News

CORAZON DE VIDA :: HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY AND HAPPY 12th ANNIVERSARY DAN! Posted on 22 Apr 09:36

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.

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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!






CORAZON DE VIDA :: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? MAGALY, TEACHING FROM THE HEART Posted on 25 Mar 09:16

Hello! My name is Magaly and I would like to share my story with you. When I was 12 years old, my mother had to work the night shift and this made our daily routine very difficult. I was absent from school many times because I had to care for my siblings who needed to be fed and taken to school. The school that we were attending at the time had a church and also an orphanage within the same parcel of land. I decided to talk to the orphanage director to ask for the opportunity to live there while I was attending school.


When I finished high school, I knew that my next step would be to become a teacher like I always dreamed of. I researched my options and decided to apply for Baja's public university, UABC. The public university did not offer an Education/Teaching major and I was advised to look into a private university instead. I felt crushed with the news thinking that my dream was now unreachable because I didn’t have the money to pay for the tuition. It was then when Corazon de Vida offered to cover 50% of my expenses so I could apply to the university of my choice. I was speechless! I knew this was my one and only opportunity to become a teacher.


Halfway into university, I had to leave the orphanage and move in with my father. There were more expenses to pay and things were getting tough. My grades were going down and every payment towards school seemed impossible to make but Corazon de Vida did not allow me to give up. They decided to cover my school expenses in full and I happily graduated with a degree in Educational Technology in 2017.


Right after graduating I began working at a Corazon de Vida supported school called San Juan Bosco and one year later I completed my master's degree. I currently work at a private school as an Elementary School teacher and at an institute teaching Middle School and High School. In my free time I work from home giving private lessons to those who fall behind in school and I also help young children around my block to learn how to read and write. I am very proud to also be giving back by collaborating with Corazon de Vida in a workshop that I helped develop to prepare other students like me for university. I don't have many hobbies other than teaching but I do enjoy painting, playing guitar, and most importantly spending time with my son.

Teaching is my reason to be, my passion, and on behalf of myself and each child benefiting from your donations I want to say THANK YOU for the opportunity of reaching out for our dreams!


CORAZON DE VIDA :: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? FLOR, A LIFE CHANGED BY THE LOVE OF ANIMALS Posted on 8 Feb 11:00

I arrived at an orphanage for the first time when I was 8-years-old because I had a dysfunctional family. My mom couldn't take care of my brothers and me because she was sick and died of cancer years later. I lived with my grandmother and uncles where I was abused by everyone until the neighbors reported it to the authorities. I grew up separated from my brothers as we were placed in different orphanages.

Since I was a little girl I always wanted to be a veterinarian because when I suffered abuse from my family, I would find refuge in animals. They took care of me when I had to sleep alone in the streets... so I promised myself that one day when I grew up, I would take care of them like they took care of me.


At the age of 16, I escaped from one of the many orphanages I was in but was soon picked up by the authorities and placed at yet another orphanage, El Faro. It was there where I decided that I would stop escaping and that I would finish my studies to get ahead in life.

It was then when I met Corazón de Vida through George, who told me that they could help me to continue my education and that if I had good grades, they could help me fulfill my dream of completing a degree.


As promised, they supported me with my university studies and with everything I needed during those years. They continue to check on me even after I graduated and started working. To this date, they are still a very important presence in my life, they are like part of my family.


Currently, I am working as a veterinarian at Xel-Há- an incredible park in Tulum that houses several marine and exotic species. I take care of many animals and I am very happy. I will be forever grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Corazon de Vida gave me, for supporting me to achieve my dream and get ahead in life.


Above all, I am grateful for all of you who wholeheartedly support this beautiful organization. All the generous donors that without expecting anything in return give us your love and support. Thank you for helping hundreds of children in need break the odds and achieve their dreams. Without your support, none of this would’ve been possible. Thank you!!!

CORAZON DE VIDA :: NOCHE DE GALA BREAKS PREVIOUS FUNDRASING RECORDS! Posted on 8 Nov 11:00


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!

Click HERE for the gallery of photos.

CORAZON DE VIDA :: HAPPY 27th BIRTHDAY CDV! Posted on 23 Apr 13:35

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!

Click HERE to send a gift in celebration of our anniversary.


CORAZON DE VIDA :: A WALK IN NATURE IS MEDICINE FOR THE SOUL Posted on 21 Aug 14:00

Now that the school year is over, the children are “officially” on summer vacation.  But what does “vacation” look like at the orphanages?  Vacation is usually a very fun and busy time for the children, with lots of activities and visitors.  However, visits are not possible now, so the orphanage directors and staff are looking for creative ways to keep the children active and healthy.

Outdoor play is an important part of the children’s lives, so one of the activities that the children have been enjoying a lot has been hiking together. Nothing like spending time in nature! Time in the outdoors improves children’s mental and physical health, teaches them about teamwork and communication skills and to love and care for the planet.


