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Rancho de Los Ninos

I nearly missed the van traveling down to Rancho De Los Nino’s orphanage in Baja, Mexico. I was meeting up with Amar Harrag, managing director of Corazon De Vida, a non-profit dedicated to orphaned youth in Baja and Faisal El Azzouzi, founder of the non-profit Get Charged Up and owner of the energy consulting company Powerpedia. My wrong turn had put me on the Mexico side the border. I agonized over the long wait I would have to get back into the US and thought I had certainly missed the van waiting for me. After pleading my case, a Mexican official expedited my entry back into the US. I caught up with the van and this time entered back into Mexico with a group of 12 amazing volunteers with hearts of gold. Many had been down to visit Rancho De Los Nino’s orphanage previously. Some had developed bonds with the kids in the orphanage. The mission of our trip wasn’t simply to visit the beautiful children at Rancho De Los Ninos – it was in part to empower them.

I caught up with the van and this time entered back into Mexico with a group of 12 amazing volunteers with hearts of gold. Many had been down to visit Rancho De Los Nino’s orphanage previously. Some had developed bonds with the kids in the orphanage. The mission of our trip wasn’t simply to visit the beautiful children at Rancho De Los Ninos – it was in part to empower them.

Faisal El Azzouzi, founder of Get Charged Up, is a renewable energy visionary. It was after hearing his plans for putting solar on orphanages all over Baja and Tijuana that captured the attention of my company cThru Media. Get Charged Up wasn’t just giving to kids in need, they were empowering the kids literally, with solar. cThru Media was so inspired by the vision, we agreed to help raise $30,000 by providing advertising to the get charged up.

When we met Amar Harrag we learned that the commitment of Corazon De Vida and #getchargedup to Mexico’s orphaned children was even more profound. Amar learned computer coding and after setting up internet at the orphanage began teaching the kids coding. What impressed me even more is Amar taught the kids to meditate prior to getting access to the coding class. This holistic approach to empowering disenfranchised kids was something I had rarely seen.

Spending the day at Rancho De Los Nino’s was magical, because well, kids are awesome. There are roughly 70 kids at Rancho De Los Nino’s and over 500 throughout the orphanages in Baja. Jorge Perez is the director of the orphanages and will most likely become a saint. Jorge grew up in an orphanage himself and his dedication to the kids is legendary. Jorge told me that putting solar on the orphanages will save them around $1000 per month in energy costs. For some this is not much, but for the orphanages saving $1000 per month will provide critical resources for basic life necessities of the kids. It’s a big deal for them.

After getting crushed in soccer, I sat at a table with a crew of kids. One of our volunteers brought down henna ink. The kids were giving themselves temporary tattoos’. A young girl grabbed my hand and wrote the world love on it. A bit later she noticed I was not complete and wrote love on my other hand. I was told it will take about a week for the word “love” to wash off my hand. But the love these kids put in our hearts, the love and dedication of Amar, Faisal and other amazing volunteers is more like energy than temporary ink. It is life empowering and won’t be washing off anytime soon.