Our Affiliated Project: The La Luz Children’s Home in Guadalajara, México
Mexico — with its rugged mountains, rocky deserts, lush forests and tropical beaches — is home to over 200,000 species of animals. Humans have also called this breathtaking land home for at least 10,000 years. Prior to its Spanish conquest and colonization, countless Mesoamerican nations thrived here, including such civilizations as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya and Aztec. Today, Mexico is the world’s tenth-largest nation — and largest Spanish-speaking country by population — with a growing, diversified economy and a relatively stable democratic government. However, Mexico’s wealth of culture, history, natural resources and beauty, belies the condition of poverty in which many of its people live. Crime and murder rates here are high, and corruption and drug cartel activity are constant sources of concern despite recent efforts to eliminate them. The city of Guadalajara is no exception to these maladies.
Here, La Luz Children’s Home serves as a beacon of hope for many needy children. The home’s mission is to provide shelter for children whose parents are serving time in prison. Prior to its founding by Father Ramon Aguirre in 1986, such children were forced to either live on the streets or in state-run orphanages and foster homes. Father Aguirre’s ministry among prison inmates in Guadalajara convinced him of the necessity of a facility like La Luz. Not only does it allow siblings to remain together, but it also serves as a sanctuary for children who are born to inmate mothers. The facility is run by an order of nuns who provide a well-rounded and versatile foundation of social, emotional and academic education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty so that these children may rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.