“When Paul and Barnabas preached the Good News, their only stipulation was to be mindful of the poor”

Galatians 2:10


A Jesuit notice writes about his visit to a distant Colonia:  “We visited Dona Elma, a diabetic, who comes to the Casa when she can for food and medical help. This trip takes two buses and 45 minutes. She has problems seeing and walking. Her house is in a downhill ravine with a difficult and uneven path. I was saddened when I saw the situation in which she lives. The walls are falling apart, the roof doesn’t cover the entire home, and she needs to use a bucket as a toilet since the outhouse is no longer functional.”

“She receives very little help from the government and finds that going to the Casa de los Pobres is worth the difficulties. When she is able to make the trip, she obtains food and medical attention. I was amazed by her faith and joy. In spite of all this, Dona Elma does not lose her good spirits. She says she always tries to look at the bright side of things.”

JULY AND AUGUST: We need School Supplies for the Children — and FOOD

How can you help?  In July and August, we need:  colonia-distibution-2

  • Notebooks, pencils, pens, book bags, SOCKS, and NEW SHOES
  • URGENT:  non-perishable food of all types
  • URGENT:  bedding
  • WE welcome your backyard donations of extra fruit and vegetables

The Sisters encourage education and vocational training. The Casa Scholarship Program (bus money, uniforms, and a small tuition) helps serious students attend both primary and advanced schools.  Many of the students eat breakfast at the Casa and travel to school with full stomachs and clear heads.  For dedicated pupils, this always leads to a decent job which breaks the vicious cycle of poverty. It really happens!

The Sisters serve a hearty breakfast (7:30 to 10:30 am) of oatmeal made with milk, beans, and either meat or eggs, coffee and milk. They give out bags of food from the Bodega each Thursday. They serve bean burritos on Tuesday and Thursday and cheese burritos on Friday.  Occasionally, a few townspeople drop off small donations of food.  The sisters use everything!

Thank you for providing food and assistance for the poor

Your generous donations are acknowledged every day in the dining room where hungry men, women, and children thank God for YOU and the food you supply. Fifty-five families or individuals contributed $15,958.46 in June.

Everything donated is tax-deductible. We incur no overhead expense, all goes directly to the poor. The Casa truck comes to 6432 Cardeno Drive, La Jolla 92037 each Tuesday except in August.  Tax receipts are available upon request.

In June 2016:

  • 23,200 people of all ages were served hot meals in our Dining Room
  • Many people received handouts of food daily
  • 1,245 General Medical Clinic and prescriptions filled
  • 2,030 bags of groceries were given
  • 3,025 families obtained clothes, shoes, and house supplies
  • 375 people personally attended in Social Service Office
  • Groups came to do haircuts.
  • Other volunteers and Jesuit notices also came to help.
  • 26 Scholarship Aids given
  • Clinical Diabetes Workshop was presented


“Where God finds charity with its loving concern, there He recognizes the reflection of His own fatherly care.”

St. Leo the Great

A note of gratitude from one of the children of the Casa (translated)

“Well, first of all I would like to thank you for the help that you have been giving us these past years. Thank you for your help in my sister’s and my school supplies, because it is a big help. My Mom’s weekly salary is $61 (in U.S. dollars) a week and she needs to pay rent, electricity, water, food, our lunch (we are three sisters), and bus tickets to go to our schools (kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school).  This is all a big help. May God multiply all you give us a thousand to one. You are a true blessing. Thank you. God bless you.”  Guadalupe R.C.

The Sisters provide hope, courage, strength, and love to these people


Many of the men, women, and children who come to the Casa are weak, need medical care, food, and clothing. They are overwhelmed with physical and mental ills.  Most are very hungry, and so they apply for food cards from the Social Service Office. Often, these people have no food at home. These cards enable hundreds to come for Bodega Day each Thursday to receive a bag of donated groceries — beans, rice, a few vegetables, a can of food, and some day old bread. FOOD IS UPPERMOST IN THE MINDS OF THE POOR.  Continue reading

“Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world . . .”

” . . . but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give.”  St. Francis of Assisi

The Sisters instill hope and treat each individual winter-dressed kidswith a tenderness, respect, and love that can only come from God. The undercurrent of JOY amid so much destitution and illness is felt by anyone who visits the Casa. During the Holy Hour and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays, the people chant praise and thanksgiving to God for your intentions and special prayer requests. Please send us your special requests. No donations are necessary.  Continue reading

“For the Whole Law is Summed Up in a Single Commandment, ‘You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.'”

Galatians 5:14

“Mrs. Nely H., a widow of 65 years, came to the Casa de Los Pobres telling us she cares March-womanfor her three grandchildren (Luis 11, Mary 6, and Javier 5). Their single mother has been in jail for 4 years. She came to ask for food, clothing, and school supplies for her grandchildren. Nely is in a house loaned to her, as she has no money to pay rent. She works in the dumps collecting recyclable materials in order to buy food. Nely is grateful for finding the Casa, and says she now feels more tranquil because she has found this place. She is more confident and will keep coming for help.”
Continue reading

Share the GIFT with others who cry out for help

“This nation is affluent and has more than it needs. The realization that what we have is a free gift can deepen our desire to share the GIFT with others who cry out for help.”  Henri Nouwen

pediatricianMrs. Maritza Cortez, 32 years, came to the Casa recently to ask for help for some medical tests for her 12-year-old daughter. She is only in the 4th grade because her vision is very poor. Guadalupe lives with her parents and three brothers. Their little home is made of old pieces of wood and is situated in the railroad colonia. Last year, her doctors found that Guadalupe has Lumbar Sclerosis. The mother came to the Casa using public transportation. That trips takes two hours. She asked for help so that her daughter can have a test for this disease. The family is very poor. Casa de Los Pobres will help this family with scholarship aid so the younger children can go to school. The Casa also gave Mrs. Cortez a card to come on Thursday for food (Bodega Day). Continue reading

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall enjoy everything.”

