Hi, my name is Jaqueline. This is my story. I entered the orphanage Casa Hogar EL REINO DE LOS NIÑOS as a 9-year old because my mother couldn’t care for me after my grandfather, my primary caregiver, passed away. After his death, my mother completely neglected me for a year, so I was referred to child protective services.
My life changed radically for the better. At the orphanage, I was surrounded by people who showed me love and acceptance. Many children shared their experiences with me, I would certainly not have had that chance outside the orphanage. I look back on that stage of my life with great affection and gratitude. It was where I met my future adoptive mother.
I was adopted at the age of 14. My adoptive mother told me she couldn't afford to put me through college, so I told myself I would work hard to achieve it. Since then, I worked hard in different places to cover costs during high school. While in high school, a friend's family felt compassion for me and decided to support my university expenses if I got accepted. I made it to university and they provided support until the 5th semester (two and a half years). The support ended when my friend's father tried to abuse me by saying, “YOU THINK THINGS ARE GIVEN FOR FREE.” I knocked on the doors of Mexico’s National System for Integral Family Development since I wanted with all my might to succeed. They supported me for a year, lent me a house but didn't help me with food, and that meant that I couldn't do it alone. The nursing career does not allow you to work since the schedule is very difficult. As a result, I decided to abandon my dreams and start working so I could provide for myself.
Saddened, I went to drop out of school, halfway through my degree. I was crying in the library when a student came up to me and asked me what was wrong. After I explained my situation to her, she told me she knew Corazon de Vida and gave me their contact information. I was happy to get in touch and receive a response. I couldn't believe something this good was happening to me. They told me they would help me with housing, tuition, food, EVERYTHING…..that was truly a gift from God.
I always knew I wanted to pursue nursing. At the age of 8, I became responsible for my grandfather in his last days. Without realizing that from that time on, I was already a nurse. Today, I am very lucky to work within my profession for one of the best-paid hospitals in Ensenada. I do what I am passionate about with love, and I'm going for more. I’m about to start a diploma program in pediatric emergencies.
I thank God for receiving this support. I am a person like many with a lot of needs and without family members to support me. Corazon de Vida is a great blessing. The donors who make this possible, forever mark the lives of people like me, who at the time people didn't give a single cent to. Now, I consider myself a successful person.
If I could describe the foundation in just one word it would be BLESSING. Thank you for all you do.
To the donors, thank you very much for all the help you gave me when I needed it most.
Hi, my name is Cecilia, this is my story. At the age of 14, I arrived at an orphanage, called Casa Hogar Estado 29. It became one of the most significant experiences of my life. It marked a turning point, transforming my past and shaping my future.
The home became a true melting pot of experiences and learning. Living with other young people in similar situations showed me that I was not alone in my journey. We shared our stories and supported each other in our daily struggles. I understood the importance of empathy and solidarity, values that I still hold in my heart.
During my stay at the orphanage, I had the incredible privilege of crossing paths with Corazon de Vida, who played a fundamental role in my university career and opened the doors to a promising future. Thanks to your generosity and support, today I can proudly say that I have a degree in psychology specializing in organizational development, currently working at the company Work One Solutions. As a professional, my passion lies in being an agent of change. I work hand in hand with leaders and teams, providing solutions and strategies that promote motivation, collaboration, and emotional well-being. I firmly believe in people's power and ability to drive organizational success.
The opportunity to become a licensed psychologist has been a significant achievement in my life. I thank the foundation that made this possible and all the people who have believed in me throughout my career. Your unwavering support has inspired me to keep going and make a difference in the workplace.
The CDV Foundation went beyond education support. It also gave me experiences that I never thought possible for someone like me who came from a group home. Thanks to them, I had the opportunity to obtain a visa, visit Disneyland, get to know San Francisco, and discover places that I only saw in movies. These experiences left an indelible mark on my heart and reminded me that dreams can come true.
