History of Marla’s House of Hope

January of 1997

Dr. Marla Holder formed a committee to address the issue of child sexual abuse and exploitation. One year later she died in a tragic accident trying to save a child from drowning.

In March 1998

The Department of Human Services placed the first Child in a Shelter located in the Help for Progress building in Belmopan. It was officially named “Marla’s House of Hope” in memory of founder Dr. Marla Holder.

August 2003

The British High Commission and many local businesses and citizens of the Belmopan area supported the construction of a permanent Home. The children moved to new building located on 1 acre donated by the city of Belmopan.

April 2005

The Home was destroyed by fire. Through God’s protecting hand, all children were safely evacuated and relocated to temporary facilities.

August 2006

Through the generosity of people and business throughout Belize and the United States, the Children were returned to a renovated and expanded Home in time to start the new School year!


Marla’s House of Hope is home for 20 of God’s Children. They are among more than 400 children placed in our care by the Department of Human Services over the past 20 years.

What Matters

One hundred years from now,
it will not matter what kind of car I drove,
how much money I had in the bank,
nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a little better,
if I was important in the life of a child.