Daniel (pictured center/back) and his family. Orphaned in his youth, he and his family now lead the charge to build a new version of the orphanage he grew up in.

The Future of Hogar De Luz

We are over halfway to the goal on this new campaign! Click the link below to get the details. We hope to have your support today!

From birth, the odds are against every child. Most parents dream of what their babies will become and prepare as best they can for the challenges they will face along the way. It’s tough enough even for those with 2 loving parents to find their place in this world, but what reality faces a child with nothing? An orphan.

Although these numbers are alarming, I must tell you that there is hope. Our new project partners are living proof of that. Daniel and Sergio were orphaned once. Providence brought them together at a small oceanside orphanage named Hogar De Luz. There, they would grow up in the home adopted as brothers. Although both men are middle aged, they look back and fondly remember the blessings they received through the home. Now they look to the future, surrounded by their loving wives and families, and plan to build a new group facility for 50 orphans. Their goal is to close the cycle in the life of an abandoned child, and show them true commitment in hope that they wouldn’t repeat the same past as their parents before them. A gift to share with generations of children to come.

There is brokenness in the country of Mexico. From the socioeconomics, to the violence, corruption, and resulting poverty, the needs are vast. Far too vast for two gringo brothers from the San Fernando Valley to ever fully understand. It can be frustrating to see the ever present needs, but be limited by the barriers of time and the constant battle of gathering resources and fundraising. One of the things that I have learned along the interBLOK journey is that the problems in the world are massive. Massive like the enemy bugger army in the final battle of Ender’s Game. Outnumbered a thousand to one with only eighty fighter-ships left in the fleet, Ender must achieve victory. His initial strikes only revealed layers upon layers of the enemy waiting beneath. The issue at hand is overwhelming. The despairing question of if you should even try becomes reality. For Ender Wiggins, total victory was necessary but as for interBLOK Inc., we are just hoping to make a dent. Unfortunately, no human, group, or government can be everything to everyone, and on top of it, it takes years of dedication to even scratch the surface.

Another big thing I have learned during the interBLOK journey is that all we can truly control is our own attitude and effort. The problems are great around the world, but hard work and sustainable plans can actually make a difference. We mustn’t be afraid of failing and learning, or shy away from the investment of time that it takes to properly do both.

Let’s take a look at some numbers just in the Mexican orphanage system alone. There are estimated to be around 700 public and private homes in operation. These 700 homes take care of 30,000 children. If you were to split that evenly you would have about 43 kids per home. The problem is, there are far more than just 30,000 who are helpless.

If you actually wanted to care for all of the 530,000 orphans in the country of Mexico, each home would have to house and care for 757 kids at a time! Impossible. Remember, these numbers are for Mexico alone.

There are many issues that have led to this disparity in care. I am unfit to speak on the subject of mostly all of them. However, one of the biggest problems causing this surplus of need is simple provision. We have seen this first hand in many orphanages and I’ll bet there are similar circumstances happening across the board with many of the remaining 700 homes. There simply aren’t the funds to provide the basic necessities that we have every day and don’t even think about. The Mexican government is tough on helping those doing good work, and the American charitable giver is so caught up in taxes back home that the money flow has stopped for many nonprofits.

Unfortunately, the problem still exists and grows so that more and more children hit the streets every year. Besides finding funding for the the constant basic needs like water, food, clothing, diapers, and shelter, a main problem plaguing the private homes of the orphanage sector is a lack of consistent, affordable, and dependable water and power. We have learned in our time in Mexico that some orphanages and free daycare programs pay over $1,000.00 USD per month for electricity. That’s a small fortune down there. No wonder homes are having to shut their doors. Not only is the electricity expensive, but you are also dealing with a very inconsistent water grid. If the orphanage is on the city grid, the water could be out for 10–15 days if a main pipe bursts. This can happen a few times a year. A big responsibility becomes huge when the water and power go out and you have been entrusted with the care of 15 + children. Imagine there being 50–100 kids there. If the facility has not created an off grid system for themselves, they are still subject to the mercy of the city grid.

