Raising children to help others creates a sense of connection and interdependence with other human beings. Learning that they are interrelated to each other in the community helps form a sense of obligation to other people and caring beyond one’s family (Lickona, 1983).
We instill a sense of reciprocity and responsibility both at home, in school and in our community through participation in community involvement projects that are now part of our school curriculum, including the collection and separation of garbage in our neighborhood, distribution of food hampers to seniors and families in need, planting trees, neighborhood mural ‘art with heart’, planting, weeding and composting in our gardens, literacy campaigns and their latest project, the Corazón community kitchen!
Corazón has helped over 100 families, providing food formula for babies, counselling, medical attention. Corazón strives to keep families together, accepting siblings of all ages and genders, setting us apart from most residential programs who all have age and gender restrictions.
Shelter for Woment & Children
Temporary shelter for women and/or their children fleeing from situations of extreme poverty and domestic violence. Also, police call us when teens and young women who have been abducted for the purposed of human trafficking to provide shelter and support until family members arrive from their place of origin.
Youth with Addictions
Corazón works with treatment facilities to support youth and young adults recovering from addictions. 90% of our children and youth have one or more parents with addictions and many suffer the effects of Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) causing elevated levels of impulsiveness, inattentiveness and challenges with judgment and school performance - others with Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE) have difficulty with daily tasks, social interaction, thinking and memory.
Making a Difference
Our Street is a full two blocks long, a classic Vallarta neighborhood with 15 mariachis, 12 dogs, 6 taxi drivers, of course a corner store...
When Melissa's mom, Sandra, bought the house there was shock and regret the first night she and her family spent there. There was no sleeping - dogs barking, roosters who missed the time change, a Mariachi band on one side and a Tecno party on the other - all night long. After the first month, the neighbor children began waiting for Melissa to get home from work, first so they could visit and before she knew it they were at her door daily, making their way inside spending all afternoon and evening in her house eating, playing, learning, laughing until she sent them home at 9pm - not because their mother's looked for them but because she was tired. They said their parents were arguing or didn't want them around or were still not home from work. As time went on, the information became more disturbing as little girls told of violence and abuse and did not want to go home.
It was a learning curve, coming from Canada where children are not allowed to even walk to school or play on the street - to see children running barefoot on the street at 11pm with cars driving by and people drinking in public. This is our neighborhood.
Things have changed drastically over the years with some people developing a conscience, taking pride their homes, respecting their neighbors, picking up after their dogs, not throwing their garbage on sidewalk! We are leaders in the community, raising the bar in every way and our children and youth are developing a very clear sense of responsibility. We have equipped them with the ability to observe and identify areas of opportunity and the tools they need to effect change and live well!
More stories to come!