Fr. Matt with a Mexican Family

Our Start / 1995-1996

El Niño Rey (The Child King) had its origins as one man’s pastoral commitment of mercy and justice to provide educational funding assistance and materials to needy children in the Mexican state of Guerrero.  Fr. Matthew Foley,  Catholic  Archdiocese of Chicago, served for six years doing mission work to some seventy remote villages located in the Southern Sierra Madre Mountains of this state.  It became clear to him in his travels that there was a serious need to foster and somehow offer financial help for education to these indigent children.  Obtaining financial help to allow these children to attend school so they can learn to read and write, unlike many of their parents, became his goal since illiteracy would keep them down and out.   This simple expectation could help break a cycle of poverty and lead to better lives for them, and ultimately, for these isolated villages and their communities.   He sent appeal letters back home to family and friends who responded with money to help the cause. Thus, El Niño Rey had its beginnings.  Today, some 800 plus children are now provided assistance.

 

New Challenges / 2001 – Present

Upon Fr. Matt’s return to Chicago in 2000, some dentists from the Northbrook area heard his stories of the poverty in Guerrero and decided in 2001 to mount a mobile dental mission to the isolated villages of Quechultenango, Xochitepec, and Talixtlahuaca.  Since 2003, two annual weekly mobile Dental Mission trips provide professional care to 1000 patients each year in more than 20 mountainous and isolated villages.  Medical supplies and sophisticated dental equipment are donated from pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies or are funded by our two annual appeals.

 

Scholarship Help

The generous and growing donations of many local area families and foundational grants have provided 900+ needy children with “scholarship” financial help getting them into school and allowing them to continue,  many for the first time or who otherwise, would never have had the opportunity.  Schools supplies donated with the assistance of Chicago area Elementary and Middle school students are now delivered on the mission trips to the visited villages and some to mentally challenged children at the CAM school (Centro Atention Multiple).  Forty two of these latter students are currently participating in our “scholarship” program.

 

Formalizing a Board / 2003

A Board of Directors was formed and by-laws adopted creating a charitable non-for profit organization subject to Section 501(c)(3).  Fr. Matt Foley remains our Director. Subcommittees working on education, vision/development, dental mission coordination, dental/medical volunteer recruitment, and supply/equipment needs continue to work at ongoing actions and future directions.  The Board’s ultimate goal is to foster a hope and faith-filled group of young leaders who will in turn share their gifts and educational blessings with these mountain communities.  Behind this all-volunteer active group are various talents needed to keep our administration, marketing, and funding efforts on track and in focus.  See our Support link should you want to help out or donate for our causes and wish lists.

 

Clothing Help – 2005

Clothing needs for the children became a focus when our Esperanza (Hope) program was started with clothing donations from the Women’s Guilds at St. Norbert Parish in Northbrook, IL and has continued with the generous support of many with shipments to Mexico about two times a year.

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