At 2:30 AM (in, umm, about five hours) daughter Reagan, Len Hernandez and I will be leaving to catch a 5:20 flight out of Milwaukee to Guadalajara, Mexico. This will be the World Orphan Fund’s first trip into Mexico and we will be visiting four orphanages in and near Jalisco while there. Here’s a thumbnail of each orphanage:
Love in Action Orphanage, Jalisco, Mexico
Anabel Frutos, the founder of the Love in Action Center, is a native of Mexico. She and her husband, Raul saw great needs and poverty around them and felt they needed to respond. So in 2001, they started a feeding program from their carport for children in the neighborhood. The original group soon began bringing their siblings and friends and then their mothers as well and a parenting class was added to this weekly event.With a growing need for space they found an old pottery manufacturing shop that consisted of a number of small buildings. They established a daycare for the neighborhood and during the certification process, the government asked if they would consider being a shelter for children. They now help orphaned children sent from throughout the state of Jalisco.
La Ola Orphanage, Jocotepec, Mexico
La Ola Orphanage was founded by Bob and Becky Plinke from Cookeville, TN. Both had a heart for foreign missions and had been involved in mission trips for several years. In 2009 Becky left her professional career as a nurse and moved to Mexico to look for a place to start a mission. On March 1, 2010 La Ola received it’s first children.In July Bob retired from his profession as a medical doctor to join the effort. Today La Ola is serving the needs of 16 abandoned, abused and orphaned children. Over 40 children have been sheltered there since its inception.
Hope House Orphanage, Jalisco, Mexico
Hope House, located in Jalisco, Mexico, is a children’s shelter providing permanent and foster care for young boys ages 6-18 who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. It was founded by missionaries Rodney and Kina Dutro. (Kina has put together our visits to all of the other orphanages and we will be staying there each night) Many of the boys are sent by governmental agencies in Jalisco to stay while permanent housing is found, a process which may take several years. Meanwhile, these boys are given the opportunity to receive an education, learn a trade skill and mature socially and developmentally.
San Pablo Orphanage, Cedro, Mexico
The order of Las Misioneras del Cristo Resusitado was founded in 1996 by Madre Bertha Chávez López to care for families impacted by AIDS.Approximately three years ago the HIV-negative children and siblings of the patients under hospice care in Tonala, were moved to the Misión San Pablo orphanage in Cedros. Nuns from the Order now care for approximately 52 children between the ages of 2 and 14 years, whose parents have died from AIDS-related conditions.The nuns facilitate frequent visits between siblings, and surviving family members.