Tlay Maak Tsu is the place name of the historic site on the West Coast of Vancouver Island that the Ehattesaht people of the Nuu chah-nulth used as a resting and stop-over place for canoeing travellers. The site was and is ideally situated, easily accessed from the ocean, sheltered by Nootka Island. In 1937, Dr. Herman McLean, with the aid of Percy Wills and Mr. Peters from the Ucluelet Tribe were led to this central Nootka Sound location to offer medical aid to the local villages and prolific logging and fishing camps and canneries. This location became known as Esperanza, and was named after the nearby inlet. The historic Nootka Mission Hospital operated on this site until 1974.
Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish and many find hope here. Esperanza's staff and volunteers remain steadfast to the calling of community, refuge and service. During the fall, winter and spring, staff and volunteers offer services to those who are struggling and provide a space for them to gain better connection with God, others, and self through bible studies, teachings and healthy community living. We often open our doors, kitchen, and hearts for large family gatherings for Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve and Easter, often hosting 100+ people, shuttling them from Tahsis and Zeballos by boat. Another joy is going out into the local communities and connecting with our neighbours in their homes and territories. During the summer, Esperanza's focus turns toward children and youth. The development of youth leadership is a primary focus of both the Leadership in Training (LIT) program and Outdoor Adventure Program (OAPY) at Camp Ferrier. At our camps, children come into contact with the gospel in an unique and fun way.
Esperanza is a community of convergence, a meeting grounds for people of various abilities, interests, denominations and ethnicities. It is a place where people learn about our Creator, about one another, and about themselves. It is a community where some come to live, some come to rest, and some simply visit. Others come to volunteer and serve for a day, and others a lifetime. We are amazed how the historic and modern purposes of this land - to provide rest and restoration, have lined up over time and culture. To us in Esperanza it demonstrates how God is sovereign and His purposes are larger than our understandings.
We invite you to partner with us in Esperanza. For many, it is a formational experience in knowing Jesus and making Him known. It is an invitation to follow the call of deeper service, to participate relationally and vocationally in intentional community, and to give of yourself in the ways you are gifted and called.