Manos de Amor was the vision of a group of Bucerias residents who wanted to construct and maintain an orphanage or shelter in Bucerias, the first in this area. At that time there was nowhere for the children of the bay who were in need.
The children who are housed in this Casa Hogar are not necessarily children without parents. Many times they are children whose parents are either unwilling or unable to care for them. Contributing factors to this type of family breakdown are:
- Divorce of separation of the parents
- Death of one or both parents
- Family and domestic violence
- Personal physical or mental illness of parent (s), caretakers or the child
- Alcohol and/or drug and solvent abuse by parents or the children
- Neglect and abuse of the child
- One or both parents in prison
- Parental lack of literacy and other life skills
- Family homelessness
- Emigration, economic migration of the parents to the U.S.
- Single parents unable to combine work and childcare
Often an older sibling, a grandparent, or a neighbor, is attempting to care for the younger children because the father and mother have died or have abandoned them. Our hope is to provide these children with food, clothing, and shelter, ensure that they attend school and church, and give them a safe haven for as long as necessary. We also want to provide support and resources to the family. Hopefully, when the home situation improves, the families can be reunited more healthily.
The ground was broken for the orphanage on January 24, 2008. Fortunately, an angel came into our lives in the form of Guadalupe Dipp. Lupe is an architect and well know local philanthropist. When she learned that we were running out of money, she volunteered to match the donations we received and to complete the construction of the orphanage. With her construction crews and her knowledge, construction was completed. We also met with the local Rotary club who, in partnership with a Rotary Club in Invermeer, Alberta, Canada, and Rotary International, funded the purchase of our kitchen and laundry equipment for the new home. The new building for Manos de Amor was officially opened on the Day of the Children, April 30, 2009.
In 2013 we went green!! We raised enough money that with the help of E Sun Solar Energy, we were able to install enough solar panels to reduce our energy bill to zero!!!
Besides providing care for the children who live in our home, we also reach into our surrounding community to provide food, clothing, tutoring, English instruction, and other resources. We are known as a refuge for many who need help.
We are grateful for the help of our many donors and volunteers who have continued to help maintain, renovate, and improve the building and yard. Other groups have helped raise funds to purchase food and hire staff. Eagle’s Wings and Lifeline of Hope are just two of the many organizations that have made the success of Manos de Amor possible.