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.
If you have ever been on a “Wine Weekend Trip” to Baja, or volunteered for a “English Class for the Corazon de Vida Teens”, or attended one of our yearly “Graduation Parties”, or our “Christmas Concert in Tijuana for the Children”, or any of our other fun events with our students in Baja, you have probably met Corazon de Vida’s star volunteer: Daniel (Dan) Smith.
Dan started to look at places where he and his daughter Danielle could volunteer together in the San Diego/Baja area while she attended college in San Diego. He reached out to Corazon de Vida in December of 2009, and after visiting one of the orphanages with Danielle, he decided he wanted to do more to help Corazon de Vida.
In 2010, he wanted to take a sabbatical from his law firm to dedicate one year to Corazon de Vida as a pro-bono Executive Director. That plan did not pan out because he was not able to completely walk away from his assignments, however, that worked out better for Corazon de Vida and the children because he has been a member of the Corazon de Vida team ever since!
THIS MONTH, WE CELEBRATE DAN SMITH’S 60TH BIRTHDAY AND HIS 12TH ANNIVERSARY OF SERVING THE CHILDREN OF BAJA!
Dan has been an integral part of the Corazon de Vida team, playing a key role in supporting our Continuing Education program. He has become a mentor and father figure for many of our teens, and has been an advisor to the CDV team, sharing in his experience and wisdom to help move Corazon de Vida’s initiatives forward.
Dan, THANK YOU for your time, love, support and for your selfless dedication to improving the lives of our children in Baja. We are beyond blessed to have you as part of the Corazon de Vida Team!
HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY AND HAPPY 12th ANNIVERSARY DAN!
What a night! We knew that Noche de Gala was going to be an amazing event but nothing could have prepared us for the incredible wave of generosity that we were about to experience. With the sun setting on the historic Hotel del Coronado there couldn’t have been a more spectacular way to begin the celebration. It was the perfect place for the Corazon de Vida family to reunite in San Diego. We are beyond excited to announce that thanks to your participation and generous hearts, we surpassed all of our fundraising records to date, raising over $340,000 in support of the children! YOU made this an unforgettable night!
The last couple of years have been a testament of how fortunate we are to have a community of supporters that cares and loves our children unconditionally. Last Saturday as we reunited after two long years, your love for the children shone so brightly. Your unwavering commitment to our mission of transforming the lives of thousands of orphaned and abandoned children in Baja was ever-present every minute of the night.
A very special thank you to our Main Sponsors Bird Rock Systems and Saban Music Group. To our product sponsors: Hotel Del Coronado, Alternative Strategies, Ortega’s A Mexican Bistro, Encore, Harumi Floral Design, Tahona, Sasy Wines, Casamigos Tequila and Chuao Chocolatier. To our talented musicians and performers: Agustin “El Moro”, Nghia Lam, Chiara Copobianco, Laura Urgelles, Fulya and Ozhan, Sinai and our DJs Alina and Ja Kop. And to our amazing team of photographers and videographers: Omar Araiza, Roman Durta and Kliff. We are also very grateful to the companies and individuals that donated items to our live and silent auction, your contributions made a huge impact in our fundraising efforts.
We are extremely grateful for our San Diego Chapter, not only for your hard work and commitment leading to the event by inviting your network, securing donations, sponsorships and silent auction items, but also for your love of the children and commitment to Corazon de Vida's mission for so many years! To our amazing Host Committee for working hard for months leading up to the event. To our superstars Masters of Ceremonies Abelardo Rodriguez and Paola Hernandez and the Rick Werner Professional Auctioneer family for working the crowd throughout the night in such a magical way. And to our ever amazing team of hardworking volunteers, none of our events would be possible without your support. Thank you for your love of the children and for believing in our mission.
We are overwhelmed with the increasing support we get each year. We truly believe YOU are the key to our mission. Your loyalty to Corazon de Vida is the reason our children have hope for a better tomorrow. On behalf of the kids, GRACIAS!
for the gallery of photos.
With hearts full of gratitude, we are very excited to announce that La Noche Blanca was a complete success! Thanks to your donations, sponsorships, auction participation and ticket purchases, we were able to raise $225,000 in support of the children. We never could have done this without the support of our amazing community!
We would like to acknowledge the following companies and individuals for helping us make this evening our best La Noche Blanca to date. A very special thank you to our main event Sponsors Hosa Technology and Veros Credit. To our incredible chef lineup whom collaborated to make a create an unforgettable dining experience: Chef Ivan Calderon with Taco Rosa and Taco Mesa, Chef Gabbi Patrick with Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen and Chaak Kitchen and award-winning chefs Michael Rossi and Dave Rossi and the generous vendors that donated high quality vegetables and meats; Melissa’s, Ingardia Brothers and Think Culinary. Heartfelt thank you to Parisa and Chuck Horning for welcoming the CDV family into your beautiful home year and after year, to Harumi Floral Designs for the beautiful centerpieces, Tahona Mezcal Bar and Amar Harrag for the always popular mezcal tasting, Tanteo Tequila and Don Fulano Tequila for the tequila tastings and La Competencia Imports, Santos Brujos, Madera 5 and Palafox for bringing us some the best wines from Baja, Mexico. Also, Ballast Point Brewing Company for the beer donation, Mission Wine Company for the wine donation and The Paper Company for the eco-friendly paper products donation. Annie Jeeves and Nirav Solanki for capturing the special night in your beautiful photos. We are also grateful to the companies and individuals that donated items to our silent auction and to our table sponsors, your contributions made a huge impact in our fundraising efforts.
