Rosa Núñez, founder of El Hogar, grew up in a humble family in the rural area of San Jose de las Matas, Dominican Republic. Before opening the Hogar, she gained her experience working with children for 9 years in another orphanage. While fulfilling her role as director of that orphanage, Rosa learned of 2 children, Manuel (15) and Jordalisa (11), who were undergoing abuse and neglect at their home in the countryside. Jordalisa and Manuel are both blind and Manuel could not walk or speak at that time (after much prayer, he now walks on his own). The children were living in extreme hunger and poverty, and Jordalisa was the caretaker of Manuel and their 3 younger siblings. Rosa was appalled and deeply saddened by the situation of these children. Although she wanted to help them, she could not because the orphanage where she worked would not accept disabled children.


After visiting Jordalisa and Manuel, Rosa met with her prayer group at church. Rosa could not see anything but Manuel's face and, when it was time to take communion, she fainted on the floor. "When I truly need you, you do not help me," Rosa heard Jesus say to her in her sleep. He then gave her a vision of Mother Teresa serving the world's poor, sick, and disabled and He said to Rosa, "If she can do it, so can you!" That was the moment when Rosa realized she had to help these children in Jesus' name. With the permission of Manuel and Jordalisa's parents, Rosa took custody of them and moved them into her and her husband's modest, 2-bedroom home in Santiago.

Many people helped Rosa to get the house in which all of the children (now 13 total) live today. "I lived in the house next door when I brought Manuel and Jordalisa," Rosa says. She knew she should get a bigger place to keep the children comfortable. The owner of the bigger house next door were selling it for 2.5 million Dominican pesos (approximately US$65,000). Rosa asked the owner of the house to give her a month to see if she could raise the money. The month passed and Rosa could not get the money, so the owner started to remodel the house in preparation to sell it to someone else. "Every time a truck passed by with building materials, something told me the house was going to be even more expensive," Rosa said about the remodeling process. But, she never lost hope.

And, just when she least expected it, God sent Rosa help. Rosa became ill and, while at the medical clinic, she ran into an old friend who soon after gave her the 2.5 million Dominican pesos to buy the house. And so began the chain. Another friend, with help from his friends, raised money to remodel the house. There are currently 13 children living in the home now; 8 girls and 5 boys. Rosa says she works for God. Through daily prayer, she gains the strength, patience, and hope to raise these children, many of whom have abusive and violent pasts. Though the resources at the Hogar are limited, God always makes a way and the children are well cared for and happy.