Category Archives: Mexico

Jun 11 2008

Latin American coordinators reflect on the future of the poor

CFCA has always been guided by its humble spirituality and vision. We have always said, “Lord, give us a spirit of always beginning.” Always thinking, always creating, and always finding ways to reach out to those in need of help and to those who need to help.

I was blessed to recently participate in a CFCA Latin American Encuentro (gathering) in Guatemala, with the Coordinators of CFCA projects in Latin America: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Chile.

Our hope was to unite creativity, spirit, faith and hard work, to look towards the future of our sponsored families and to offer our sponsors a transparent opportunity to help one child not to have more, but to be more. During three days, we learned about many different programs functioning in CFCA Projects all across Latin America. What an amazing experience to see the extraordinary amount of talent in our CFCA staffers, offering real options of hope for the sponsored and their families.

The current economic situation of the world is making life harder—further limiting the poor as they try to reach a better future. Many of our families are suffering deep and brutal situations due to the lack of jobs, health and opportunities; they find it more difficult to survive every day. The reality is so difficult that many poor people are trying to find ways for their children to work to contribute to the family income.

The grassroots movement of CFCA is based on offering our sponsored families options for them to reach their very own dreams, starting from what they know and building from there.

CFCA creates livelihood programs… Projects in Honduras have sponsored families growing pigs, selling them and making extra income from it. Our Guatemalan families are being blessed by producing and selling products such as pants, backpacks, nutri-cereals, etc. Many others are growing chickens, goats and planting corn. In Costa Rica, families are producing cloth dolls, some mothers have beauty shops and others are marketing local homemade jelly.

These families are not only growing economically, as they market their products, but they are also becoming experts in these fields, acquiring a higher self-confidence as they are capable to provide for their families.

Just as Jesus sent the disciples to spread the good news of His kingdom, all of us, CFCA servers, were sent to promote the dignity of the poor and to offer hope by building, with the support of our sponsors and our sponsored families, options for needy people. To create an environment where they can be builders of their own future, asking them what they want to accomplish, learning from their human potential and developing programs from there.

In the hurting world we live in, we are called to open our hearts and vision and tell all those who are suffering that it is worth it to continue, it is worth it to keep fighting, it is worth it to keep on believing — just like a song in Spanish says, “I have faith that everything will change, that the love will always triumph, I have faith that the light of hope will never die.”

Mar 26 2008

Bob’s report: Visit to Monterrey, Mexico

Mission Awareness Trip
March 1-8, 2008

It is a pleasure to be in touch from northern Mexico. I am very grateful to be able to spend this week with our CFCA family here. This trip is focused on CFCA projects in northern Mexico, including the states of Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis, Potosi, Jalisco and QuerÈtaro.


I played one song with them and I overheard, “If they ask for an encore, let’s do our first song again.” I remarked to the families present, “Wouldn’t it be great if world powers could send guitar strings instead of arms?”

A good orientation and initial gathering

Sponsors were invited to say something about their sponsored friends and to tell us about their involvement with CFCA. Father Tony Lee, pastor of St. Jude’s Parish in Peoria, Ill., shared that while he is here, Father Peter Herely is leading a CFCA weekend at St. Jude’s. Our prayers are with you, Father Peter.


On Monday, Father Tony and I teamed up for a bilingual morning prayer, readings for Lent, hymns led by Bob and shared intentions. Tomorrow morning, Father Tony will celebrate Holy Mass for us in English.

Successful visits generate warmth and love

The Ortigosa Home and Day School—preschool through junior high—serves 88 sponsored boys and girls. The sisters had organized a general assembly of the students that included musical interaction with students by Bob. Boarders served as guides for sponsors on a tour of the facilities. Warmth, love and shared snacks topped off the visit.

We remembered in a special way the meeting today of the OAS as it considers the crisis of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Jerry Menard traveled to Nuevo Laredo with Miguel Angel to see his sponsored
girl, Rosario. I am happy to report that this trip went very well for Jerry, for Rosario, for the Sisters in Nuevo Laredo and for staff member Miguel Angel Alba, who did all the driving.

Empowered mothers grateful for sponsorship

Our group visited 65 dynamic families of subproject PAN, many of them squatters living in the area of Cerro de la Campana. Mothers Licha, Marta and Petra are the community leaders. Staff member Matilde from the project office offers solidarity, visits and support. The tiny kids danced a cute number, and 7-year-old Magali proclaimed, “It’s really bonito (nice) to have a sponsor.” Maria spoke of her two children, a 9-year-old boy in fourth grade and a 14-year-old girl who is a special child. She emotionally expressed her gratitude for the sponsorship program. Other mothers, including Francisca, Claudia and Sylvia, also expressed a sincere and balanced gratitude.

School children display creative talent

At Parras de la Fuente, 76 spontaneous sponsored children were waiting for us, together with veteran missionary educator, Sister Rosario. Her congregation has served in this home and school since 1912. Alexis, Estefania, Gloria and Jorge all did a nice job on their respective songs, singing a-Capella at that. The sixth graders upheld the poetic fame of their town with two synchronized declamations: La Muóeca and Parras Tierra de Poetas. I encouraged the kids to appreciate these precious years in such a pretty and good school. They were proud to say aloud the names of their sponsors.

Bernardo Grousset School, which houses subproject BGS, has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Parents are welcomed to participate in the classes. Creative thinking, spontaneity and self-confidence in expression are encouraged. A general assembly of students took us through the entrance of the flag, norteoo folk dances and vocals.

Cristina and I are now on our way to Guatemala City to meet the mission awareness trip group arriving March 8. Thanks again for traveling with us.

Godís blessings,

Bob Hentzen
Monterrey, Mexico
March 8, 2008