We are extremely grateful for our Host Committee, for your hard work and commitment leading to the event by inviting your network, securing donations, sponsorships and silent auction items. To our superstar Masters of Ceremonies Yarel Ramos and Rick Werner for working the crowd throughout the night in such a magical way. And to our ever amazing team of hardworking volunteers, none of our events would be possible without your support, thank you for your love of the children and for believing in our mission.
We are overwhelmed with the increasing support we get each year. Every La Noche Blanca is a reminder of the loving and generous community that believes in our cause. We truly believe YOU are the key to our mission, your loyalty to Corazon de Vida is the reason our children have hope for a better tomorrow. On behalf of the kids, GRACIAS!
Click HERE for the photo gallery!
The Black Swan Initiative’s inaugural event was a big success! On Saturday, August 21, 2021, the Black Swan Initiative hosted its first event themed “Summer Gatsby Gala”, the event was attended by over 160 guests and raised $113,500 for Corazon de Vida Foundation.
Upon arriving at the event, guests were greeted by Gatsby dancers and followed the red carpet to a roving champagne dress server next to a lavish grazing table, then past the casino tables on to a beautiful scene; a mermaid by the pool, Gatsby dancers on stage, contortionist performer, and bubble dancers in the pool, all performing to the eclectic sounds of a trumpet and electric violinist. Artists Alan Chin and Tom Franco built a wooden sculpture right on-site, titled “Love and Connection”. Later in the night, guests were treated to a mesmerizing fire dancer show.
The evening’s “heart” was a paddle-raise auction where guests were asked to support Corazon de Vida by making a donation that night. The response was overwhelming, and in less than 20 minutes, the goal of raising $100,000 was not only met but exceeded!
The Black Swan Initiative was founded by Brandon Blum and Tal Moore, two San Diego entrepreneurs who, after years of focusing on business, decided to turn their attention towards philanthropic endeavors to give back to their community.
Brandon and Tal choose Corazon de Vida foundation as the beneficiary of this event. Both have visited the orphanages that Corazon de Vida supports, and have seen first-hand the needs of children just across our border. Brandon and Tal, both members of entrepreneur groups in San Diego knew that they were in a unique position to make a difference. That is when they thought about founding a company that would bring together entrepreneurship and philanthropy, and the Black Swan Initiative was born!
“We are beyond grateful to our friends, neighbors and community for their generous response to our request for support. We are excited for what the future holds and the amazing difference we can make together” – Brandon and Tal
April 24, 2021, marks the 27th anniversary of the Corazon de Vida Foundation. It has been an incredible journey all along. A journey of hope, of hard work, of accomplished goals and of thousands of lives transformed.
Since 1994 we’ve been on a mission to end the cycle of poverty and abandonment in Baja, and to make a change that will last a lifetime. With the partnership of our loving and generous supporters, we have been able to provide life-changing support to thousands of orphaned and abandoned children throughout the years.
Corazon de Vida is a community of generous and compassionate people, bound by our love for the children. The ripples of love and purpose expand not only to the lives of the children we serve, but also the lives of our donors and volunteers who have the opportunity to give back and make an impact that will bring generational change to many lives. We are beyond grateful for all the incredible individuals, families and companies that have supported us during all these years. To our amazing Board Members, Advisors and Chapter Members, THANK YOU! Your unwavering support and love for the children inspire us every day. To our Heart Angels and Mission Partners, THANK YOU! Because of your commitment, we are able to provide consistent monthly support to the orphanages and provide transformational education opportunities to our teens and young adults. To the thousands of volunteers that have joined our monthly trips and supported our events, THANK YOU! Your dedication and love is a blessing to our staff and children.
Today, as we celebrate 27 years, we reminisce on our past accomplishments and look forward to Corazon de Vida Foundation’s bright future. A heartfelt thank you to our amazing founder Hilda Pacheco-Taylor for inspiring us to live a life of purpose, to our incredible staff for working hard to keep us going: George, Leny, Sandra, Claudia, Diana, Carmen, Dan, Maricarmen Andrea, and Rocio, to all of the orphanage directors and staff who work tirelessly to care and protect the children, and to our volunteers, sponsors and generous donors for joining our journey and making our mission possible!
Together we are making the world a better place for our children in Baja. At Corazon de Vida, we are FAMILY!
to send a gift in celebration of our anniversary.
We are proud and overjoyed to celebrate our recent graduates: Elizabeth (Law), Maribel (Marketing), Lourdes (Information Technology) and Alberto (Education).
