heartThe Tessa Foundation

The Tessa Foundation is devoted to furthering human rights for people challenged by oppression, disability, hunger, and abuse.



Tessa with ChildrenTESSA

The Tessa Horan Foundation was created in 2006 to honor the life and commitments of Tessa Marie Horan. Tessa was born at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico on the first day of spring, March 20, 1981. She was fatally attacked by a shark on February 1, 2006 on the island of Va’vau in the Kingdom of Tonga while serving in the Peace Corps. Services held for Tessa in the Kingdom of Tonga, facilitated by the King.

When her body was returned to the United States, she was anointed in saffron in the Buddhist tradition and cremated in Santa Fe, New Mexico. On February 11, there was a memorial celebration including a Buddhist Roshi, Priest, Rabbi, Minister, and Native American Elder. At least 1,500 people attended who had come to embrace her strong loving vitality.

Tessa Marie Horan was dedicated to improving the lives and conditions of people who are under served. Her diligence inspired the creation of The Tessa Foundation.

T teach • touch • transform
E educate • embrace • empower
S sustain • support
S service • sparks that ignite the heart
A advance • actualize

"Some people, sweet and attractive, and strong and healthy, happen to die young.
They are masters in disguise, teaching us about impermanence."
~ The Dalai Lama