August 1, 2008
Children are precious and vulnerable, many times victims of terrible circumstances including abuse and abandonment. Suffering that often continues as these kids enter governmental institutions or adoption agencies in their countries of origin.
But there are good, stable homes that take kids in unconditionally and turn them into honorable men and women, adopting them and giving them an education and a place to return to as adults.
One of these homes is Ciudad de los Niños de Salamanca (City of Kids) founded by father Pedro Gutiérrez on September 24, 1977.
A home currently housing more than 300 kids who have food, shelter, dress, and a voice to help continue the mission of helping even more kids.
In this home, no child is put up for adoption, because father Gutiérrez’ philosophy makes every child arriving at the shelter destined to be part of a family. Mother Hortensia Jiménez works besides father Gutiérrez, both of them give their last names to the many kids that are lacking even their own identity.
The Center has four dorms, two for girls and two for boys, 10 classrooms, dance and concert halls, as well as a mariachi rehearsal room that was build by volunteers. They also have several workshops and a library. The institution has a chapel, dining room, offices, two laundry mats and three bedrooms for seminarists doing mission work at the center. A few minutes from the main home, the Center has a nursery, where children ages newborn to five years old are cared for by nuns.
After bringing up generations and generations of professionals, the house has a strong volunteer pool and many “children” to help maintain the house.
The well-rounded education efforts have born fruit with a successful chorus and artistic group that has toured Mexico, and this year is doing a tour in California, finishing with a concert in San Diego. The Concert, supported by the Mexican Consulate in San Diego will be held this Friday, August 1, at 7 p.m. at La Quinta de Guadalupe, (938 18th Street, San Diego, CA, 92154, Ph. (858) 490 8212).
La Quinta is part of the San Diego Diocese, and on weekdays offers catechism, prayer and theology classes in Spanish.
The artistic group has 44 performers (including the director and two coordinators), the artists are all kids currently living in Salamanca, most of them orphans or kids who were living on the street, who have been subject of serious abuse and neglect.
The chorus created ten years ago, will present classic pieces by Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart, Bernal Jiménez, Shubert and others, including a performance by a Mariachi band and a ballet floklorico dance group.
The tickets for the Ciudad de los Niños de Salamanca benefit is $10 dollars.