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HOGAR INFANTIL IS

Locale
The ranch (a misnomer) is located on about 15 hectares (37 acres) just outside the town of Ocozocautla, Chiapas which is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the capitol city of Tuxtla Gutierrez on the Pan American highway. Local people call the town Coita for short. The physical address for the ranch is 1km. Carreta a Malpaso. There is more exact information in the RV section.

The campus consist of dormitories for boys and girls, a main building with commercial kitchen and dining hall, a domed patio for recreation and events, offices, library, computer room (with wireless Internet), and a small clinic. There is a house for the directors and two cabañasone of which serves as a guest house. Most importantly, there is a small chapel in the center of the complex. We also have a basketball court, soccer field, laundry sinks, sewing cooperative, and shops. Agriculture occupies most of the property as there is a large milpa that produces corn and peanuts. Sheep, swine, and free range chickens provide much of the food on the table plus provides some income. We even make our own tortillas.

Whom We Serve
 
Children come to Hogar from various sources. Sometimes they are brought by DIF, Mexico’s federal child protective services, or local authorities. Others are brought by a destitute parent or other family member. Others who are abandoned or street kids find Hogar on their own. Often they are abused emotionally and physically, malnourished, and lacking in Spanish language skills as much of Chiapas’ population is indigenous. Over forty dialects are spoken.

The Needs We Meet

Hogar Infantil operates to meet the needs of these children physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Physical needs of a safe clean living environment, nutritious food, medical and dental care, and recreation are provided to each of Hogar’s children. Spiritual needs are met with Bible study and weekly Anglican masses in the chapel. Children are also encouraged to attend a local church of their choice. Many are baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church, others choose a Protestant place of worship. Due to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, many of the children suffer emotionally. Recovery is often slow, but with psychological counsel and love, progress is made. Hogar’s sense of community is a large factor in overcoming a bad past. Living among understanding peers who know one’s suffering is therapeutic.

Work and Education

Education is essential to fulfill Hogar Infantil’s vision of equipping each child with the necessary tools to become healthy, independent, and productive citizens thus breaking the cycle of poverty. All of the children are required to attend and succeed in school. They are supported financially in local government provided schools from primary and secondary to a preparatory school that readies them for higher education or a trade school. As funding allows, tuition assistance is also given to students who have the ability and desire for higher education in a university or trade school. Many of Hogar’s egresados (graduates) are now sending their children to universities. The cycle of poverty has been broken.

With the exception of all but Hogar’s smallest children chores are a constant and regular part of life for all the Hogar family. Pigs have to be fed and pens cleaned. Dishes washed and floors mopped. Eggs gathered and hens fed. Care must be given to the very young. Maintenance of the infrastructure is required. Vehicles cleaned and maintained. Even helping in the office with administration. The list is endless, but Hogar’s kids working individually or in groups do it all. No small benefit is the learning of skills to be useful in the future. Idle time is a growing person’s enemy, but Hogar’s children still have time for games, play, and sports.

Aside from all the work the children do there is a salaried staff for adult work. In addition from the directors, there are cooks who work in a morning/evening shift, coordinadores (house parents) in charge of each group of children, and a bus/van driver. At times we employ a night watchman and an office worker.

Officers* / Directors*
     Katie Bronec—President
     Neto Morgan—Vice-President
     Johanna Wilson—Secretary/Treasurer

     Felipe Garcia—Director
     David Guinn—Director
     Leslie Guinn—Director
     Cindy Morman—Director
     John Murphrey—Director
     Paul Roach—Director
     Dorinda Zubizarreta-Director
 *Unpaid volunteers



 

 

 

       

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