Tag: Mexico

Hanna, 7, from Mexico
May 4 2015

Help Hanna find a sponsor

Hanna, 7, from Mexico

Seven-year-old Hanna lives in Mexico with her mom, dad, big brother and little sister. Hanna loves to play with her friends and be active, despite having asthma and allergies. Her favorite part about school is doing art projects.

Her dad is a seasonal day laborer, and on average the family income is only $160 a month when her dad can find work. With her mom in need of medical treatment, meeting the costs of sending all three children to school is becoming increasingly difficult for the family.

For Hanna, getting a sponsor would mean she can stay in school. She would also have access to regular health check-ups, better nutrition and special events with other sponsored kids, among other benefits. But the best benefit she would receive would be knowing that someone in another part of the world believes in her and wants to help her and her family have a better future.

Editor’s note: Since this was posted, Hanna has found a sponsor. Click here to view other kids waiting for a sponsor.

Nov 15 2012

Mexico: Creating positive change

Join us as we celebrate Geography Awareness Week with National Geographic and friends. This year’s theme is “Geography: Declare Your Interdependence.”

Mexico mapA country that shares a border with the United States, Mexico often has a cost of living similar to the U.S. but with fewer income opportunities.

This presents challenges for families living in poverty. The National Council on Evaluation of Social Development Policy estimates that 46.2 percent of Mexico’s total population (52 million) lives in poverty.

Families, however, are working to overcome these challenges through our projects in Cuernavaca, Guadalupe and Merida.

Violence is a part of everyday life for many families in the Guadalupe and Cuernavaca projects. In a few communities, this violence has driven some families from their homes and changed the way we interact with families when our staff cannot visit neighborhoods.

Families meet with staff in other, safer locations. Our Hope for a Family program conducts activities for families that reinforce healthy values and teach conflict resolution.

Our work also supports parents in their efforts to educate their children. Hope for a Family sponsorship in Mexico helps offset the cost of supplies, fees and uniforms. Read more

Oct 5 2012

‘Animal’s best friend’ is a sponsored aging friend in Mexico

Gregorio, sponsored aging friend in MexicoWe’re so excited to share with you the story of Gregorio, one of our sponsored aging friends in Mexico. Gregorio has a history of finding sick or abandoned animals and bringing them home to nurse them back to health.

Here are a few questions we asked him recently:

What made you decide to help animals on the street?

My mom and my dad always told me to be good with people and animals. I feel so much compassion for them.

I remember crying over three newborn baby cats I found abandoned in a soccer field. I decided to help them and see them grow.

Where do you find these animals?

I’ve found them everywhere: near my house, close to our church, at the soccer field, in the rural areas.

Please describe your favorite or most fond memory of your pet(s).

Wow, the truth is that I have adored them all, but there was Alaska.

Alaska was my neighbor’s dog. He bit my neighbor’s brand new mattress and made holes in it. I told him to let me have Alaska, and he gave him to me.

Alaska was big, black and white, with grey-colored eyes. His tale was long and in a spiral.

I enjoyed going out with him. He would run next to me riding my bike. Both of us would go to the river and he would jump right in, come out and shake his body, getting me totally wet. I did not care about that; I just laughed.

I enjoyed his company so much. He was with me in my ups and downs; he was strong and obedient. He was my partner. Sadly he died of a virus.

How has the CFCA Hope for a Family program helped you?

Every month I receive my food provisions, and on special occasions I get gifts. I also receive vitamins, shoes and clothing.

Whenever I need some help with some medicine or we are sick, we can come to CFCA and get help.

Click here to read more about Gregorio.

Aug 29 2012

CFCA scholar: Obstacles, trials occur ‘so we can overcome them’

A country that shares a border with the United States, Mexico often has a cost of living similar to the U.S. but with much lower income opportunities. This makes life very challenging for families living in poverty.

In the Cuernavaca project, 14 scholarship students offer their services as assistant teachers to more than 90 sponsored children.

These classes cater to students who cannot attend a regular school because they do not have their birth certificates. Although these classes are not part of a formal study program, they do ensure that children receive a parallel quality education.

These classes are free and offered at the local CFCA office. Some teachers are volunteers who support this educational benefit.

Tell us about yourself and when you became a scholar student in CFCA-Cuernavaca?

CFCA scholarship student with her son in Mexico.

Erika and her son, Mariano, with their dog in Mexico.

My name is Erika, and I am 30 years old. I have been in the scholarship program since 2004.

What are you studying and when will you graduate?

I completed my degree in physical education in 2011. But throughout the year, I have the opportunity to take courses in human development at the CFCA office.

