Jazmin Urbina Gonzalez, Student in the Nursing School, University of Colima

We are blessed with so many success stories at Casa Hogar La Familia because the children there have grown up in a Christian environment with the love and affection of directors, Juan Francisco and Silvia, along with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

I am especially happy to share with you a group photograph of a nursing school class with our own Jazmin Urbina Gonzalez on the far left of the front row of the photograph below:

nursing students

I received a message from Jazmin yesterday. In her message she told me that she had just left the delivery room where she assisted in the delivery of two babies.


Jazmin is one of five children from the same family who grew up at Casa Hogar La Familia and all five are doing well.

We are already beginning to enroll mission team to visit La Familia in 2018. To see the dates that are still available, go to www.EmbracetheDream.com.

Personal Items Needed for the Children of La Familia

Letter to La Familia Mission Team Leaders
from Bill Lee
Embrace the Dream Foundation
Greenville, SC

We are working diligently to improve communications between Juan Francisco and Silvia, the La Familia directors, and the mission team leaders who visit Casa Hogar La Familia.

The purpose of this letter is to discuss one of the needs the directors have that we can satisfy without too much trouble and expense to any of us if we all work together to coordinate what we take down when we visit the home.

One of our mission team leaders visited La Familia a couple of weeks ago and learned that there were some items that we have an excess supply of at La Familia and other items that are in short supply.

First Aid Kits

There is an ample supply of first aid kits — over one hundred — that some mission teams use to set up first aid stations and supply these kits to the local residents who live near the vegetable fields that are located behind the casa Hogar. Please do not take any more first aid kits until we advise otherwise.

Personal Items for the Children

We badly need a supply of personal items for the children to use so the purchase of these items doesn’t continue to eat into the home’s grocery budget.

The mission team leader who brought back this information suggests that each team member take a LARGE Ziplock bag and fill it up with the following:

Toothbrush Shampoo Razors Cough Syrup
Toothpaste Deodorant Neosporin Athlete’s Foot Medicine
Bar of Soap Hair Bands for Girls Band-Aids Body Wash

We believe by following this suggestion Silvia can free up money for larger purchases of food and household supplies. Thank you in advance for your help.

Altech Investment in La Familia

A dozen or more years ago, I was visiting La Familia when the hogar was located in Cd. Serdan, about an hour’s drive from Palmarito, the current home to Casa Hogar La Familia. One of our missioners from Signal Mountain, Tennessee was out jogging one morning when he met a fellow gringo running on the streets of rural Cd. Sedan. As it turned out, the gringo runner was the owner of Altech, a Serdan-based bio-tech firm that extracts an enzyme from Yucca trees they use as a supplement in chicken food. The purpose of the enzyme is to practically eliminate chicken house odor.

Discussing La Familia as they ran together, the bio chemist later made a commitment to invest not only money, but moral support to the casa hogar. So for the past 15 or so years, Altech has been no stranger to the children of La Familia.

On a recent visit to the home, one of the Altech executives asked the directors what were some of their needs Altech might help with. Silvia pointed to the balconies cantilevered off the main building — the balconies had no railings, making the balconies unsafe to use.

Altech committed to fund the installation of railings for the balconies. On the same day, they also committed the funds to complete the perimeter wall surrounding the children’s home.

As you can see from the photographs below, the balconies on both ends of the casa hogar now have railings. Our thanks go out to the good people of Altech for the contribution they are making to the children of La Familia.

Work On Balcony

New Railings

The bottom photo shows cultivation of yucca trees for harvest. For every tree Altech harvests, they plant three more. Pictured in the distance is Pico de Orizaba, which at 18,800 feet in height is the second tallest mountain in North America.

Yucca Plants

Bill Lee, President
Embrace the Dream Foundation
PO Box 5558
Greenville, SC 29606

Chuy and Damaly “Tie the Knot” on April 15, 2017

Over 250 special guests were in attendance at the wedding of Damaly and Chuy with Juan Francisco officiating. The wedding theme was the 1980s.

Juan Francisco escorted his only daughter and oldest child to the wedding venue in Tecamachalco in a 1985 Ford Crown Victoria. The moment the father and daughter stepped out of the huge Ford, it was apparent that this was going to be a beautiful wedding.

Damaly’s dress was simply stunning and Juan Francisco was wearing a sport outfit from the ‘80s.

Damaly and Juan Francisco arrive at the wedding.
Bride and groom draped in the traditional lasso symbolizing the unity of marriage.
The weding ended with Juan Francisco, Silvia and all of the children of La Familia singing a special song Juan Francisco wrote especially for his daughter’s wedding.
The outdoor dance floor was illuminated with huge sparklers held by the wedding guests.
The reception was a sit-down dinner for the wedding party and all of the guests. Pictured above are several of Damaly’s family members. (L to R) Paco and Alucy and Damaly’s maternal grand parents. The woman standing behind the grand parents is Ale, Silvia’s and Alucy’s sister.
L-R: Tim Baker, Chuy, Damaly, Mark Beatty, Robbie Hamilton, Marshall Sansbury.

Oklahoma Team Visits La Familia

Arriving in Tecamachalco on Tuesday, February 28 and departing on Monday, March 6, a mission team from Kingfisher, Oklahoma visited La Familia. Joining this team were Ardita Roci currently living in Downers Grove, IL and Bill Lee from Greenville, SC.

This team was greeted by 12 new residents of Casa Hogar La Familia, which included two infants: Hadasa who is eight months old and Alejandra, who is 11 months old.

During our visit, we learned that Jazmin is doing well in nursing school at the University of Colima. Her grades are excellent, as well.

Among the projects the Oklahoma team completed during their visit was to have two concrete columns built and construct and paint a gate to enclose the residential property of a new member of the Groupo Amor Church that holds worship services on the second floor of La Familia. The owner of the property has lost her sight due to diabetes.

Two of the men on the team also installed new screen wire in the old screen frames. This was a big job, but much needed to prevent flies from coming into the home.

We also took a trip to Puebla to purchase items to aid in the construction project that were unavailable in the city of Tecamachalco.

On another evening, Ardita Roci prepared for all of the staff, children and mission team members, an Italian dish of Italian cheese pasta served with tomato and cucumber brochette.

The buzz in the air during this visit to La Familia was the upcoming April 15th wedding of the directors’ daughter, Damaly Hernandez Arias, and Jesus GuzmanBeristain (Chuy). On our trip to the City of Puebla, the team donated money for the directors to purchase wedding clothes for the children of La Familia.

There are currently a grand total of 26 children, five volunteers and two directors at Casa Hogar La Familia.