Life at Quinta Totaices

It’s currently 4pm (well it was when I started writing), and the residents at Quinta Totaices are taking a refreshment break from their afternoon work session – probably a piece of homemade cake made by our cook with some very sweet tea to wash it down (there isn’t the culture here of asking how many sugars you have – it’s generally assumed you take a lot of sugar in your drink!). Their daily routine started at 6.30am, the same as every other day apart from Sundays, and today has been a work focused day. Work is an important part of the Novō programme, not only therapeutically for the residents, but also in generating income for the project.

Jul, Aug 2017 (4)Jul, Aug 2017 (12)July 2017 (1)

The programme has a structured timetable for each day of the week, and Wednesday morning consisted of a time of worship (for staff and residents), followed by a recovery group. I felt privileged to attend the group, in which one of the residents shared his life story, which is one of the programme objectives. It was humbling to be reminded of the background many of the men come from. A story of repeated rejection – hospitalised due to undernourishment as a young child, abandoned by his alcoholic father, and at the age of 9, kicked out onto the streets with his Mother telling him “you’ll turn out just like your father”. He had to fend for himself. Alcohol, glue and marijuana provided what he needed to survive life on the streets.

The sense of community continues to grow at Quinta Totaices, and there is a strong sense that we’re transitioning from set-up phase to a maintenance and development phase. As part of this, we’ve begun regular training sessions with the whole staff team, covering all sorts of themes from drug testing to managing conflict and first aid to relapse prevention tools. I led the most recent workshop for the team, introducing the broad theme of roots of addiction and our treatment philosophy and principles. It is fantastic that everyone seems keen to learn and engage with these times.

Training Aug, Sep 2017 (10)Training Aug, Sep 2017 (8)

A further recent transition has been our local Project Coordinator. We’re grateful for José Ernesto’s hard work in setting up the project, and are equally grateful for God’s provision of David Salazar, José’s replacement, who is doing a grand job so far! He brings great leadership qualities with a real heart for team building and serving where God wants him to be. In his second week with us, David organised a BBQ for all residents, staff and families – hopefully the first of many such events!

Churrasco Aug 2017 (7)

It is exciting to report that Ulises, a resident I mentioned in an earlier blog, is our first resident to be very nearly completing his time on the main programme. A huge milestone! Novō will continue to heavily support him after he’s officially completed his programme, and the plan is that he will continue to live at the Quinta, while having more independence as well as responsibility to help out in some kind of volunteer capacity. One of our staff members has found him a work placement, where he will receive training and eventually a salary. Ulises has been feeling a little overwhelmed with the options suddenly open to him for his future, now that his life no longer revolves around and depends on drinking alcohol. Please join us in praying for this crucial next step for him – that he’ll remain focused on his recovery, enjoy his new-found fullness of life, and continue to walk and grow in his relationship with God.

Ulises (4) - Copy

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. John 10:10

I have more of a personal update I’d like to communicate with you soon, including looking towards next year. But I’ll save that for another blog post in the near future.


  • Praise God for an increasingly established community and programme at Quinta Totaices, where men are finding a place to call home.
  • Pray for Ulises and his future, and that he’d be a great role model for other residents on the programme.
  • Pray for David Salazar (new Project Coordinator) and that he’d continue to be enthusiastic and open to God guiding him in his new role.

Thank you so much for being part of this journey with me – I couldn’t be here without you, your financial support, friendship and prayers.



9 Comments Add yours

  1. judith hansford says:

    Hi Rachel

    Thanks for this. Is the last picture of Ulises? Is ther a picture of David. It helps my prayer if I visualize the person.




    1. Thanks judith – yes, the last photo is of Ulises, and David is the guy nearest me in the training photo, checked shirt!


  2. Dave Partington says:

    Well done, Rachel, what a joy to read what you and other members of the team have achieved by His love, grace and power.


    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol Birss says:

    Great blog again. Always good to read your news.

    Look forward to next one and hearing what you have decided what to do next year!

    We are having a great visit from Becky this weekend while she is doing her course in Glasgow this weekend. Look forward to her next visit next month.

    Hope you are keeping well

    Love from us both



    Liked by 1 person

  4. lospearts says:

    Love following your blog. God is doing such a fantastic work through Novo. Praying for Ulises and his new life in Christ, free from the slavery of addiction. Bless you all. x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennie Stanton says:

    Hi Rachel, thanks for the blog. I’m still praying for Ulises and will continue to. As I also pray for you and the work there. God bless you, look forward to hearing about your future in the next blog. Love Jennie Stanton XX

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Catherine Hockley says:

    Thanks for updates, all sounds so exciting and true testimony to how God is Moving. Look forward to more updates soon xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sue Tew says:

    Such good news to hear the progress that has been made. Prayers for everyone that lives will be changed and blessings to you and your colleagues. X

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Annie Grieve says:

    Hi Rachel
    Thanks for this uplifting blog. I will pray for Ulises to be a role model for others at QT.
    David, I pray will be a fervent servant and humble as he fulfills his God-given assignment.
    Love Annie

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s