Today, I look back and realize how far I’ve come. I thank God and life for leading me on this path. Although the difficulties were not easy to face, they taught me to value each small victory and not to take moments of happiness for granted. Today, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to share my story. If I can inspire someone who is in a similar situation, my purpose will be fulfilled. We can all face adversity and find the power to build a fulfilling and meaningful life.
To all those who support the foundation, I want to say the impact goes beyond education. You are changing lives and opening doors to a future full of opportunities for young people like me. I urge you to continue your support because every contribution counts and makes a significant difference to those who need a boost on their path to reaching their goals.
I entered the orphanage system when I was 14 years old. I was a troubled child who grew up in a dysfunctional family. At 12 years old, I had a drug addiction which eventually led me to overdose; and was hospitalized in critical condition. After that, I decided I didn’t want to continue down that path and I wanted to do better. I decided to sober up in a rehab center, but due to my age, my family decided to place me in an orphanage in Ensenada, Baja California, where I met Corazon de Vida. At first, I was very uncomfortable with how caring they were towards me since I was not used to having that in my family. Their interest in my well-being exceeded my expectations. In the orphanage, I was given responsibilities that taught me how to be independent and grateful for the little things in life.
CDV reached out to me once I was out of the orphanage to check up on me and see if I was interested in going to university. I explained my situation and they offered to pay any school expenses I couldn’t handle as long as I stayed in school. I began studying communications but after a year I dropped out of school, of course, CDV would not allow that! They reached out to me again and convinced me to go back to school but this time for marketing. I decided on this career initially because I wanted to focus on Sports Marketing since at that time I was on a soccer team.
Currently, I am working for Corazon de Vida as their Social Media Content Creator & Community Manager. I have a beautiful baby who is almost a year old, and my favorite thing to do is spend time with my daughter and our pets. My heart could burst at how thankful I am for all the help that CDV has given me.
To everyone that has donated, I send a tremendous thank you, your donations are being used effectively and are making a huge impact in our lives. Even now, when I look at my daughter I realize that I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t thanks to all your support.
"My troubled inner child cries with happiness because you gave me the tools to be a better person and make better life decisions, not only for me but for my daughter." - Marlene
Hello, my name is Eliza, this is my story. My siblings and I arrived at an orphanage when I was 6 years old because of family dysfunction. I met Corazon de Vida over 14 years ago while living at the orphanage. They provided help with my early schooling as a young girl and they continued to follow up with me about my future university plans.
Corazon de Vida helped me long after I left the orphanage and supported my higher education. Since I love studying laws and the structure that contributes to my country, Mexico, I obtained a law degree. I now work in the area of Immigration Law, and I am also a criminal and tax litigator, but more dedicated to that area of immigration. A year ago, I began the process of practicing in the area of lawful migration so I can better serve Mexico and the United States. I hope to create an immigration law firm in the future.
The word 'thank you' falls short in conveying my gratitude to donors who have contributed to my success, Corazon de Vida is truly part of my family. They have raised me with a lot of guidance and love, and they have been a blessing in my life for many years.
Hi, my name is Griselda, this is my story. My sister and I entered the orphanage when I was 8 years old. At that time, we did not understand why we had to leave our home and go to an orphanage. Later I understood that we were fleeing an abusive situation at home. The orphanage offered my mother work and she accepted. She dedicated 10 years of her life to taking care of babies. My sister and I were placed with the other children. My life in the orphanage was the greatest thing I could ever imagine. Obviously, when I arrived, everything was very confusing and I wanted to be with my mother, but as time went by, I adapted to my new life.
Corazon de Vida has been supporting the orphanage since 1994, but I was already out of the orphanage and in university when I first connected directly with Corazon de Vida. At the time, I was working to fund my school and housing in Ensenada, and I was having a hard time covering all expenses. I was not sure if I was going to be able to continue with school. A fellow student and friend from the orphanage told me about Corazon de Vida’s scholarship program, she suggested I send them an email. I was honestly afraid they would not answer me, afraid they would tell me they could not help me. I sent the email and a week later I got a response from them, fortunately, I received the scholarship!
