If there was ever a “Silver Lining” to this pandemic, it has to be the world of opportunities that have opened up for the children through the exponential advances in access to virtual technology. The abrupt move to remote learning last year had us go into high gear ensuring that the orphanages had the required technology so the children could participate in distance learning via zoom and other platforms. The orphanages all upgraded to high-speed internet (the best possible for each of their areas) and we provided laptops, desktops, chrome books, printers and other equipment as needed for the children’s learning.
Now that the orphanages are more technologically set-up, new opportunities to help the children have been made available. Here are some of the activities going on at the homes:
- Virtual Karate Lessons – the special needs residents at Rancho de Los Niños are participating in virtual Karate Lessons with Sensei Tamara Canedo. She provides Karate training for children and adults with various disabilities. Sensei Tamara is happy to report that all students have been promoted to yellow belt!
- Virtual Math and English tutoring – some of our university students are currently being tutored by members of the GiveLight Foundation. They are reporting a great improvement in Math and English!
- Virtual Speech Therapy Sessions – our amazing volunteers from Speaking from The Heart have been providing Speech Therapy at the orphanages for over 8 years. Unable to continue their in-person visits and sessions this past year, they have transitioned to providing Virtual Therapy Sessions and the kids could not be happier!
These are amazing learning activities that were not possible before and they are great for the kids and for those looking to support their development. Thank you for your love and unwavering support of our mission!
International Women’s Day is a global holiday that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world! On this special day women are recognized for their contribution to society, no matter their background. This day also highlights women’s rights and the need for gender equality.
Our supported orphanages teach children to treat all human beings with kindness and respect. Promoting inclusivity and gender equality empowers the orphaned children to realize that they are deserving of all opportunities no matter their ethnic background, gender, race or economic status and this is what International Women’s Day is all about.
Corazon de Vida empowers girls to defy all odds against them and leads them to a brighter future.
Did you know that 75% of the students enrolled in our university program are female? Unfortunately, societal pressures make it extremely difficult for our young women to integrate back into society and reach their full potential. We see access to high-quality education as one of the most important tools to end the vicious cycle of poverty. Your support helps us empower young girls to reach their full potential and transform not only their lives, but the lives of their families and communities as well. They are the doctors, veterinarians, psychologists, and business owners of tomorrow.
On International Women’s Day let’s uplift the orphaned and abandoned young girls out of poverty and guide them towards a successful future! Celebrate #IWD2021 today with a donation that will transform a girl’s life forever. Even a simple act of kindness can have a powerful effect. Together, we are changing lives from the heart. Donate HERE.
Benjamin was a force of nature! Despite being born with Spina Bifida, being confined to a wheelchair and losing his eyesight as a pre-teen, his spirit was never broken! He lived his life with enthusiasm and determination. Benji was strong physically, but it was his resilient spirit that really inspired everyone around him! Benji’s story is a story of determination and hope.
Benji lived in one of Corazon de Vida’s supported orphanages since he was a baby. He was 100% self-sufficient at home; he cleaned dishes, cleaned his room, bathed himself, and did many more activities with very little assistance! He loved sports and in particular the Xolos soccer team and the San Diego Padres. His childhood dream was to become a sports broadcaster!
When Benji completed high-school and had to decide about a university career, he decided to go for Psychology, He felt he could make a difference for others. With the help of a special laptop with audio reading and writing, he completed his first semester of university in December 2020 with all 10's (equivalent to a 4.0 GPA in the US). Ben was on his way of making the goal of having a career come true.
We would like to send our deepest gratitude to everyone in our Corazon de Vida community, your support provided Ben with a loving home and an environment where he was able to thrive. His time on this earth was short, but it was filled with lots of brothers and sisters, love and nurturing.
We are extremely blessed to have had Benjamin in our lives. It’s our loss but heaven's gain. He is now in his new body, running free in heaven, playing soccer, or maybe just being the game’s broadcaster!
RIP Benji, your CDV family will remember you forever.
Digital Learning Day is February 25 and this year's celebration is more meaningful than ever before! Digital Learning Day is an online celebration of all the advancements in educational technology that improves learning experiences and the ability to access educational resources anytime, anywhere.
On Veterans Day, Corazon de Vida gives thanks to everyone in the CDV family who has served in the military. Thank you for protecting our freedoms. We give special recognition to a veteran who has opened up his heart, home and time to be a CDV sponsor, Lyndol Cook.