For example, I am currently in an ethics course, which helps us to improve attitudes and behavior. This is a tool that prepares me to work with sponsored children. I’m starting a course on computers and English at a university.

How does the scholarship help you? How do you use it?

It helps me with my transportation costs to come to the local office, so I can take my courses and give my service to sponsored children. It also helps me with food because sometimes I only have soup to eat.

Thanks to the scholarship, I am able to continue preparing for my future.

What is your community service? How many service hours do you give and how do you think this helps your community?

I come to the local CFCA office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. I work with children up to 7 years old, and assist in their physical and mental development. We also support educational activities through games, songs and stories.

Being a part of CFCA helped me to be the person I am today. I think what I bring to my community is the love I give to the children and I try to give them the desire to be better in life.

The young girls often come to me for advice. I am a confidant for them, and I like to help them.
Read more

Aug 22 2012

Mothers in Mexico create positive change

Violence is a challenge that many families in Mexico face. In several communities the drug and gang violence has increased dramatically, which has driven some sponsored friends and their families from their homes.

The project staffs have to think of creative ways to help sponsored friends and their families while protecting themselves at the same time.

The Hope for a Family program conducts activities in safe locations that raise awareness among families about positive values and conflict resolution.

Many of the families are led by single mothers, and CFCA small community groups provide mothers with livelihood training workshops, encouragement and support.

We asked two of these mothers, Gloria and Maty, how the Hope for a Family program has helped them with the challenges they face.

Gloria

Gloria, CFCA staff member

Gloria is a CFCA staff member in Guadalupe, Mexico. She is the regional contact person.

Gloria’s 16-year-old son, Juan, was sponsored for 10 years. She was once the leader of her mothers committee and is now in charge of serving eight smaller CFCA communities in the Guadalupe project.

Describe some of the biggest challenges that you have faced as a mother and as a woman.

As a mother, my challenge is raising my child. He is becoming a teenager and his behavior has changed.

I [hope] he will keep practicing values that I, as his mother, tried to instill in him to be a better person.

As a woman, I wish to overcome [obstacles] in life with the opportunities that CFCA offers me. I am very thankful.

How and why did you decide to be a leader in your mothers committee?

I was elected by many mothers and I wanted to participate; of course, I never imagined being in the place that I am now.

What did you learn from this experience and how has it helped you personally?

I learned to listen to people and to help others in need. My participation gave me a lot of satisfaction.
Read more

Jun 23 2012

CFCA in the blogosphere: CatholicMom.com + an Abigail update

CFCA blogItís our privilege to announce two recent blog posts that feature CFCA:

1) “Karen ó Friend of the Month” from CatholicMom.com

Lisa Hendey has graciously partnered with us by featuring a monthly invitation on CatholicMom.com to consider sponsoring a friend through CFCA. This month we chose to tell Karen’s story.

“Karen is one of more than 1,000 Colombian children on CFCAís waiting list for sponsorship. Sheís 3 years old and has three older siblings. Although both her parents work outside the home, their combined income is too low to meet their familyís needs. Her favorite school subject is drawing, and she likes to play with dolls.”

Read the full blog post here

2) CFCA: an Abigail update

Bobbi has kindly posted on her blog another letter from Abigail, a child her family sponsors in Mexico.

Here is an excerpt from Bobbi’s story:

“I am blown away that her mother and grandparents consider me a member of their family now and that Abigail is praying that Our Lady of Guadalupe watches over me and ‘covers me with her mantle.’ How beautiful! I love the fact that we are helping Abigail financially, yet we are the ones receiving the blessings of this little girl’s love and prayers.”

Read the full blog post: CFCA and an Abigail update

Dec 29 2011

‘A meal with a taste of gratitude’ from Mexico

By Omar Z˙niga GarcÌa, CFCA staff member in Merida, Mexico

Mothers of CFCA sponsored children in Merida, Mexico

Mothers of sponsored children in Merida, Mexico, prepare a delicious meal to thank local CFCA staff members.

The mothers of sponsored children in Merida, Mexico, helped us realize the importance of a voice tuned in to the needs of the people.

There are 363 sponsored friends (344 sponsored children and 19 sponsored elderly) in this Yucatan community of CFCAís Merida project.

On weekends, people from different neighborhoods gather at the downtown CFCA office.

On Dec. 5, 2011, a CFCA mothers group invited the Merida project staff members to a meal to thank them for all the attention and work done for sponsored friends and their families.

