These stories are “Proof Positive” that your efforts have produced tangible benefits to those here at Los Angelitos. Whether it’s how your funds are being spent, what resulted from the many hours of volunteering you gave us, how your gifts in-kind are being used or who you affected with the professional services you provided. These powerful stories will help you understand how the children of Los Angelitos benefit from your generosity.
In April of 2008 in Tijuana, Mexico, police found 1,500 shell casings on various streets after one battle that left 13 suspected drug traffickers dead and nine others wounded. ~Source Article
Thirteen-year-old Karina lived with her single mother in Tijuana. Her mom was a drug addict who supported the family by working nights at a strip club.
Sometimes her mom turned violent. On one occasion, she beat Karina on the head with a metal pan. Someone called the police and they put Karina in the juvenile detention center for her own protection.
While Karina was in detention, her spirit weakened and she became depressed. But even this was better than living on the mean streets of Tijuana.
Her little sister Dania, who was already living with us at Los Angelitos, begged us to rescue Karina. She told us that she was a good girl who deserved our help. Once we obtained the resources we brought Karina home to Los Angelitos. Soon after, Karina began to look up from the floor and smile at the people around her. She began teaching herself how to play the piano and learned how to drive a car. Her mind was like a sponge. Eventually, she graduated from high school and became our first child to enter college.
We are so proud of Karina and so very thankful for all of you who have helped make this happen. As of now we have nine teenagers ready to follow in Karina’s footsteps. But it can’t happen unless we have the resources to support their education.
That’s where you can help – we need your donations, both large and small. Every little bit helps, and money goes a long way in this part of the world.
There were 47,515 drug-related killings in Mexico or near the Mexican border from December 2006 through September 2011. In the first nine months of 2011, there were 12,903 drug-related killings — up 11 percent from the previous year. This is the setting in which the street children of Tijuana struggle to live.
Tijuana born Maria and her brother, Luis, were brought to Los Angelitos following a severe beating from their crystal meth-addicted parents. This assault resulted in the loss of Maria's front teeth. She was only 3 years old at the time.
Upon arrival at Los Angelitos, Maria and Luis were slow to become acclimated to their new environment. In fact, they often appeared withdrawn and could be found curled up and crying in each other’s arms. The other children with whom they shared their new home also came from similar traumatic backgrounds. It’s this connection that soon helped them drop their guarded exterior and learn for the first time what love is about. In one particular case, a little angel named Elena played a nurturing role by helping the siblings adapt to the pattern of a structured life — three meals a day, getting dressed, interacting with the other children, etc. Call it ‘group therapy’ for new arrivals.
It is this kind of atmosphere that the Director and staff of Los Angelitos strive to foster. Their endless compassion for these children is reflected in the hearts and actions of each child. Further, the kindness, understanding and support from you enable Los Angelitos to continue to do this amazing work.
What happened to Maria and Luis? They are halfway through the second grade and living with a loving couple who adopted both siblings over a year ago.
Please feel free to pass this story along to friends and family.
Every little angel has their own story of how they came to be at Los Angelitos. All stories are different but they share the same harsh beginnings — living on the streets of Tijuana. How a little angel named Anna came to Los Angelitos is one such story — Anna's HerStory.
At the age of five, Anna was found by the police begging for food at a Tijuana fast food restaurant. Her survival skills were acquired on the streets. On several occasions, locals witnessed Anna looking through the trash for food at night while sleeping on park benches during the day.
The police dropped Anna off at the Department of Sociales who, in turn, brought her to a few orphanages until Los Angelitos took her into its home. Even though Los Angelitos was filled to capacity, its director, Ed, could not turn Anna away.
It took time for Anna to grow accustomed to a nurturing environment. She still wanted to go through the trash in search of food and attempted to go to bed on the benches in the orphanage’s yard. One day when the children were taken into town for lunch, little Anna walked over to a table where a couple were eating. Anna stared intently at the couple's food and then proceeded to open and close her mouth repeatedly. This was Anna's way of asking for food — a street learned survival skill.
Eventually, Los Angelitos weaned Anna off of such tactics and won her trust. After two years there, she was adopted by a local couple.
Through financial support of good people like you and the hard work done by the extremely limited staff at Los Angelitos, a Tijuana street child's life was turned around. Please consider making a donation this holiday season so that more children like Anna can also have a future
Diapers, clothes and sheets are but a few items that we’re in constant short supply of. And it’s thanks to those who have answered our calls that we were able to provide for our children at all. We give thanks for all your gifts and look forward to your continuing generosity.
Many professionals donated their services over the past nine years and we’re grateful to each and every one of them. From doctors to contractors; from lawyers to writers; your help has, and always will be, welcomed.