Many people in Manzanillo have been

"Touched by an Angel"

"Whoever receives
one little child 
like this
in My Name
receives me."

 

Matthew 18:5
Spirit Life Bible,
King James version

This is a true story about
FAITH, HOPE and LOVE.

It is about Manzanillo's children who are innocent victims. Innocent, because they are only children. Victims, because they are being abused, live in poverty or are homeless, need food, an education.
They need to be rescued.

The solution lies within each and every one of us, whether we live here, or just come for a vacation.

Benjamin at the waterfalls

New friends from far away

Bobbie and Connie Berry, representing the United Methodist Church of Arlington, Iowa visit the orphanage bringing a cash donation and used clothing. Bobbie gets a hug from Gabriel, age 3.

 

Of course, there are millions of children throughout the world in this same situation. Here in Manzanillo, we have several organizations specifically formed to meet these needs, and www.gomanzanillo.com will feature each one of the funds as the months go by.

Hopefully, during those months, visitors to our beautiful city of Manzanillo will remember to bring or do something for our precious children.


The foundation, "Casa Hogar Los Angelitos," was established in 1996, by Nancy Nystrom, after a personal tragedy--the loss of her young son, Freddy.

 To read Nancy's story, click here.

 

David and Nancy Nystrom, with their son Robert.

Time to exchange a frown for a smile

Lupita Carbajal and Eva, a volunteer,
with Damaris, Pilar and Benjamin.

Commonly referred to as the Los Angelitos orphanage, it provides for the needs of the homeless and forgotten children of Manzanillo. 

But there's a lot more to Los Angelitos than just food, education and shelter. There's... 

HOPE, FAITH and LOVE.

Jenny get sa hug from Rosa

As evidenced by the abundant hugs, kisses and smiles passed out like sweet candy among the volunteers, house mothers, and social workers, the kids receive true loving care in a safe atmosphere that builds self esteem, and sets guidelines for strong spiritual and moral foundations. At left, Jenny Kimball, from Vancouver, Canada, helps with the children daily.

 

It is not always easy to bring beauty, harmony, laughter and security into a world stemming from abuse and neglect. It is not easy to change young lives, get children off the streets and into a safe shelter, help them see that without an education, they will never be able to become positive, productive and self-fulfilled members of society.

It's not easy, but it can be done.

Pilar enjoys lunch at the falls

Rosa with a new-found friend

Casa Hogar (a term in Spanish for a foster home) Los Angelitos' is out to set and raise the standards of orphan child care throughout Mexico, and they plan to do it with faith, hope and love. 

At left, Rosa and Sunny (the author's poodle), become friends.

Since its inception, Casa Hogar has been granted miracles and setbacks. 

Successful fundraisers were held. Land was purchased for an orphanage. Another tract of adjoining land was donated. A local architect drew up plans for the orphanage. 

Funds were being raised for the building materials. People were going to donate their time when the land became ready to build upon. 

Then the government decided it was going to put a drainage ditch through both properties, and other properties adjoining the site. They purchased the land from Los Angelitos, installed the drainage ditch, but Los Angelitos is still waiting to be paid by the government for the land. 

All other property owners have been paid... Los Angelitos' is still waiting. It's been 6 years.

Meanwhile, another piece of land was donated, but it has a big hole that cannot be filled, and is unusable.

Finally, several years ago, the "little angels" prayers were answered, and the foundation was able to purchase a new "Casa." Of course, it isn't really new, and there's still work to be done to remodel it, but the 30+ children have a safe and secure home, with plenty of room to play, do their homework, watch TV, have 3 meals a day--all the things every child should have.

Selene cheats!

On a recent picnic at the El Salto waterfalls, Manzanillo resident and volunteer Ginny Ruiz plays "War" with the youngest girls, Selene and Bertha.

You, too, can volunteer!

Ginny and husband Ruben prepare picnic lunches for the children and volunteers.

Not a bit camera shy!

Josť, age 9, clowns around in the children's pool, at El Salto National Park.

A house mother that cares

After the picnic and pool play, house mother Alejandra helps the girls with their hair. Annay (pictured) wants to be pretty for the final group photo.

For more photos of the children at Los Angelitos', click here.

The 2-story home is clean and cool, and well-managed by three sets of wonderful houseparents. The downstairs has the kitchen, and dining/living area, and the boys rooms. Upstairs, there are bedrooms, where each girl has her own bed and space to keep personal effects and hang clothes.

Casa Hogar Los Angelitos also had a "Soup Kitchen" which served free lunches to any child in the neighborhood who was hungry, whether or not they were in the foster care program. It has been closed down due to lack of funding and volunteers. They are struggling to get the funding to open it again.

One of the biggest miracles and tragedies of Los Angelitos' was the campaign to help one girl, Yanira, who had leukemia. She was with Los Angelitos' for almost 5 years, but unfortunately, they lost her at age 16, before she could get a desperately-needed bone marrow transplant. 

Lupita Carbajal, administrator, cries when she relates the story of beautiful Yanira:

Various fund-raisers were held in Manzanillo and Colorado to help Los Angelitos' put together the money for the testing and studies that have to be done in order to do a transplant.  The father was located, and he volunteered to be the donor. 

The money for the transplant was raised and was given to the hospital in Mexico City a year-and-a-half in advance. As Yanira had numerous setbacks and and equal number of remissions, Nancy and the others at Los Angelitos'  fought with the doctors who were in charge of Yanira's case. The physicians said it was too soon; she was too weak. They stalled--they wanted to be 100% certain the transplant would succeed.

 On and on the list of excuses went, and through it all, Yanira remained cheerful and hopeful. Sadly, time ran out, and she died several months ago. For some at Los Angelitos', it is too soon to talk about it without tears, but everyone who knew Yanira will never forget the courage of this one young girl who never had a chance to live a full life.

Though it is too late to help Yanira, you can help make life better for many others. Yanira, the newest little angel, is serving as an inspiration to the people involved with Los Angelitos'.

For additional information regarding the Casa Hogar Los Angelitos children's home and The Children's Foundation go to their web site at   www.childrensfoundationinc.com

 

Yanira at age 14 with a volunteer

Age 15, out of the pool

At the zoo in Mexico City

 

P.O. Box 1031
Niwot, Colorado 80544-1031
U.S. Tax I.D. # 84-1329480

Call Toll Free: 1-888-934-FRED (1-888-934-3733)

Colorado fax number (970) 613-8461

Nancy Nystrom can be contacted at: childrensfoundation@yahoo.com or by writing to Nancy at P.O. Box 1689, Loveland, Colorado 80539

Phone number of administration in Manzanillo:
Lupita Carbajal, administrator: (from the U.S., add: 011-52-314-333-1009
E-mail: lupita-carbajal@correoweb.com 

(If calling locally from Manzanillo, call Lupita at 333-1009.

Author's Note: As a resident and businesswoman in Manzanillo for more than 17 years, I believe it is important to invest in the future of the community you've chosen for your permanent home. Investing in the children is one of the best choices you can make--children are our future. I hope that this article will encourage a feeling of camaraderie between the business owners and others who love Manzanillo. If we all unite, instead of fight, Manzanillo will indeed be paradise.

Contact: Susan Dearing, phone 333-0642, cellular 044-314-358-5042. When in town, you can drop off used clothing, toys, or other items at the Underworld Scuba - Scuba Shack PADI Dive Center, Km. 15 on the main blvd., across from El Gran Mueble & the Santiago cemetery. For other questions and comments, e-mail: info@gomanzanillo.com