History, Mission and Impact Amigos de Los Niños
Non-profit organization Amigos de los Niños (Friends of the Children) took the first steps toward grass roots community service in 1991 when a group of people living in Cabo San Lucas showed interest in helping their less fortunate neighbors. During the Holiday Season, they dressed one of their members as a ‘Cabo’ Santa Claus and distribute Christmas gifts to marginalized children. Although a lot of laughter and smiles were provoked, they found that this was not a solution for the problems that these children and their families faced each day.
After a series of open meetings a consensus was reached to elaborate and carry out projects that would address the problems of the children and effect change for a better quality of life, then they started looking for these projects. The public schools in Cabo San Lucas did not have water purification systems so the newly formed group installed this service improving basic health for hundreds local of school children.
With this project completed a vision for the future was formed by Amigos de los Niños: to help provide the quality medical care that these marginalized children so desperately needed.
This need was being accentuated by the rapid growth of the Los Cabos area which was up to 18% annually, the majority of the jobs available were of the low paying, no-benefit kind such as construction and service work. These jobs were needed to support the acceleration and demands for luxury resorts and multi-million dollar homes that were putting Los Cabos on the international map.
Many of these mainly immigrant families looking for better opportunities in Los Cabos were not included in the Mexican Social Security medical program for workers, or the attention they received from the Institution was inadequate due to the lack of staff and supplies within this government service. The BCS Secretariat of Health which oversees several hospitals and basic health care centers state-wide suffered from the same problems.
Amigos de los Niños became incorporated as an official non-profit organization with the ability to offer tax deductable receipts in Mexico, an ‘Association Civil and Authorized Donataria’ in Spanish. Our Mission:
Amigos de los Niños provides quality health care in Los Cabos to children up to the age of 18 who have no other means of receiving same or whose health care provider is deficient arranging for external medical consultations, organized clinics and assistance in setting up medical treatment for special cases of the severely ill or disabled.
All methods for providing medical attention for children through Amigos de los Niños are totally free of cost to the patient and family. We achieve the success of this Mission through donations from our local community, friends and visitors who are made aware of our work and who wish to help make better quality of life possible for our children.
We receive generous in-kind support from many local businesses; this helps us organize the services of our ADLN Free Clinics and Special Cases. Our Volunteers and Board of Directors also organize several fundraising events for this purpose. Our managing policy is that what funds come in go to the children as soon as they need it; there are no investments or other money producing enterprises and there is always a child that needs our immediate care.
Amigos de los Niños is fortunate to count on the help and support of many local physicians and medical facilities that donate their work or give it at a fraction of the normal cost. Without them, we could not do what we do. The majority of doctors who assist in our Free Clinics come from the USA, but many local physicians have been inspired by them and are now doing Free Clinics and Special Case work for ADLN also.
Our Special Case Children are seriously ill and when possible we try to find treatment within the State. The Pediatric Oncology Unit in La Paz has been functioning since 2012 and the CRIT Rehabilitation Center since 2011, these two medical centers have been able to help many of our Special Case Children providing treatments, surgeries and care through the help of many caring people and organizations of which we are proud to be an important part.
Amigos de los Niños completes the everyday work of our organization with a three person team at the office located in a building donated to ADLN for this purpose. The office staff began their jobs in January of 2004 as a result of the huge increase in the workload, it had been carried out up to then by the Board of Directors and Volunteers on a smaller scale. The office positions are; Executive Director, Director of Clinics and Special Cases and Director’s Assistant. ADLN also has an accountant and an external auditing service with yearly audits available on request.
The ideals of all the people who take part in Amigos de los Niños, Office Staff, Board of Directors, Ex-Officers, Volunteers, Donors, and Medical Personnel are based in the belief that all children deserve a life of equal opportunity and circumstance to insure the most important aspect of life: health. Without health, life is extremely limited.
Our Mission is based on ethical work and also in faith for some miracles when we fall short of what is needed to save or change a child’s life. Resignation is also needed to be able to go through the times we fail to win the battle, and then to get up and keep fighting.
Amigos de los Niños tries to console and guide the parents and families of children as they go through these trying times.
The joining together of all these people, those who give and those who receive, are an integral part of the social impact of Amigos de los Niños. The fruit of this effort is more people willing to lend a hand to their community and its people. Over the years, the children Amigos de los Niños has attended have grown into men and women who help as they were helped. Sickness is not the only thing that is contagious, so is love, faith and lending a helping hand. We hope we can count on your help also!
View our past annual reports to gain a full understanding of the foundations evolution: