In April 2018, I traveled from Phoenix to Mexico with Belinda Rhodes, Development Director with NPH International Southwest Office. Our partnership with NPH started shortly after 200 Orphanages started in 2008. I met the former director of NPH and immediately felt a kinship with their work raising funds to support NPH mission to orphans in Mexico, Central America, Haiti and South America. Our first project ever was to help rebuild NPH Haiti after the devastating earthquake destroyed buildings, killed thousands, including an American volunteer with NPH Haiti. We’ve also worked with NPH Guatemala on a variety of projects.
Belinda invited me to visit the NPH Mexico to see the repairs and other damage from the earthquake in Mexico in September 2016. One of our Board members, Keith Hanson, visited as well. He’s has years of experience as a Pastor and youth pastor leading mission trips, so as our Group Project Coordinator, he brings a fresh and unique perspective to the site.
For me, visiting partner sites allows me to meet the children and staff, observe how the children are cared for and in this case to see the earthquake damage on the buildings and infrastructure. I also see first-hand the progress on the projects our donors helped complete.
In this case, the earthquake damage was extensive on the main site, and the high school dormitory and school. NPH Donors generously answered the call for help, and repairs are well underway. 200 Orphanage donor Fred Cornforth and his company CDI from Boise, provided funding for repairs of the stone wall outside the kindergarten.
When we arrived, Belinda and her staff proudly gave us a tour showing us the completion of the repairs to damage and to the stone wall our donors funded. NPH cares for the whole child to adulthood. The care includes excellence in education, they look after their physical and mental health, and provide medical care, and therapy when required. We were also given a tour of the farm that provides sustainability. We walked alongside the fields where the sugar cane and corn is grown and used in making corn tortillas, a diet staple. We watched the kids do chores, such as cleaning the grounds and doing their laundry. We even saw as the staff and kids harvest and clean the fish raised in the onsite aquaponics operations. The kids’ diets are managed well and they are served various nutritional meals three times a day.
There is much more to be done to repair the homes, and Volunteer Coordinator Keith Hanson is bringing a team from CDI to assist NPH in completing two bathrooms in the boys dormitory at the high school in downtown Cuernavaca Mexico. There are discussions around improvements to the kindergarten playground as well. Such a blessing for these Pequinas!
An additional highlight was meeting many of the beautiful children being cared for by NPH. The young ones are lively and full of energy, reminding me of my grandchildren back home. They like M&Ms, that’s for sure and they’re picky returning the yellow ones and asked for the blue ones!
My heart was also touched watching Belinda enjoy one of her Goddaughters she sponsors. One of her jobs while visiting the sites is to take photos of the children for their sponsors back in the states. Belinda delivered letters and gifts to the children. We were honored to meet adults who grew up at NPH and are now well into building lives of their own.
There is a lot of love surrounding the four hundred children on the main site, as well as the 160 teens at the high school dorm and school. The love and care NPH gives the kids in need is impressive and heartwarming.
NPH’s motto is ‘Raising children, Building Lives’… I am so glad I was able to see first-hand their successes over and again.
Thank you for all you do For The Children! jh