Fifteen Years of Care

By Donna Quathamer

Just over 15 years ago, I made my way to San Miguel de Allende with an idea. It was a simple idea attached to the question, “How can I help?” When I talked with women of the community, the answer became obvious: “We need daycare so that we can work to support our families and make a better life for our children.”

Fifteenth Anniversary of Casa de los Ángeles
Quinceañera
Sat, Feb 27, 5–8pm
Casa de los Ángeles
Enrique Velasco Ibarra 9
Colonia Santa Julia
250-pesos donation

Who are those we serve? They are the women working in the mercado, their children peering wide-eyed from under the table. They are the maids who clean our homes here in Mexico. They often cook our meals in the small neighborhood restaurants that dot San Miguel. These women are trying to live on minimum wages at best. Each year the annual cost of living increases, and their ability to provide the necessities for their family decreases. Often living in one room, these families live life on the margin. For most of them, it does not look as though it will change for the better in the foreseeable future.

That is not the case for the families whose children are cared for at Casa de los Ángeles. Begun as a free daycare center for these families, Casa de los Ángeles has grown to be a community center where the mothers find the support they need to make a better life for their families. Besides the care given to their children, these families receive medical care, scholarship opportunities, transitional housing, supplemental food distribution, after-school care for older children, and assistance with employment opportunities. These benefits are provided for the moms with the understanding that they will participate in the work of our center through their contribution of one hour of service for each day their children are with us. All of this occurs in a relationship of mutuality that respects the dignity of each individual.

We could fill your head with statistics. For example, in these 15 years we have served more than 1,500 families and 2,000 children. We have welcomed more than 1,800 volunteers from 42 countries. We have served breakfast and lunch each day for these 15 years.

More important than the statistics are the stories of the families in our care.

In 2005, TIME Magazine named rock star Bono along with Bill and Melinda Gates as the persons of the year. Nancy Gibbs wrote about these three people, “This is not about pity. It’s more about passion. The risk of pity is that it kills with kindness; the promise of passion is that it builds on the hope that the poor are fully capable of helping themselves if given the chance.”

That is the philosophy of Casa de los Ángeles. We work to help those in need to help themselves. That is the passion that drives us each day to work with the mothers who have been left behind, who have been abandoned.

On February 27, Casa de los Ángeles will celebrate a significant anniversary—fifteen years! Join us for our Quinceañera, with the music of Tuna Tradicional, dances presented by our children, tours of our new volunteer house, silent auction, raffle, and lots of fun. You can get your tickets at La Conexion (Aldama 3 and Café Monet) or online at casadelosangeles.org.

 

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