An organization helping the less fortunate and abandoned from the streets of Tijuana
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Carretas

Chela, Childrens Director


What in your opinion is the most important part of what you do?

   My goal is that the children of this community will have a better life than their parents--starting with education, habits, nutrition, integrated family, spiritual development.  For example, the mother of one family down the road from our center used to only feed her family once a day, but now she's giving them regular meals.  The people around here are changing and what we are doing is helping families, not just children.

 

How did you come up with the idea of this organization?

  It wasn't my idea.  I came to Carretas at the invitation of a 7-year-old boy named "Jesus."  He had met me when I was leading a homework club in a nearby church.  He asked me to come and visit 3 times before I dared enter this marginalized area close to the old Tijuana dump.  I finally went with the boy.  Jesus lived in a one-room shack with his drug addict parents.    Other children joined us, as well as adults. Later, leaders of the community asked me to become part of the "mesa directiva"  (board of directors).  Now I'm the leader of the whole colonia of Carretas with 53 family units.

How long have you been doing this? 
  Since 2004.  I started coming one time a week to give Bible classes and literacy classes to adults (3 times a week), bring food as well.

What led you to Team Tijuana?
   In 2000 I started to help at the "ARCA" orphanage for boys, part of Emmanuel Orphanage, under Eduardo Mendez, who was part of Greg and Kathy's TEAM TIJUANA.  He told me I had to attend the weekly meeting.  In 2001 the Arca boys moved to a new location in La Gloria and I served as the local director.  In 2003 I left Emmanuel and taught at La Roca school for one year, during which time I started helping with the homework club at the church near the dump.


PRAISES: 

  • Various families are functional now--living together.  Now I see parents caring for their children and children interacting with their parents.
  • Children who didn't attend school because their parents didn't enroll them are now getting an education.  I've worked with teachers and schools to enroll at least 30 children.
  • Children whose goals in life used to be to work in the dump, lead a gang and get rich by selling drugs now want to be teachers, doctors, professionals.  I see children I used to work with in the orphanage with their own families and stable jobs.
  • God's provision of the land for the Community Center.  The children and parents encouraged me to secure land and offered their help finding building supplies in the dump and their services to start building.


NEEDS: 

  • I've been experiencing pain in my back and the soles of my feet--maybe from all the things I haul up the hill every week?  I need to be healthy & strong for this job!
  • A helper--someone with the vision to come alongside and share the load.
  • Backpacks and school supplies and uniforms for the start of the school year.
  • Funds for formalizing the land for the Community Center with the "Ministerio Publico" and the "Predial"  (taxes).
  • A 4-wheel drive vehicle to get up the hills and allow us to take children on outings from time to time.
  • A First-Aid kit, wind-up radio and wind-up flashlight to meet government regulations for a community center servicing children. 

Prayer Requests: 

  • I've been experiencing pain in my back and the soles of my feet--maybe from all the things I haul up the hill every week?  I need to be healthy & strong for this job!
  • A helper--someone with the vision to come alongside and share the load.


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