Former S.L.R.C. DIF Facility Director Aracely Arroyo Hernández with Efecto Esperanza Director Raquel Leal de Ornelas.
In 2018, The Hope Effect has been working to bring family-style care to San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico. Currently, orphans in S.L.R.C. are living under institutional care provided by DIF, which is Mexico’s version of CPS.
Throughout the long process of obtaining government approval for family-style care, we’ve worked to build and maintain a relationship with the DIF employees in S.L.R.C. Late last year, we hosted a Christmas party for the orphans, and in 2018 we built beds for many of the children living in the DIF facility. Over the last several months, thanks to your generosity, we have continued providing essential items like shoes and clothing for the children.
As we built our partnership, it became clear the DIF director and staff members truly care about the children. However, while the facility provides for the basic physical needs of the orphans, being raised in an institutional environment often results in lifelong negative effects on children. For example, inconsistency in caregiving due to a rotating staff or employee turnover might lead to children not receiving enough personal interaction within a loving environment.
This issue is highlighted currently in S.L.R.C., as the DIF facility is currently undergoing major staffing changes. In the city of S.L.R.C., the mayor’s wife automatically assumes the role of DIF President. That means whenever a new mayor is elected, the leadership of DIF changes.
Recently, a S.L.R.C. elected a new mayor, so DIF has a new president who is bringing in a new staff. Although we are confident the new president and staff will be caring and attentive to the children, the staff change presents difficulties for everyone involved.
Institutional orphanages already typically have a rotating staff caring for the children. There aren’t primary caregivers giving consistent love and attention the way there would be in a family setting. Now, the orphans in S.L.R.C. will need to adjust to an entirely new staff, which can be traumatic and upsetting.
In addition, The Hope Effect will need to build new relationships with the leadership and staff. We’re not quite starting over, because we’ve worked so closely with the facility and the children all year, even receiving multiple awards for our service. But the new leadership will be relatively unfamiliar with our organization and our goals, so we’ll work hard to maintain our partnership with the DIF facility in S.L.R.C.
We’re so grateful for the previous leadership and staff of DIF who partnered with us over the last several months. In fact, the previous director of the DIF facility in S.L.R.C., Aracely Arroyo Hernández, has agreed to join The Hope Effect team! She’ll be working with us and providing after school programs in the DIF facility, and we are excited to continue our partnership with her!
Ultimately, although this transition presents its challenges, it reinforces the importance of bringing family-based care and stability to the children in San Luis Río Colorado. We are optimistic and excited about our progress in this city, and we look forward to keeping you updated along the way!