Originally founded as a ministry to prisoners in 1999, Fundacion Emmanuel - Guadalajara began taking in children left to fend for themselves because their parents were in jail and the children had nowhere to go but the streets.
Today, Fundacion Emmanuel is a thriving ministry caring for abandoned babies and children. The children have a safe, loving place to call home.
Here, children receive medical and dental care, and they attend school.
The ministry is equipped with 2 girls' homes and 1 boys' home for children of prisoners or drug addicts, and children who would otherwise be living on the streets, between the ages of 6 and 17 years old.
The ministry has a dental surgery that is used for volunteer dentists to conduct check-ups and general dental hygiene on the children, staff, and low-income community members.
The ministry uses the community center as a base to care for single mothers, the elderly and people of low income or vulnerable situations. This includes feeding programs, hygiene packages, and church meetings.
A Painful Start to a Beautiful Story
A Story of Redemption
From the age of six, Hilario had been left to fend for himself on the streets of Guadalajara. It was not long before he was invited into the "protection" of one of the gangs. Shortly after his seventh birthday, Hilario was introduced to drugs.
Dealing with the rejection of his parents, an addiction to substances, and the pain of gang life on the streets of Guadalajara, Hilario found himself in and out of prison.
It was in prison, serving a 50-year sentence that was only being extended due to his violent conduct with other inmates, that Hilario met Jesus. This radical change left the prison guards believing that he had a chemical imbalance, and would return to the violent young man they once knew. But after 2 years of Hilario consistently loving on the prisoners around him, and sharing the gospel, he was called into the wardens office and granted early release.
Starting a New Chapter
What Came Next Changed the Lives of Thousands
Shortly after being freed from prison, Hilario returned. This time as a free man, willfully visiting to share his story of a God who was able to redeem a man like him.
While engaging in prison ministry, Hilario became aware of an inmate whose children had been left abandoned on the streets since the mother's arrest. So without thinking, Hilario and his newly married wife opened their home to two children. Little did they know that this one step of kindness would snowball into a lifelong ministry of foster care.
It did not take long before Hilario and his wife had 12 children living with them.
Today in Mexico
We're Not Slowing Down
With 81 children in full-time care, and counting, the ministry continues to grow. Hilario and his wife are growing their team to be able to care for more people than ever before.
Today, the ministry is headquartered in Guadalajara and has a secondary location in Puerto Vallarta.
COVID restrictions have prevented frequent visitations and ministry to prisoners, but Hilario and his team have not backed down from meeting the needs of the homeless and destitute.