Instead of paying big bills for inconsistent and expensive results, wouldn’t it be better if the front line organization could operate a system themselves? Like Elon Musk and Nikola Tesla, we believe that an individual or group should be able to control their own electricity. We also would add that due to the global needs, water processing and distribution capabilities are necessary as well. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to invest in a machine for a group that could pay itself off in a year or two? From that point on, our partner in the field will be free of the overbearing bills and better prepared to provide for the people in their care.

The interBLOK PowerTower has many applications. Over the past 6 months, our first full scale production unit has been hard at work in La Misión assisting the construction of a free health clinic. Here’s the link to a post I wrote about our partnership with Siloé that began in September of 2015.

“A Month in Mexico” — @alexmillerla https://medium.com/@alexmillerla/a-month-in-mexico-99aafd83710c#---0-17.ppjrczg76

Thanks to our supporters, we were able to build the first PowerTower and the past few months have been spent testing it’s capacity, output, and impact. It will soon feature our conversion to handle water delivery to multiple buildings onsite, managing the water flow for the bathrooms, laundry rooms, the kitchen, patient rooms, and various forms of irrigation.

We are happy to announce our first official orphanage partnership and PowerTower commitment with Hogar De Luz. This new project will have a name of it’s own one day, but for now this name links to the original orphanage’s rich past and heritage. They are expecting children in the fall, so we are starting to raise funds immediately. Their goal is to house and provide for 50 orphans.

To give you some backstory… We were connected to this group through our partnership at Siloé Health Clinic. One of our good friends Jerry is on the daytime construction crew there. He is one of the hardest working guys I know. He told us of a new project up in the beautiful hills of Primo Tapia just 25 minutes away. We spoke about it a few more times on different occasions gathering more details on the opportunity. One day in conversation, Jerry said “Oh ya, Sergio know’s about it too!” Sergio is one of the general contractors we work with at the clinic, and if you remember, one of the orphaned boys from the beginning of the story who grew up at the original Hogar De Luz. At that point all the pieces started falling into place and we were introduced to his adopted brother Daniel, the pastor of a local church, and his daughter Damaris, who is Sergio’s niece.

Hogar De Luz is no longer in operation, but it’s walls still stand strong. A statement about the commitment of this group to continue the ministry that rescued the lives of Daniel and Sergio many years ago. Along with other ministries, they operate a free day care facility for 60 children a day in service to single mothers. This daycare meets on the original site of the orphanage.

With the influence of her father and uncle, Damaris gives back to these ministries as well and is supporting the new orphanage project from a business development standpoint. She attended university in Mexico and is now pursuing real estate. Damaris is a shining example of the dedication of Daniel and Sergio in her life. We can’t wait to assist them as they launch this new home in effort to encourage and restore. I can only imagine what many orphans will grow up to be thanks to the guiding voice and leadership of this family.

Daniel pictured center

We are happy to partner with our donor from the start, Jason Herrick and his company Fortune 421. They have had a philanthropic presence in Baja Mexico for the past few years as they have funded the buildout of other local orphanages in the area. Jason committed his partnership to us from day 1 of interBLOK and with his help, we were able to construct the prototype PowerTower last year.

Our goal is to fundraise with him through a variety of means to build a PowerTower that will provide water, power, and safe storage for the construction of the orphanage. The partnership with the orphanage will remain after construction is complete, and of course after all the little ones move in. We believe this product will cover huge needs we have seen with our partners. Dependable water and power, clean drinking water, and volunteer assistance. The new orphanage site is up in the hills 15 minutes off the beach. They have no access to the grid so we are excited to test the next phase of the PowerTower’s capabilities in regards to a new solar package and battery bank. As I said previously, they are expecting children by the fall and are currently working on the road preparing the way for the containers to travel. It is now our turn to step up and deliver for this group.

We hope to have your support. A lot of people giving just a little is how the world can heal. Thank you for your time if you have made it this far into the article. If this is something you believe is worthwhile, please be looking out for ways to support this new campaign. You can give online at interBLOK.org and follow us on Instagram at @interBLOK.

Blessings,

Alex

#followtheBLOK