Extranjeros en Servicio – Foreigners in Service

There is a need for your help in Colombia.   Even if we might be self made men or women, as foreigners  most of us come from much better personal circumstances than exist for many people in Colombia. This need has been recognized by John Lama who has created an organization called ”Extranjeros en Servicio” or ”Foreigners in Service”.

”Extranjeros en Servicio’ is dedicated to supporting the most vulnerable populations in our new home country. While the levels of violence and political instability have improved dramatically in recent years, many Colombians are still affected by this history and by continued socio-economic issues.” Certainly there are many worthy organziations throughout the country that need support but Extranjeros en Servicio has selected  to focus its support on the Hogares Infantiles San Jose charitable organization.

Hogares Infantiles San Jose  was established in Medellin in 1908. They provide a safe and loving home for 1,200 desperately poor children, many who are victims of abuse or that have been simply abandoned. A large percentage come from the tens of thousands of families that have been displaced by years of violence.

Hogares Infantiles San José  – http://www.hogaressanjose.org/

Spread eight locations situated throughout Antioquia area, Hogares Infantiles San Jose provides the children with the much needed structure, stability and loving support that had been mostly absent in their lives. In addition to school supplies and tutoring, Hogares San Jose offers its children healthy meals, clothes, educational and recreational activities, and on-site medical, dental and psychological services.

Hogares Infantiles San Jose is mainly funded through thousands of very small weekly donations made by Colombian people, many of them poor themselves. The foundation is overseen by Monsignor Armando Santa Maria Ortiz who is only the fourth administrator in the organization’s 105 year history!

Spread eight locations situated throughout Antioquia area, Hogares Infantiles San Jose provides the children with the much needed structure, stability and loving support that had been mostly absent in their lives. In addition to school supplies and tutoring, Hogares San Jose offers its children healthy meals, clothes, educational and recreational activities, and on-site medical, dental and psychological services.

Hogares Infantiles San Jose is mainly funded through thousands of very small weekly donations made by Colombian people, many of them poor themselves. The foundation is overseen by Monsignor Armando Santa Maria Ortiz who is only the fourth administrator in the organization’s 105 year history!

Locations

Primaria
 – Located in the Boston Centro neighborhood of Medellin, the Primeria is home to 200 girls aged from six to twelve.

Bachillerato – 
Also in Boston Centro, the Bachillerato has 200 girls from three to eighteen years old.

Las Palmas – 
Home to 130 boys ages six to twelve, Las Palmas is located near Llano Grande.

El Taller
 – This location in Prado Centro is home to 35 poor boys and girls whose mothers are imprisoned.

Hogares de Acogida
 – Located in the El Salvador neighborhood, Hogares de Acogida is home to 120 girls ages seven to eighteen.

La Posada de Belén – 
La Posada serves 30 poor children suffering from cancer and their families in the Prado Centro neighborhood of Medellin.

Granjas Infantiles – 
Located in the town of Copacabana just North of Medellin, Granjas Infantiles is home to 150 boys, and also serves another 550 boys and girls in its daytime program.

Centro de Formacion La Sandalia
 – Serving 200 poor boys and girls, La Sandalia is located in the town of Fredonia just South of Medellin.

The support Extranjeros en Servicio provides includes members spending time volunteering with our selected organizations, and regular events which not only raise needed funds but also bring entertainment and the arts to the children we serve.

Many of our members had a history of supporting the disadvantaged before coming to Colombia. The need here is greater than in most of the places from which we came, and likewise the time and money we donate for the benefit of Medellin’s at-risk children have a huge impact on those we serve. As foreigners living in Colombia we enjoy a lifestyle that is the envy of the world. We feel that the least we can do is give something back to the country that continues to give us so much.

Extranjeros en Servicio – see web site http://www.extranjerosenservicio.org/ . This organization is a volunteer group of foreigners living in Medellin but wanting to give back to the community. 100% of all funds go to two main charities (Hogares being one). There are no administrative costs. It is all about helping young orphans.

Editor’s note. The lead photo is over 6 years old and the face has been blurred to protect the rights of the youth in the picture.  This shot demonstrates the harsh realty of life in the street and the fact that this adolescent could sleep in the middle of the day on a busy street.