Making Life Better in Manzanillo

2019 Good Deeds John Chalmers March 2019

By John Chalmers Writer from the March 2019 Edition

Two recent dinner and auction benefit events have raised funds for very worthwhile operations that make life better in the Manzanillo area.

On January 31, at Manzanillo’s open-air Casino de la Feria, the fundraising event for Casa Hogar Los Angelitos featured a silent auction, three-course dinner and live entertainment.

On February 12, the palatial Tesoro resort hotel was the venue for a similar event with three-course dinner, silent auction and live auction to provide financial support for the Santiago Foundation Learning Centers.

Santiago Foundation board president Susan Hess, at the podium, welcomes the dinner guests to the organization’s annual benefit evening. She and her husband, Gary, kindly donated the bar wine and spirits for the occasion.

Both events were attended by hundreds of “snowbirds” from Canada and the United States who have come south to escape winter and enjoy sunny México. Their generosity was seen, not only in bidding on silent and live auction items, but in the hundreds of items that were all donated for worthy causes.

Bidders for the silent auctions had a wide assortment of items to tempt them, ranging from jewelry to clothing, from restaurant dinners to household items, from wines and spirits to art and Mexican crafts. For both events, the live auction featured big-ticket items such as group gourmet dinners, golf packages and vacations in Canada, the USA and overseas.

Funds raised for the Casa Hogar Los Angelitos evening support the residential home for disadvantaged youngsters ranging from toddlers to teens. For many of the boys and girls there, Casa Hogar has become home for most of their lives. The success stories are many. Today there are 64 children living in the facility and seven are presently attending university. A great source of pride for the home is the number of university graduates who have grown up at Casa Hogar.

The open house event provides a showcase for the outstanding and successful Expressive Arts program of music, song and dance at Casa Hogar.

Also open for viewing on February 2 was the impressive Centro de Artes Los Angelitos (CALA), the new multi-purpose facility being built for Casa Hogar. It will provide accommodation for older youth in educational programs and will be able to host a variety of community events including folkloric presentations of dance and music for which Casa Hogar is well known.

The two locations of the Santiago Foundation provide training in job-related skills and crafts, with additiona support provided by scholarships to enable further education in school and university. Success stories include examples of young men and women trained at the Foundation who have established their own businesses.

Cowgirls and cowboys performed with fast
many numbers of the Casa Hogar open house stage presentation

As usual, a high point in the benefit night for Casa Hogar was a lively program of music, song and dance, in beautiful costumes, as the boys and girls performed traditional Mexican numbers for the great enjoyment of the audience. The Expressive Arts program of Casa Hogar has provided opportunity for its children to develop skills and confidence in making their Mexican heritage a dynamic reality. Performance tours in Canada and the United States have provided the participants with opportunity to travel and share their culture with appreciative sell-out crowds.

A unique offering this year at the Santiago Foundation event was an original retro-style two-seater desk created by contractor Manuel Moran, well known for his design and construction of residential facilities. Built from kiln-dried pine, the desk was offered for purchase at $145 USD each before bidding began in the live auction. Forty people stepped up to order a desk, enough to equip three classrooms in the Foundation’s facilities.

As well as the dinner/auction event for the Santiago Foundation, an annual rummage sale in March raises funds through the sale of donated items, including many from the snowbirds of Manzanillo. On February 22, at the Foundation facility in El Naranjo, a small town near Manzanillo, displays of arts and crafts were featured at an open house event when certificates were presented to all who had completed a course in one of the program’s many offerings. Children and adults alike were recognized for their accomplishment.

Music and song were provided by these young musicians from El Naranjo at the open house in the town’s Santiago Foundation facility.

With broad support from festive events, from donors and benefactors, the Casa Hogar and Santiago Foundation organizations are able to continue their work. Care, love and opportunity provide for Mexican children and adults to enjoy the benefits resulting from a healthy environment with opportunity that contributes to their education.

To learn more about these very worthwhile endeavors, or to contribute financially, visit their web sites. For Casa Hogar Los Angelitos, go to For the Santiago Foundation.

Lively performances of traditional dances by girls and boys are a special feature of the Casa Hogar benefit event.

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