what they can on a suggested price for their meal. Some pay the suggested price, others pay less, and some pay more as a donation to pay it forward.

We welcome all!

When you come to the café:
  • Our greeters and volunteers offer a genuine and warm welcome.
  • Talk to our manager, Carmen, if you’d like to volunteer an hour with us in exchange for your meal.
  • Our menu changes weekly and is written on the large chalkboard in the café.
  • When you’re are ready to eat, step up to the buffet line and tell our chef and volunteers what you’d like to order. Our feature items vary weekly, as do our side dishes. We always serve a delicious soup, and our salad bar is one of the best in town. Dessert is usually a yummy cookie or bar, and we serve tea, coffee, and infused water.
  • Your guest check is on your food tray with a suggested price. You’ll pay after you eat.
  • Sit where you like and enjoy your meal.
  • You decide what to pay. Pay the suggested price, pay less if you need to, or pay more to help us keep doing what we’re doing.
  • Write the amount of your payment on your guest check, and pay at the door as you leave.


Tree of Hopes Grows

new tree

by Rick LoBello

A little over a year ago I realized something about myself that I knew was there, but for a long time was hidden from view.   As a wildlife conservationist working all of my adult life in National Parks and now the El Paso Zoo, I have always focused on my job and on related environmental education and advocacy efforts.  Then one day last year I discovered that I had a place in my heart that was pretty much wide open. It was a place where I have a passion for helping the less fortunate.  Soon I was doing what I always seem to do, trying to make a difference by encouraging others who also care.

As a member of Rotary International for over 30 years I have been encouraged to live by the 4 way test – (1) Is it the truth?, (2) Is it fair to all concerned? (3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? (4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?   I really want my life to reflect Rotary values which in my opinion are in line with my Christian faith and everything about being an American.  They are also in line with many other people’s values around the world like the global network I am a part of with 1.2 million business and professional leaders in Rotary.

The tree I helped to plant last year I am happy to report is growing.  Thanks to the Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation and most recently the Zaragoza Rotary Club, Tree of Hopes is gaining more and more support everyday.  Our Helping Families in Need This Christmas Project is touching hearts as our Tree of Hopes bears fruit and grows into a stronger part of our community.

One of the greatest things that I have realized over the past year is what I describe as a “ocean of poverty” in my own back yard.  Back in the 1990s when I visited El Paso’s sister city Juarez, I only experienced the business district near the Bridge of Americas.  Today I am learning that the poverty of Juarez is much greater than I ever realized.   I can’t sit back and just pretend that I don’t live next to this ocean. I can’t drive to work every day on I-10 and not look to the right and see the homes of so many in need.   I just can’t.   It is my hope that this Tree of Hopes will become a important outreach effort for good in the days ahead and that it will encourage others to plant trees of hopes everywhere.

I tell my friends that when you help the Tree of Hopes grow, you can also experience an inner peace as you realize how “we belong to each other (Mother Teresa).”    Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Rotary Logo