About Proyecto Abrigo
About Jose Luis
Rev. Jose Luis Portillo is 1 of 10 children born and raised in Juarez, Mexico. He raised money for his family when he was a child by selling cigarettes and cigars on the streets of Juarez. He and his sister, Juana, received scholarships to go to Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso, TX (a United Methodist high school owned by the South Central Jurisdiction which has a lot of children from Mexico coming to go to school). There he learned English and heard God calling him to be a minister. He graduated from John Wesley Seminary in Monterrey, Mexico and was appointed to a church in Juarez. While he was there he invited volunteers to come and help build the church building. Those volunteers saw the people living in cardboard houses and asked how they might help. Through the help of Volunteers in Mission, Jose Luis began Operacion Hogar (Operation Home) in 1992 which used teams of volunteers from the United States to build concrete block houses for families living in cardboard houses. Most of the houses built are in Tierra Nueva, a community on the outskirts of Juarez. Jose Luis left Operacion Hogar in 1996 and founded Proyecto Abrigo, doing the same type of home building. Between these 2 organizations, Jose Luis has been responsible for building over 1000 houses since 1992.