Merida, Yucatan – Two months after opening a new facility, a local shelter for families dealing with cancer is facing its own test of survival.
The coronavirus lockdown came along and knocked out the agency’s flow of donations.
Hogar de Angeles provides families with housing and food during their children’s treatments at O’Horán, ISSTE and other Merida-area hospitals.
The Yucatan state government saw an urgent need for a place like HDA and donated the land and funds to construct it, said Gina Esteva, a spokeswoman for the institution. But the small-business donations that Hogar de Angeles depended on dried up as the economy collapsed.
Cristina Rosado, HDA’s founder, is now selling sandwichons to fund the agency.
And now, with hunger looming as a threat as big as cancer, Rosado is doing all she can to send food to the children who cannot travel because of coronavirus restrictions.
Hogar de Angeles’ building in Caucel is modern and beautiful and not only provides housing, but also many other services. In addition to housing and dining space, there is a special area where children and their families receive psychological help and physical therapy. A clothing store, a little shoe store, a food pantry and even a special room full of donated toys, are open with free merchandise for the kids.
All of this was stocked with in-kind donations by local small businesses.
Much of the food prepared for the families is donated by a green grocer.
Unfortunately, they are in desperate need of cash to pay the few employees who help run the shelter. Worse, they had to cancel a fundraising event that was to take place March 28.
Money is also needed for gasoline to be used for travel to the children’s homes to deliver help. Some of these children come from as far away as Belize and Cancun.
“The bond that Cristina has created is one of family. She is deeply connected to these children and their families. She will never abandon them, especially in these moments of such great need. Presently they provide help to one hundred children and their families,” an agency spokeswoman, Gina Esteva, said.
Hogar de Ángeles is a government-authorized donataria. Of more than 60,000 nonprofits in Mexico, only 9,000 have “donataria” status and can issue Mexican tax-deductible receipts.