Fundación Corazón de Niña
Nature and Needs
The content on this page originates from an interview of Melissa Canez by Peter Bruce in 2014.
Melissa, can you tell us something about the nature of the kids at Fundación Corazón de Niña?
We started out with a group comprised of mainly teenage girls but then began searching for their siblings which turned up younger girls and boys of all ages. In an effort to reunite them, we were inspired to open the rental home of Juan Meza’s (my partner and Corazón co-founder) next door for the boys.
Almost three years later, we now have thirty-eight children and youth — twenty-seven girls and eleven boys (February 2015). About half are under twelve, the rest between twelve and twenty-three.
Mexican law prohibits adults (persons over the age of eighteen) from living with children unless they are caregivers. So our over eighteens are officially live-in volunteer caregivers and in every way function as such. They have considerable responsibility in managing the children day-to day. And in return, they receive the benefit of a post-secondary education and extended time to develop their living skills. Do they all come from Puerto Vallarta? Most do, but we now have five children from the adjacent state of Nayarit, a thirty minute drive from here, and one girl from Acapulco. Our plan is to start another home in Nayarit. The need there is huge.
Characteristics of Corazón Children By Percent
- Survivors of abuse/exploitation 45%
- Survivors of physical abuse/abandonment 82%
- Orphans: parents are deceased or missing 45%
- Children with special needs and/or learning disabilities 25%
- Percent of high school students who graduated in 2016/2017 40%
Love Integrity Family Education