CORAZON DE VIDA :: KEEPING HOPE ALIVE DURING THE QUARANTINE Posted on 5 Jun 11:54

As we continue to adapt to the changes in our lives during the quarantine, life inside our supported orphanages is no different. The children are adjusting between online schooling and afternoon activities to keep them busy. Orphanage directors are doing their best to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic and are making sure that above all, everyone at the home remains healthy.


The children continue their online classes for the remainder of the school year which ends July 17th. The orphanages are coordinating the best that they can to ensure each child is provided with learning tools. Due to minimal computer access, it's been a challenge to provide each student with the screen time they need to complete their assigned tasks but orphanage staff is making it happen.

The children of Casa de La Esperanza orphanage have been talking about how much they would like to have a farm for a while, so they used the free time they had due to the quarantine to make it happen. They finished putting together a barn where they already welcomed three sheep and two goats. The children are pouring so much love and care into tending for the animals!


After the barn was complete, they moved onto another project; a chicken coop and an area for bunnies! Children of all ages are involved in this project. The younger ones help to gather and count fresh eggs for the home. Daily chores are a good way to introduce structure into a child’s routine in a way that can be fun since they’re taking care of a pet. It teaches them about contributing to the household, too.


With your support, we can continue to improve the quality of life for hundreds of orphaned and abandoned children. Together, we have the power to ensure that the Corazon de Vida kids feel safe and secure knowing that we care and will be there for them during these difficult times.

Please support our online fundraising “COVID-19 CONTINGENCY FUND” campaign HERE


CORAZON DE VIDA :: HELP ORPHANED AND ABANDONED CHILDREN GO FROM VICTIMS  TO EMPOWERED FUTURE LEADERS. Posted on 21 Aug 11:51

 Supporting the k-12 education needs for children in the orphanage system and continuing education through college or technical school once they age out of the system is key helping them break the cycle of poverty and abandonment and providing the opportunity to create a better future for themselves, their families and their community.

Corazon de Vida’s Back to School campaign covers tuition, uniforms, backpacks, school supplies and transportation costs for over 500 students from kinder to university. All Baja public schools require uniforms, which is good because orphanage students do not look different than any other students. CDV’s education program provides scholarship-based funding for teens aging out of the orphanage system and it includes funding for inscriptions, tuitions, housing, living expenses and transportation, all depending on each student’s situation.




Corazon de Vida started its Continuing Education Program with 3 students who entered university in the 2011/ 2012 school year. Currently, 45 past orphanage residents are in college or technical school in Baja, with 15 that have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in majors such as accounting, psychology, education, culinary, medicine, nursing and business. CDV Alumni are now serving as role models to their younger ‘siblings’ at the orphanages!

Together, we can help our children go from victims to empowered future leaders! Help us transform their lives by making a donation to our Back to School campaign HERE

You could also help our children have everything they need for a successful school year by donating any of the Back to School items in our Amazon Wishlist

 

 


CORAZON DE VIDA :: ANNUAL CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT Posted on 1 May 12:24

On April 25th, Corazon de Vida held its annual Charity Golf Tournament as part of its 25th anniversary celebration. The day could not have been more perfect! The sun was out and the weather was ideal as players arrived at the beautiful Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo. The blooming flowers on the course made it all the more beautiful.

Golf players had the chance to buy Super Tickets and to take pictures on our Red Carpet which proudly displayed the image of our sponsor CHILO. Delicious tacos and drinks were enjoyed by all before the Shotgun start.



Guest grabbed their golf cart and made their way through the pristine hills of Mission Viejo as they played along the challenging course. Along the way, players had a chance to win a new Infiniti Q50 in our Hole-In-One event sponsored by Infiniti of Mission Viejo. The scenic golf course and the perfect weather made for an amazing time. The day was filled with laughter and fun!



After a great day on the green, the players came inside for a delicious dinner and the awards presentations. Fernando and Karen, engineering students currently in Continuing Education Program, made special appearances to talk about how CDV and all the people who have donated have changed their lives. By the end of the day, we had raised over $17,000 for our children in Baja! We would like to thank all the people who attended and donated, and all the companies that contributed with items for our raffle and silent auction. We owe the success of our event to each one of you!

We would also like to recognize our Golf Sponsor CHILO, Tee Sponsors: Travel to Go, Mako Equipment, Delorfa Services, A New View, SSP insurance Services, La Salle Solutions LLC, Savills, Ortega’s, Graceland Hospice and Califoam Products; and a heartfelt thank you to our Committee members Dan and Gina Streit, Juan Pacheco and George Perez for helping to organize the event, secure sponsors, obtaining donors and more. 

Huge shout-out to our amazing Taco Station team for the delicious tacos!



To our staff and volunteers, thank you for your hard work and dedication to make our golf tournament amazing.

Click HERE for the gallery of photos!


CORAZON DE VIDA :: CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF CHANGING LIVES WITH THE HEART Posted on 27 Mar 10:36

 

 

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!