Casa Hogar del Niño de Acapulco is located on Ave Gran Via Tropical in Caleta. The property, the former site of a hotel, was donated by Bill and Vivian Mead of Dallas TX in 1978.
The Acapulco Children’s Home operates with oversight from the Jesus of Nazareth Church, a local Presbyterian congregation founded in Acapulco by missionaries from the Presbyterian Church of America. The youngest children all attend the Nuevo Horizon Christian School in Costa Azul.
The facility – also known as the Acapulco Children’s Home — currently serves 46 children, with 31 boys and 15 girls. The children range from 6 to 18 years of age. Up until 1996, the facility cared exclusively for boys.
The strong religious character of the Casa Hogar is reflected in its mission statement, which describes the institution’s goal this way: “To teach our children to face the future with dignity, instilling in them love for and trust in God.”
Casa Hogar del Niño is drawing up ambitious plans for reconstruction of its antiquated physical facilities. The five-year master plan – which hinges on a future fundraising campaign – envisions the demolition of most existing structures and the erection of new dormitories and common areas. New dormitories were constructed in 2018 and demolition on another has been completed and plans for the new section are rewady for 2020.
Recently, Friends of Acapulco has made donations to support the following:
Besides these contributions, Amigos also pays the entire bill for all doctor visits to the Friends of Acapulco Medical Dispensary on Avenida Michoacan. This includes regular exams to rid the children of intestinal parasites — a chronic problem among the poor in tropical climates.
According to Alejandro Valenzuela Romero, the Home’s Director, few of the children who reside at the Casa Hogar are truly orphans. Most have one or two parents still living, as well as close relatives. Mr. Valenzuela said the single biggest factor that triggers new admissions is family disintegration. Some children have been abused or neglected. Some are given up by their families because of sickness or poverty.
The children are not legally required to remain at the Home. They are free to leave at anytime. Some teens refuse to follow House rules and are asked to leave. Some choose to return to live with family or relatives. But most choose to remain because the Casa Hogar is the only safe and caring environment they have ever known.
All the children are required to attend school or University as a prerequisite for their continued stay. Each child is sponsored by an outside donor through the Promise Project, which functions as a padrino or godfather program. In earlier years, the Casa Hogar freely admitted street children. But Mr. Valenzuela, the Home’s Director, said that staff had learned some bitter lessons. It is often impossible for street kids to adjust to a communal setting with rules and regular hours. Nowadays, the Casa Hogar is more selective in admissions, referring the least disciplined youngsters to local programs designed specifically to serve street children in Acapulco.
“The Acapulco Children’s Home provides a loving environment where children learn discipline and good morals,” said Marilú Baca, Chairperson of our Orphanage Funding Committee. “We are delighted to work in partnership with Mrs. Myrtille Rullán and Mr. Valenzuela and his staff to enrich the lives of these adorable children.
Myrtille Rullán said that the Friends of Acapulco have always had a desire to help this home in many ways with maintenance of the facilities for years, she said that the Acapulco Children’s Home dream came true thanks to the generosity of our Association.