2019 HARBOUR ESTATES
4362 JORDAN RD, LINCOLN ONTARIO
Spreading Hope to the Least
Fortunate People in El Salvador
This cause is near and dear to the hearts of Harbour
Estates owners, Darlene and Fraser Mowat. After being
part of a Shelter Canada team and seeing first hand the
hope that these homes bring to some of the most
impoverished people of El Salvador, this became one of a
number of charities the Mowat’s support on a regular
basis. Their grandchildren are counting the days until
they are old enough to go!
There are lots of stories to be told about the terrible
situations many El Salvadorians are living in. Two of
them are below. Click here for more information about
In March 2018, we built a house for Claudia, her husband, Abram, and 2
children (Blanca, 11 yrs and Franklin, 6 yrs)
Claudia’s beautiful smile and bright personality lit up every place she went.
Wearing a bright pink head covering, we found out she was in the middle of
cancer treatments, having been diagnosed 2 years ago. After a mis-diagnosis
and throat surgery with severe complications, the doctors found out it was
cancer. She was currently in treatments every 3 weeks which meant she had
to travel to the capital of the country from her remote village location (about 2
hours by bus). Because the hospital didn’t have funding to cover all of the
costs, she had to come up with $100 US for each treatment. This is an
exorbitant amount for a family making just dollars a day. But Claudia told us
that she loves to pray; she prays all the time and God has provided for every
treatment. She said, “I can’t afford the treatment, but somehow the money is
always there. And then I start to pray for the next treatment.”
Claudia hit a low early in her journey when her hair started falling out. She
sunk into a depression and didn’t want to go out or see anyone. Her sister
helped encourage her, reminding her that she had something to live for, that
she had to be there for her husband and her children. They needed their wife
and mother. Since then she has a determination to live and to hope for her
With her family living in a structure made of sticks and tarps, the new house
brought a new level of hope to this beautiful family.
In March 2019, our team built a house for Maria and her three
children – Ingrid (15), Anna (10) and Daniel (3 ½ years old).
Maria had to take her house down before we arrived so that we
could build her new house on the same small piece of land that
she had. But we were shocked when we saw a picture of her
previous house which was literally made of sticks, scrap pieces of
steel and plastic. They didn’t even have a door.
Maria is a soft-spoken and very hard working lady with a
beautiful smile. She works three days a week washing clothes
for people in the city, earning $10 per day. The other four days a
week she makes tomales to sell in the village. This is quite an
involved process which she starts at 4am by buying corn and
grinding it. The tomales are twice baked, wrapped in corn husks
in the ashes of a fire. Then Maria walks around the village selling
the tomales for $0.20 each. This makes for a long day to earn a
As a single mother, Maria shared how difficult life has been
trying to provide for her children. Even when her children were
younger, there were days she would have to leave them at home
and go to work. She was so worried for her children but she had
no choice. She shared how in their old house she would have to
move Daniel around at night so he wouldn’t get wet during rain
season. Maria couldn’t say enough how big of a blessing this
house is for their family. She was incredibly grateful for this
house that will keep her family dry in rain season and protect
them with a door that locks.
We had a great time chatting with the kids. Ingrid loves math in
school but Anna likes recess. Ingrid plays on a soccer team, but
Anna likes to help her Mom around the house. Daniel is not in
school yet, but already loves soccer.
When we asked if they had any questions for us, we could tell
that Anna had something but was too shy to ask. Her Mom
encouraged Anna to ask the question that was burning on her
mind. Finally Anna asked, “What is snow like?” We had a fun
time telling her about building snowmen and having snowball
fights and wearing big winter boots to get through the snow.
Anna ran back to where our team was doing Kids Ministry and
got snowflakes painted on her cheek.
We go to El Salvador thinking that these people will be so
different than us. But then we get to know them and we find out
that we are more the same than we are different. Maria wants
to provide for her family and protect her children. She wants to
give her kids a better future and more opportunities than she
has had. This home not only gives much needed relief for Maria
but gives hope to the next generation!