Friday, January 15, 2010

Non-Profit Daycare Helps Families in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

In traditional communities, including Mexico, members of the extended family care for children while parents work. However, as poverty worsens, it is often the case that all family members must work just to meet basic survival needs. Unfortunately, sometimes the oldest child must stay home and care for younger siblings, making it impossible for her/him to attend school. All too often there is no one to care for children and they are left home alone while family members work. Without education, the next generation will stay mired in poverty.

Around ten years ago, Donna Quathamer started a free daycare center, Casa de los Angeles, to help poor families (mostly mothers) who work in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Donna through my friend Lee, also one of the center's board members, and I was given a tour of the center's two facilities. Casa de los Angeles currently serves 92 poor families and requires that each parent volunteer one hour for each day their children attend the program. In addition, there is a constant flow of volunteers from all over the world who spend anywhere from one week to one year working at the center. This reflects not only the dedication and hard work of everyone involved at the center, but also the inspiration of Donna Quathamer. Donna really is the epitome of transformational leadership.

According to their website:

"Casa de los Angeles is a community of caring people who gather to nurture children, serving the needs of the less fortunate, treating each person with dignity and respect as they work to make a better life for themselves and the community as a whole.

Established in the heart of San Miguel de Allende, it is a safe haven for the children of the streets and those whose mothers come from the outskirts of town to work or to sell their wares at the local mercado. Casa de los Angeles was founded on September 18, 2000. It has grown over the years to now serve more than 100 children from 83 families at two centers.

In addition to daycare, the centers provide a place for mothers to find the support and the help they need to make a good life for themselves and their children. Casa de los Angeles is able to provide medical care for the families, a food bank, summer camp, and scholarships" (Casa de los Angeles).

To learn more about the mission and vision of Casa de los Angeles, visit their website at:

Here is a short video from their website:


Anonymous said...

I am so happy to read about this Day Care Center, I believe it to be a great thing. I feel very sad that the oldest child is relied on to stay home from school and take care of their younger siblings. They deserve a chance for an education also and this Day Care will give it to them.


Marilyn Kulik said...

Thanks, Jessica. This is an amazing place where children learn and are cared for and mothers are treated with dignity. Tomorrow they are having a "Tea" fundraiser which I will be attending. Thanks again for posting on the blog!

Garnell said...

This organization is a much needed organization and it touches me at my heart. I remember my mother raising my 4 siblings and I as a kid on her on. It is a very stressful job and help is needed. Days I would see her cry over her situation etc. Yet she held it together and raised all of us to adulthood. It takes a village to raise a kid. Professor you are truly lucky to witness first hand this organization in action. God Bless Casa De Los Angeles

Marilyn Kulik said...

Thanks, Garnell for your interest in the work Casa de los Angeles is doing. You are so right, it does take a village to raise children. In fact, tradition is that no parents raise children alone. The human species always raised children as a group, an extended family or a village. Your mother did a great job, despite the difficulties of few affordable options for daycare. I will try to take photos of the "Tea" today and post next week. Thanks again, Garnell for taking the time to visit the CDLA website!

Rebecca said...

What an inspirational idea! It is wonderful to know that there are such caring people out there to volunteer their time in order to help others. I always say that education is very important, and seeing how people live in poverty without education is devasting. Not only is it great that they have a daycare, (free no less!) as well as support for mothers struggling.

Marilyn Kulik said...

Thanks, Rebecca, and you are correct. It is an inspiration! This ties in directly with our discussion topic this week, which is womens' issues around the world and the double burden of work and family responsibilities.

Do you know that next quarter my online class SOC 205 World Cultures is a Academic Service Learning course? That means that the students are going to work on an online project to help Casa de los Angeles. That is why I am in Mexico right now -- to put the plan in place!

Anonymous said...

Casa de los Angeles is serving a great cause. Especially in today’s economy, not many people would offer volunteering services. This group of people is doing a great job because they have realized that they can help to support the community when they help these mothers and children. I think Casa de los Angeles is a place of safety and support so that mothers and children can get the insight on having a better life.


Marilyn Kulik said...

Thanks, Satchel. Yes, today's economy has a global impact, especially in a country that is already struggling. This is an example of global citizenship. Volunteers from all over the world come to help out at Casa de los Angeles.