HOGAR INFANTIL IS
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
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
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* *Unpaid volunteers