“With my hard work and with the help I was given, my dream to have a small diner became a reality,” said Bercy, one of the mothers. “When I received my sponsorship benefit, I put aside some products that donít spoil, such as oil and beans. This happened for two years. Today, I have my diner named ‘Noy’ after my son.” Read more

Nov 4 2011

CFCA in the blogosphere: Jose Miguel + Abigal’s letter

CFCA blogIt’s our privilege to announce two wonderful blog posts from CFCA sponsors:

1) Jose Miguel ~ Sponsorship & Prayers ~ ANSWERED!

Less than a week after Tina Fisher posted a picture of Jose Miguel to her blog, seeking a sponsor for him, he was sponsored!

Here’s his story:

“Jose†Miguel was born on April 28, 2010 to a mother who is 20 years old and a father who is 25.†He likes to play with cars and is learning Spanish.† He is said to be so sweet and has special needs regarding his health,†he has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

“His†mother and father both work, yet they have so many problems as their income is too low to cover all the needs for little Jose Miguel.† He lives in a home with mud walls, a zinc roof, and a dirt floor.† He sleeps on a wooden bed, cooking is done by firewood and lastly, six people live in this home.††The family income is about $15 USD per month.

“My prayers, if it’s God’s will, are for me to use my blog & tweeting to help this family gain†sponsorship.† Sponsorship is $30 USD per month.†”

Read the full blog post: Jose Miguel

2) CFCA: Our first letter from Abigal

Bobbi posted an absolutely must-read story about receiving her first letter from Abigal, a child her family sponsors in Mexico. She also features pictures of other children awaiting sponsorship. Here’s an excerpt:

“This little girl living in poverty is praying for me, that I will be blessed. It’s amazing. I am trying to help out by giving to someone else and instead I am the one who receives the blessings. God is so good. …

“There are many, many more kids looking for sponsors, as well as teens and elderly. Advent will be here before you know it. As you prepare to welcome the Christ Child in your heart, prayerfully consider welcoming one of these children into your heart as well.”

Read the full blog post: Our first letter from Abigal

Sep 12 2011

How CFCA projects worldwide celebrate Christmas, part 1

Even though it’s only September, it’s never too early to start thinking about sending your sponsored friend a Christmas card! Because mail can be slow, we recommend scheduling six to eight weeks for a letter to arrive at your friend’s project.

We interviewed several CFCA projects around the world about last year’s Christmas celebrations for sponsored friends and their families. Here are the answers from three projects: Merida, Mexico; Santa Ana, El Salvador; and Bogota, Colombia.

Sponsored children select their own gifts in a CFCA Christmas celebration in Bogota, Colombia

Sponsored friends buy their own gifts during CFCA Christmas celebrations in Bogota, Colombia.

How do you select the types of gifts for sponsored children?

Merida: When Christmas approaches, one thinks about cold days coming. Those lucky enough to live close to family take this time to meet, and those who are not as close spend time with friends. The point is to spend time with those around us.

But while this season fills us with smiles, snow, warm clothing and abundant food, Christmas is a moment of reflection. Christmas is the date when Jesus Christ was born.

Christmas is a moment of humility that fills our hearts, but not with chocolates, stuffed turkey or Christmas carols. We must open our hearts to peace, love, happiness, contentment, and give back for all the blessings we have received. Read more

Jul 15 2011

CFCA inspires Austin sponsors to create their own path to change

As they commit their trust, hope, resources and willingness to grow, CFCA sponsors find pathways into solidarity with families living in poverty. Jack and Martha Kern are two sponsors who exemplify this relationship of solidarity. CFCA Communications Intern Marie Biggs had an opportunity to speak with the Kerns about their commitment to help young people achieve their potential through education.

Martha and Jack Kern, CFCA sponsors

Martha and Jack Kern

Jack Kern’s Catholic faith, interest in studying Spanish and time spent in Latin America made sponsoring through CFCA a natural choice for him and his wife, Martha.

With some inspiration from their experiences as CFCA sponsors, the Austin, Texas, couple later helped found a nonprofit organization that provides support to a small village in central Mexico.

Jack and Martha began sponsoring through CFCA more than 10 years ago after seeing a sponsorship table at their church.

In 2002, Jack went on a mission awareness trip to El Salvador to visit their sponsored child, Marta.

“The desire to make more of a personal connection with Marta was one of the things that prompted me to sign up to visit her in El Salvador,” Jack said in his recently published book, “Weavers of Hope ñ Una Familia Humana ñ One Human Family.” “I wanted to learn more about her life and how she and her family lived.”

In the book, Jack describes his experiences founding the nonprofit and the people that encouraged him.

Jack wrote that he felt inspired by the joy and happiness he saw in the midst of difficult living situations in El Salvador.

He was also impressed by the CFCA staff members he met and their focus on education as a tool for overcoming poverty. Read more…