Marsh Children’s Home was founded by Jovita and Eduardo Castañon, who were themselves orphans. Unfortunately, Eduardo recently passed away. The Home is named in honor of two American missionaries, Lawrence and Alice Marsh, who ran a nearby local orphanage where Jovita and Eduardo were both raised. Jovita and nowadays her son Cesar Castañón, serve as Co-Directors of the Home. They are dedicating their lives to providing love and protection to abandoned children.
The mission of the Marsh Children’s Home is to offer a decent home where needy and homeless children can get food, education, medical attention and love. The Marsh Home is situated in a white stucco compound on the beach in Bonfil, a modest seaside community located behind the Acapulco Airport. The formal name of the facility is the Hogar Infantil Marsh, A.C.
The Marsh Home has 60 children, evenly divided by gender. The children range in age from 6 to 23 years of age. Many of the children are siblings. Some are brought to the Home by neighbors who witnessed abuse or neglect on the part of their natural parents. The Friends of Acapulco began its relationship with Marsh in 1994, when we helped to restore kitchen facilities destroyed by Hurricane Calvin. Since then, we have provided support every year for a variety of building improvements and equipment.
Recently Friends of Acapulco has provided financial support that included:
- Funds to purchase 10 new computers.
- 2 New Air Conditioners (Mini-split Inverter Units)
Marsh receives no assistance from the Mexican Government, it relies exclusively on continuing donations from a variety of sources. The Home operates with just one paid employee, who does the cooking. Jovita and her son Cesar draw no salary. Wal-Mart, Costco and Bodega Aurrerá each donate surplus food on a regular basis to feed the youngsters.
The facility is managed in part by the children themselves. Each child is assigned chores, which help to build character and also helps to defray the labor expenses.
At Marsh the day begins at 6 a.m., when the children awake. The kids dress themselves, make their beds and clean their rooms before taking breakfast at 7 a.m. At each table in the dining room, one child is designated as captain – and that child is responsible for serving all the children at his table. After breakfast, the youngsters are off to school. Between 3 and 6 pm, a tutor assists the children with homework. Before dinner, each of the children must perform 30 minutes of chores – like setting the dining room table or sweeping the patio. Saturday is playtime and Sunday is church in the morning and sports in the afternoon.