Corazon de Vida’s support made a big impact on my ability to continue and complete my university degree. Their commitment to our success shows up in everything they do for us, their unconditional support, their way of taking care of us, protecting us, and teaching us there is always something better for each of us even if we don't see it. They give without receiving anything in return, well, yes... they receive our love, trust, and gratitude.
I earned a degree in Business Administration. I am currently working at the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education CICESE of Ensenada. I have been working at this center for two years and I really like what I do! I provide administrative support to the Marine Ecology Postgraduate program coordinator and researchers. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, reading, and discovering new coffee shops. I have a peaceful life!
I believe God always puts people in your path for a reason. The foundation is more than a home, it’s a breath of hope and strength. Infinite thanks to each of the donors who support the foundation and make many children's dreams come true. May God continue to bless you so that you can continue to support the foundation and children as you have done to this day.
Hi, our names are Matt and Alexis and this is our Corazon de Vida love story! Matt has been involved with Corazon de Vida for 9 years. He was inspired by the movie Nacho Libre. After watching the movie he knew he wanted to work with children in an orphanage in Mexico. This began his research and he found CDV. I’ve been involved for 6 years, I was inspired by a prior mission trip to Africa to do more work closer to home. We met on a bus trip in October 2017. We were both there with our kids and were mostly interacting with the children at the home.
Alexis: Matt’s big personality stood out to me the most, especially with the kids. He’s like a celebrity to the kids! But when he spoke with me that day, he was so sweet and sincere. And of course, he’s cute. Matt: I noticed how natural and caring Alexis was with the children. I didn’t think anything romantic at the time but definitely acknowledged her beauty and kindness. We talked briefly at the home and connected on social media a few months later when Corazon da Vida posted about people who had raised a certain amount and our names were on there. Matt sent me a friend request and we hit it off right away.
As a couple, we have traveled all over. We love road trips, hiking around national parks; seeking waterfalls and incredible views. Cities with museums and great food. Exploring different countries and their unique cultures. We also love concerts and live sporting events.
We are happy to announce we are getting married in September! Matt proposed at the church near Oaxaca where Nacho Libre was filmed, so we came full circle!
CDV: Congratulations to the happy couple! Matt & Alexis also enjoy visiting the children as often as they can and they are part of our Heart Angel’s community as monthly donors. For their wedding, they have generously decided to fundraise for Corazon de Vida in lieu of gifts! Their love has created a space for giving that truly warms our hearts!
Click here to join our Heart Angel community.
Click here to view our upcoming Bus Trips.
Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in fundraising on your wedding day.
Hi, my name is Alberto, this is my story. When I was 11 years old, my two siblings and I arrived at an orphanage due to domestic abuse. While living at Puerta de Fe, I met Corazon de Vida. They would come to us with groups of people who wanted nothing more than to spend time with us. I got to talk to them about the dreams I had of one day getting ahead in life. That made a big impact on me, I felt that someone cared about my future.
I remember my time in the orphanage with great affection because I learned many things that have been very useful to me to this day. I spent my days helping and playing with the little ones, I was always fond of them. I really enjoyed assisting them with their homework and advising them on topics they didn't understand. I liked motivating them to continue studying. That is what inspired me to decide on a career in education. So, I studied for a Bachelor of Science in Education and I am currently studying for a Master's Degree in Education. Corazon de Vida was always there for me during my college years. I had some setbacks but they never doubted me and continued to support me.
Now, I am an honest person with values, who likes to support others. I have a wife and a daughter that I love with all my heart. Without CDV’s help, I probably wouldn't be where I am right now. I work at CUT University, Ensenada Campus as a coordinator, and a writing and reading teacher.
To all the donors, thank you very much! It really is a blessing to know there are people helping children who have been suffering since they were very young. Thanks to your donations, you can fulfill the dream of a child who perhaps thinks they have no more opportunities. It is with your help that you uplift that child and allow them to become a good person, breaking a cycle that is sadly repeated in some cases without such help.
