Open Tuesday- Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm
2020 HARBOUR ESTATES WINERY
Spreading Hope to the
Least Fortunate People in
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 Shelter Canada.
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
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 few dollars.
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!