the problem

The issue of child abuse, neglect and abandonment is a world wide issue.  According to the UN over 150 million children are abandoned and living on the streets worldwide.  In Northern Baja’s area of Mexico alone, over 6,000 children live on the streets or under dangerous/abusive situations, and thousands more live in extreme poverty.  Mexico currently does not have the social programs that we have in the U.S., no foster care programs, no welfare system, so the only way to care and support children in need is through a network of private orphanages, funded entirely through individual and corporate donations.

the solution

Corazon de Vida (CDV) is a 29+ year US 501c3 non-profit organization providing life-changing support for orphaned and abandoned children in Baja, Mexico by funding local orphanages, providing quality of life improvement services and investing in the children’s future by funding higher education.

Through our life-sustaining program we provide monthly funding for the orphanages under our care. These orphanages give abandoned children security, nutrition, shelter and access to a reliable education. We also fund scholarships for teens aging out of the orphanage system to continue their education. We provide consistent, monthly support to 10+ orphanages, housing over 500 children. Our university program currently has 54+ past orphanage residents in college or technical school, and serving as role models to their younger ‘siblings’.

our mission

We are on a mission to break the vicious cycle of poverty from perpetuating child abandonment.

our belief

We believe that every child’s life is valued and holds the same potential, excitement and opportunity as any other life. It is up to us to work together to make sure our care transforms into each child’s hope for the future.

meet our founder

Hilda Pacheco Taylor was born and raised in Baja, Mexico. When she was seven years old, her father left the family and her life changed forever. Hilda's mother was not prepared to be a single parent because she grew up in a time when it was believed that women did not need to be educated because their role in life was to be a housewife and mother.

As a single mom now, Hilda's mother worked as a tortilla maker but could barely make enough money to feed her kids. And since there was no money to pay for a babysitter, Hilda became the caretaker for her brothers and sister at the early age of eight. Her worst nightmare happened the day her brother Juan almost drowned. Hilda was inside the when she heard one of the neighborhood kids yell for help. When Hilda came out, he pointed to the family’s water reservoir where Hilda saw her brother Juan drowning in the water below. Luckily, a neighbor came to help and pulled him out of the reservoir. It was then that Hilda's mother had to make one of the toughest decisions of her life: to place her four children in an orphanage.

For Hilda and her siblings, life in an orphanage was great. There were about 100 kids of all ages, and the orphanage was well supported by organizations from the US. They had 3 warm meals a day and each of them had their own bed. Hilda no longer had to worry about her siblings and had an opportunity to be a child again and get an education. Even though life was great, Hilda always yearned to be with her mother and siblings as a family again. At the age of 16, she left the orphanage to join her mother in the US and focused on bringing the family together again. Within two years, she had reunited the family.

Fourteen years after she left Puerta de Fe, Hilda went down to visit her old home, expecting to see the beautiful thriving home she remembered. Hilda was shocked to find that the home had lost most of their support, they were down to 35 kids, and could hardly feed the them. The buildings were all in need of repair and the staff had not been paid in months. Hilda asked the director what she could do to help. He had started a child sponsorship program and asked if she could help find some sponsors. She picked up the child sponsorship forms, and came back to the U.S. determined to help.

Her first challenge was to share with the people about her background. For years, Hilda had worked very hard to assimilate into the U.S. culture, and make her way in the business world, so the last thing she wanted was for people to feel sorry for her. However, in order to find sponsors for the orphanage, Hilda had to stop thinking about her own worries and concerns, she had to share about her background and why she needed their help. Hilda approached the owners of the company she worked for, and they decided to sponsor every child at the orphanage, and also helped start the foundation... and that is how Corazon de Vida was born!


meet the board


Michael G. Beason


HIlda Pacheco-Taylor


George Perez

Alex Dastmalchi

Vice President

MIckey Wiebe

Vice President

John Haugland

Brianna Woo

Daniel Smith


Siavash Tabrizy

Yarel Ramos

Alexandria Jackson

Susie Albin-Najera

Jan Huisking

Debra McGinty-Poteet

meet the staff

Hilda Pacheco-Taylor


Daniel Smith

Executive Director

George Perez

Baja Programs Director

Leny Acosta

Operations Director

Maricarmen Macfarland

Mexico Operations

Andrea Duarte

CEP Counselor

Claudia Diaz

Office Administrator

Carmen Gomez

Bookeeper/ Administrative Manager

Aldo Sanchez

Data Analyst

Jasmin Ayala

Communications & Marketing Manager

Rich McCullen

Development Director

Marlene Mendoza

Social Media Content Creator & Community Manager


John Haugland

San Diego Chapter Board Liaison

Brianna Woo


Mariann Sanchez

Vice President

Sandra Slocum

Operations Director

Amar Harrag

Director Corporate Sponsorships

Abelardo Rodriguez

Director PR/Communications

Angela Aguilar

Director Outreach

Alina Gordon

Outreach Director


We work very hard to make sure we are running as lean and mean as possible. The less operating costs we have, the more we have to support the kids. But don't just take our word for it, take a look for yourself.

donate now & change lives