On Sunday January 26th, 2020, CDV’s Executive Director, Dan Smith, organized an amazing event in Baja to honor the recent graduates from our Continuing Education Program. Over 100 people were in attendance to recognize the accomplishments of these graduates including loved ones, donors, the directors of our supported orphanages and Corazon de Vida's staff. After a delicious lunch, each of the graduates had an opportunity to speak about their life and academic journey including their struggles and how the CDV family helped them overcome each one of them.
Every graduate took the opportunity to express their heartfelt appreciation to all who contributed towards their education. They thanked the orphanage directors who took them in as their own and provided a loving home and encouragement growing up. They also thanked all the incredibly generous sponsors who believed in them since day one. Because of the generosity of many caring and compassionate Angels, Corazon de Vida has been able to shine the light of hope for these students and has allowed them to pursue their dreams.
Our new graduates will now be part of CDV’s Alumni Program aiming to keep graduates in touch with each other and to continue sharing their accomplishments. We invite our graduates to be a part of the CDV family forever, become ambassadors for our mission and always remind each other that where there is love, there is HOPE.
25 years ago, Corazon de Vida first opened its heart to making a difference in the lives of hundreds of orphaned and abandoned children in Baja, Mexico. It all started with one orphanage, Puerta de Fe, and grew into providing funds and support for 9 more. Over the years we have seen children walk into these orphanages uncertain about their future and have seen that uncertainty transformed into hope when provided the opportunity to live in a safe and nurturing environment. Our mission started with one special woman who knew she wanted to make a difference, our founder Hilda Pacheco-Taylor.
Hilda grew up at Puerta de Fe Orphanage, the place that gave her and her siblings a place to call home. Years after she left the orphanage, Hilda went back to visit and found that the orphanage had lost most of their financial support and was no longer able to sustain the children that were living there. From that day forward, she became determined to give those kids the same opportunities she was provided, and this is where Corazon de Vida’s mission of ending the cycle of poverty, homelessness and abandonment first started.
It is hard to believe that within just a few hours from our California/Mexico border there are people living drastically different lives. It is estimated that there are more than 6,000 kids living in the streets in Baja. Since day one, we have seen a community come together in an effort to provide a better life for the children. There are so many beautiful stories of people practicing compassion and generosity in support of the children: supporters asking for donations instead of presents for their weddings or birthdays, corporate sponsors raising funds and awareness through their products and services, children hosting bake sales, working lemonade stands, and forming high school clubs, athletes running marathons and Ironman events, volunteers joining our trips every month and forming beautiful bonds with the children, and so much more! It may take a village to raise a child but when a whole community comes together, we are able to truly make a lasting impact that sends ripples of change across the border.
With the support of our donors, sponsors, chapters and volunteers, CDV has raised over $13 million in the last 25 years for the everyday needs of the orphanages – food, water, utilities, and for special projects such as facility repairs, construction and upgrades, medical and dental services and more. Knowing that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, homelessness and abandonment, a focus on funding education has been a pivotal program for us throughout the years. In 2012, we started funding college and technical school for teens aging out of the orphanage system and to date, twenty students have graduated, forty students are actively attending school and ten students are set to start university this next fall and spring!
CDV is more committed than ever to continuing with our mission. We are profoundly devoted to helping more children and making a bigger impact in their lives. Our journey has only just begun and we know that with our wonderful supporters by our side, we will be able to bring hope and keep transforming the lives of many more children.
We cannot wait to see what these next 25 years have in store for us!
Birthdays are much more than gifts. They are all about the overwhelming feeling of love you can receive.
And there is a new and effective way to share that love on your special day! The social media platform that you use to keep in touch with relatives, old high school classmates and watch funny videos can also be used for something far greater. Social media users are utilizing the power of Facebook as a means to engage friends and family to participate in birthday fundraisers in support of their favorite causes.
Our mantra has always been GIVE LOVE. And in a simple and effective way YOU can do it too.
FACEBOOK has become a powerful tool to raise funds and it’s simple yet so impactful to so many lives. Orphaned and abandoned children in Baja live thinking that perhaps they aren’t worthy of love. You can show them differently.
It’s easy! Just follow these six simple steps:
1) Go to your Facebook account
2) Go to your 'home' page, and look on the left side column. You should see the 'fundraiser' option under "Create" at the bottom. Select on "fundraiser" and Facebook will guide you through.
3) Select Corazon de Vida Foundation as the non-profit you would like to support.
4) Set your time frame and your fundraising goal. Remember no set dollar amount is too small to make a change in our children’s lives!
5) Invite your Facebook friends and family to participate in your birthday fundraiser! Inviting others is truly essential to reach your goal. And don’t blame yourself if someone is unable or unwilling to contribute, you are creating awareness of the need and that also counts! Continue sharing for all your friends to see, as others may have missed the opportunity to help you reach your goal!
6) Thank those who contribute to your fundraiser and have fun!
Corazon de Vida appreciates and thanks you for giving back the gift of love on your birthday. You are truly extraordinary.
You may not change the world, but you can change the world of one child in need.