Lyndol Cook is a distinguished veteran. In 1963, Lyndol was the regimental commander of his graduating class at West Point Military Academy. Below is his picture with John F. Kennedy at the White House, when he presented the President with the West Point yearbook. After completing the most difficult military schools (Airborne, Ranger and Jungle warfare schools) Lyndol served eight distinguished years in the U.S. Army, which included a tour in Vietnam as the company commander of the famed 101st Airborne division. Lyndol's military awards include a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, three Air Medals, three Army Commendation Medals and the Purple Heart. Many of his classmates never returned from Vietnam and CDV is thankful and grateful that Lyndol returned home so many years ago.
Lyndol Cook and his wife, Diana Cook, became supporters of CDV in 2013 when they attended a couple of events and a trip, and in 2014 they decided to become monthly sponsors. They sponsored Natalia, a young lady who grew up in Casa Sion orphanage and was starting university. Lyndol and Diana not only provided 100% of Natalia's financial support during her five years of university, but they treated her like a daughter, helped set up her apartment in Tijuana, visited her in Tijuana and had her stay with them in San Diego on many weekends. Natalia graduated a couple of years ago with a degree in Psychology. Lyndol and Diana have continued their sponsorship and have had many students stay in their home during their visits to the U.S. Every year, they host students/graduates for the Noche de Gala annual event weekend. Lyndol even took Spanish classes so that he could better communicate with the students!
Our heartfelt thanks to Lyndol and to all of our CDV veterans for your service to our country and for your support of the children of CDV.
Celebrate the work of CDV from the comfort of your home with our first virtual event, A Night in Baja!
Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 7pm
2020 has been a year of challenges. Just like you, we suddenly saw our world turned upside down. First, we had to cancel our orphanage trips for the safety of our volunteers, staff and the children. Then, we were faced with having to cancel all of our in-person fundraising events for the year. Our orphanage trips and events are not only amazing ways to connect with our community, but are a pivotal part of our fundraising efforts to bring much needed support to over five hundred children in Baja.
But challenges create opportunities, and this year Corazon de Vida will come to you! A Night In Baja is a digital experience that you will be able to join from the comfort of your home. We will share how the orphanages are overcoming these challenging times and hear inspirational stories from our graduates who have overcome incredible challenges in their journey to transform their lives, thanks to your support.
Your participation can and will make a difference on the outcome of what could’ve been one of the most difficult years for Corazon de Vida. Together, we are keeping hope alive!
We hope to (virtually) see you there! Register HERE
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.
Jaque and Alin, both former orphanage residents and CDV alumni, are on the front-lines of combating the COVID-19 pandemic in Baja California. They have been working strenuous hours to save the lives of those who have been affected by the virus in an area that has been hit hard with surges in cases. Jaque, a registered nurse and doctor Alin, have worked around the clock, often in 12-hour shifts for 30 consecutive days in order to provide the necessary coverage for COVID patients, both risking their lives to help those in need.
If you have ever wondered whether your donations make a difference, this is a perfect example of how your support is the catalyst for our children to dream big and accomplish big things. Alin and Jaque have completed a full circle of transformation that is creating a ripple effect in their lives, their families and communities.
We are extremely proud of Alin and Jacque, these two bright and determined young women who are making a difference in the world – paying it forward!
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
To my beautiful Corazon de Vida Family,
These are difficult and uncertain times for all of us. Please stay safe and follow all of the recommended measures to lower the rate of spread of the Coronavirus. The children need us all healthy and well, as they depend on us for their survival.
We have had to cancel all of our orphanage trips through the end of April and have also postponed our annual golf fundraiser. We know that other groups are also cancelling their visits which means that the flow of food, supplies and funding to the orphanages is coming to a halt.
As of today, Corazon de Vida offices are closed until further notice, however, staff will be working remotely from home to continue bringing our Corazon de Vida family together and find new ways of supporting our children in the midst of this evolving situation. Our children in Baja need us now more than ever.
· Together we can make sure our orphanages keep their doors open.
· Together we can make sure our children have food on their table, a hot shower, and a safe place to call home.
Many of you go beyond just giving to the children. Your wise guidance through the years has been invaluable. Please let us know if you have ideas for how we might continue our support for the children while still keeping everyone safe from the current threat.
We may not foresee the future but we have the power to change our present. We acknowledge the hardship you are facing and we have each and every one of you in our hearts.