Team Mexico’s site, La Granja Hogar in Chihuahua, is increasingly growing and with the help and support of the Collette Foundation, their needs are being aided. Celebrating their 50th year, La Granja Hogar has extended their embrace to 200 orphaned and abandoned children allowing them a place to be loved. With the assistance of the Collette Foundation for almost seven years now, La Granja Hogar has thrived in an environment that has provided some difficulty both environmentally and economically. With the hard work and dedication of their retiring Director, Sister Ana Ramirez, the boarding school developed into a stable home providing an array of education, activities and life skills.
“Sister Ana Ramirez is retiring this year, but will stay on a little while to help the new director settle in,” Mexico team member Chris Cahill said. “I had the chance to meet Sister Ana when I went on a trip several years ago and I could tell that she just loved the children as her own. She had such a great enthusiasm about her and the minute we started talking about the home and the children, her face lit up and she had a beaming smile! We wish Sister Ana the best in her next adventure in life and look forward to getting to know and working with her replacement, Ma. Antonieta Marquez Horta.”
The Collette Foundation welcomes La Granja Hogar’s new director and is excited to continue their efforts to give the children a well-balanced lifestyle.
In July, we blogged about the start of a water irrigation project in Mexico in the entry Team Mexico Provides Water During a Drought
. The irrigation project for La Granja Hogar finished recently in August and the children and employees at our project site couldn’t be more pleased!
With this new system, the school will be able to use recycled water from a line placed behind the property. They will be using the tubes and water pump to send water up to the entrance of their gardens and trees, and it will help them to save drinking water. The children are very excited to be introduced to this way of recycling and protecting the environment. When they reached out as the project rolled to a close, they simply said “Thank you for your support”… and “We recycle now!” Seeing these messages felt really great.
Construction has begun at La Granja Hogar in Chihuahua, Mexico — a project that Team Mexico is funding for our partner. The project will entail creating an irrigation system and network to use recycled water from the school to water the vegetables in the school’s garden, as well as the pecan and peach trees that are on the property.
This is an important project for La Granja Hogar, as there is currently a drought in the area that has made the water scarce even for drinking. The project is scheduled to be completed within two months. We look forward to updates and photos of the completed irrigation system!
Recently,we received great news from our site down in Chihuahua, Mexico. Sister Ana from La Granja Hogar De Los Niños has sent us photos of the finished restroom project that we helped to fund last year. This has been an ongoing project, with some setbacks, such as when they started to demo the old building and found three very large holes in the ground, which they had to fill in. Finally, the children can enjoy a clean and sanitary environment, and this will reinforce for them the importance of hygiene. The photo above is the view from the dorms — the children can see a playground and very clean and new restroom facility and Sister Ana tells us that they are extremely happy with it.
We look forward to working with Sister Ana and La Granja Hogar in the future, and helping these children grow and learn valuable life lessons.
Towards the end of the year, we received an urgent request from Rick Jones at Mi Casa for Children and Elderly, in regards to our project site — El Oasis Del Niño in Querétaro, Mexico. They recently had an inspection of all the electrical wiring in the building, and found out that it needed complete rewiring. This was marked as a major safety hazard; regulations have gotten much stricter after a very bad fire in a preschool facility took the lives of over 40 children.
When Rick Jones told me that the inspection revealed that the building at El Oasis Del Niño had not been updated since it was constructed, over six decades ago, the Mexico team sprung to action; we wanted to help out as much as we could, and definitely wanted to be able to start this important project before the end of the year. Rick Jones was able to find another group to help commit funds as well, a group of young men from the area who wanted to help, and held raffles to raise some money. With their support as well as ours, the school will be able to pay for the full rewiring of the building and we can rest assured the children will be in a much safer environment. What a great start to the New Year!
The children modeling their new backpacks
As an ambassador for the Mexico project, the team and I are always trying to find new ways to get the other employees at Collette involved in our mission. The more helping hands, the greater the impact.
This past July we were delighted by the response we got in running a supply drive for the project. Our co-workers donated a ton of supplies to La Granja Hogar De Los Ninos, the school in Chihuahua that we support. The kids were in need more than ever; the violence in Mexico earlier this year had led to a decrease in in-kind donations.
Trying on their new sneakers
Employees eagerly donated supplies in the united hope of bringing, well, hope to these sweet kids. With six big boxes full of shoes, pants, backpacks, and miscellaneous school supplies, we were excited to present the new gifts to the children.
The school just recently sent pictures of the children enjoying their new items! Those smiles say it all.
With everything that is happening in Mexico these days, the Mexico task force is asking for assistance. As travelers are not visiting our partner sites they are struggling for materials, such as school supplies and other items. We will be sending these items down to them after they have been collected.
The Collette Foundation has supported the Granja Hogar for 6 years, this year, we are looking to fund the construction of new restroom facilities near the cafeteria, that were damaged over the winter months.
In addition to the normal funding problems and needs, the correct violent situation in Mexico has hit the orphanage hard, as local and international funding has dried up. People are concerned about safety and are not travelling to that region, so La Granja Hogar has not been receiving the small donations that clients usually bring with them.
Speaking with Sister Ana, the current Director of La Granja Hogar, we have been made aware that there is most need for basic supplies, like shoes and pants. Specifically, she requested the following items:
Tennis shoes (or sneakers) for both boys and girls
Pants/shorts (boys and girls)
If you can afford to help out in any way, it is much appreciated! There will be a drop box in each department at headquarters and the department that collected the most supplies will win a catered Mexican lunch!!
We received a wonderful letter today from Sr. Ana, our contact at the Granja Hogar de los Ninos in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Dear Chris, we are very thankful to Collette Foundation for the donation we receive through Mi Casa Foundation. The small beds, mattresses and all is ready in the factory. It will be a great help for the smallest because these beds will be easiest to make and also they will have more space to play.
The dorm for middle age boys: 7 – 11 is now under remodeling. The work will finish in one month and we shall welcome about 15 kids more. Last year we have 76 applications and 30 places. We hope this year the situation will be better.
Please tell the persons of Collette Foundation our gratefulness in the name of the kids. God bless you all.
Have a very nice day and thanks again Ana Ramírez Ugarte rscj