My name is Fernando Ibarra, I am 29 years old, I am a civil engineer. This is my story. I first arrived at an orphanage as a newborn and a few months later my mother picked me up. Eventually, my mom was unable to care for my needs, so I ended up at an orphanage again at three years old. I remained there throughout my childhood and adolescence.
I remember the small dorm rooms at my orphanage would sleep two or three on one bed when it was at its peak capacity of 120 kids. It was then that Corazon de Vida came along and began a project to build a new boys dorm for us. Since the project became expensive, the orphanage directors asked us older boys to help out with the construction labor. It sparked an interest in me, so, I continued to get involved in every construction project at the orphanage. This is exactly how I came to choose Civil Engineering as my area of study.
The support of Corazon de Vida means pretty much everything to me. If I could describe the foundation in one word, it would be FAMILY. They have watched me grow from the time I was eight or nine years old. I would sincerely like to thank the people who donate. The truth is, you contribute so much. Thanks to you, I have a university degree in Civil Engineering! With my work, I am able to support myself and my mother too. I am doing well, I feel happy and fulfilled. You should know, your help changed my life and I know it will do the same for others.
Corazon de Vida: We are so proud of Fernando’s accomplishments! He is currently employed at an engineering firm in Tijuana, working on several build-projects in Valle de Guadalupe and managing a crew of 20+ construction workers! If you ever wonder whether your donations make a difference, think of the life-changing difference it made in Fernando’s life!
That time of year came and went as we danced the night away at La Noche Blanca, this time with a ‘Havana Nights’ twist! On Saturday, Summer time in Southern California was enveloped in dry heat that welcomed a change of pace. The warm breezes carried by Santiago Canyon made it easy to image a Cuban Summer where beautiful street food abounds and the distant sound of music coming from your local bodega can be heard from your neighborhood. The stage was set and the gala was about to begin!
A great number of people cascaded down the hill to the reception area, dressed in lively, summery-white attire. Red roses and straw hats lay waiting for guests to don them for a photo-op at the step-and-repeat banner. The silent auction was not far from reach as guests bid on their phones throughout the cocktail hour! Refreshing mojitos by SelvaRey ensured the nod to old Havana, and tasting stations by Casamigos Tequila, Firme Mezcal, Cocijo, and Tequila Dame Mas were a welcomed poolside treat. Authentic hand-rolled Cuban cigars were a surprising touch that rounded out the evening's theme. Taco Rosa/ Taco Mesa not only fed our guests spectacular appetizers, but Chef Ivan Calderon’s generous sponsorship made sure to feed volunteers and staff! We are so fortunate to have his continued support in our mission after all these years.
As the silent auction drew to a close, our guests were ushered to a string-lit patio where Harumi’s gorgeous floral designs were hard to miss. Dinner was being served, and the bold sounds of salsa
band, Mamboson, filled the atmosphere. It wasn’t long before WE Dance Academy graced us with bachata
dance numbers as sponsored by Daniel Sandoval. The entire vibe of the evening was on point! Our dear Masters of Ceremonies Araceli Torres and auctioneer Rick Werner along with the Werner Family Auction Team took to the stage to host the live auction bidding. Our enthusiastic bidders made sure proceeds were secured for our kids in Baja! The live ask got us to that finish line as Hilda Pacheco-Taylor, our Founder, said a few words that reminded us of why we do what we do.
We are tremendously over-joyed that so many are joining us in support, and equally over-joyed to announce that together we raised $223,000
for the children! We have continued gratitude for event host Alex Dastmalchi, we adore your heart, and for Parisa and Chuck Horning for opening their home to allow for this magic to take place. Added gratitude to our event sponsors Hosa Technology and Grupo Paliska for helping bring that magic to life. To our table sponsors, our silent auction sponsors, to those who were bidding or donating from home, our dedicated volunteers and all of the aforementioned, we thank you to no end.
At the heart of all of these efforts is the impact everyone’s contributions makes in the lives of the orphaned and abandoned children we serve. Your collective generosity makes hope possible. We sincerely wish to see you again next year and we welcome any newcomers that want to be change makers as well! We’ll be salsa
dancing until the next La Noche Blanca!"