St. Francis of Assisi

We asked Sister, “What are the greatest needs?”  Sister Armida’s answer:


kids in truck-2Sick people line up at the Clinic while it is still dark and cold. At this time, our weather is especially cold and inclement. The breakfast lines are very long. People begin arriving at 6:00 AM and circle around the sidewalks outside the Casa shivering while waiting for the doors to open. The Casa is a place of refuge, spiritual solace and friendship for the many men, women, and children who come here.

The people suffer from wind and cold weather, especially at night. They huddle together to try and keep warm.  The Sisters request:

  • Blankets, tarps
  • Warm jackets, socks
  • FOOD
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Soap, towels
  • Baby, children, and men’s clothing
  • Any extra citrus or other fruit you may harvest from your yard

Continue reading

The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor

Psalm 34

Dear Friends of the Casa,  4 kids with blanket-1

THANK YOU FOR HEARING THE CRY OF THE POOR.  You made Christmas a time of JOY for our brothers and sisters in Christ who endure harsh poverty in the dumps of Tijuana. You provided:

  • 1500 bags of special food and a new blanket for 1500 families!

older faces-1In December, we received $31,808.94 from our regular donors for both monthly and Christmas help, including a $1,000 anonymous donation from the San Diego Foundation and a $5,000 gift from the M. House Family Fund at the San Diego Foundation. We received $92,418.90 (total for both Nov. and Dec.) from our special Christmas appeal letter and other donors. That amount included $31,858 from the All Hallows Church Advent collection and special letters. Continue reading

Jesus is the Face of the Poor

What is life like for the poorest of the poor in Tijuana?

“Laura R, her husband Marcial, and their four children live in a poor and distant colony. Marcial has a leg prosthesis as a result of a serious accident. In this colonia, Marcial makes bricks. Noxious black smoke and flames continually billow from the chimney of this brick “factory.” The kiln serves as Marcial’s main source of income. They do not own the land upon which they live and are at risk to be thrown out of their little shack. Marcial earns little and has no work if the bricks do not sell. This family periodically receives food, clothes, and school supplies from the Casa and are deeply grateful.”

1300 of the Poorest Families will have a Brighter Christmas Because of You

God bless you for your generous donations to help our brothers and sisters in the slums of Tijuana during this Holy Season. As of December 3, we have received:

  • $12,604.30 from our special Christmas letter appeal sent to all who contributed last year
  • $4,993 from the All Hallows special collection on November 28-29. We are grateful to Fr. Jerry O’Donnell who warmly supports the Casa.
  • Our regular monthly donors plus several others sent us $21,768.50.
  • We also received a $1,000 anonymous donation from the San Diego Foundation.

Casa Christmas CardThese donations will help to provide a special bag of groceries for 1300 of the poorest families along with the precious gift of a new blanket!

Sister has purchased the blankets.  The Casa Christmas distribution is on December 22.

Those who receive the Christmas gifts have nothing. They live in the dumps on windy hills, have no running water, and electricity is scarce. Men, women, and children suffer from malnutrition and lung diseases caused by the continual breathing of polluted burning-garbage fumes. Help us to help them!   Continue reading

“The happiness of the just man — open-handed he gives to the poor, his justice stands firm forever.”

Psalm 112

Special Appeal in Anticipation of Christmas

The Sisters pray that we collect enough money to provide a special CHRISTMAS BAG of food along with a blanket for 1300 of the most helpless families. The Sisters will attend the masses at All Hallows Church on November 28 and 29 to meet with the people.

  • Socks, Caps, Tarps, and protein-based food are especially needed to help alleviate the cold nights
boy on tracks

Child waiting for parents working in the dumps, recycling for sale, for family support. He is in the middle of railroad Tijuana (Colonia site).

These “poorest of the poor” families live at the dumps of Tijuana, just 40 miles from our warm homes. In the Franciscan Spirit, Sister Armida believes with all her heart that “God will provide.”

This year has seen turmoil around the world. We view the situation of the poor in Tijuana as continuing turmoil. With your support, and the care given by the Sisters at the Casa, many men and women are rehabilitated and able to move into the mainstream of productive society. Continue reading

13-year-old Daniela says THANK YOU!

kids-in-truckA girl named Daniela, who benefits from our small scholarship aid, is 13 and in the
6th grade.  She needs special aid in school as she cannot go at a normal pace. Her teachers say that her slow pace is probably due to family dysfunction.

Now that the family receives food and help from the Casa, Daniela shows significant improvement!  Daniela wrote a thank you letter for the aid she receives.  She also sent this story:

The Lion and the Porcupine (adapted from Aesop’s “The Lion and the Boar”)

“During the summer, as the hear provokes much more thirst, went to drink to the same river a lion and a porcupine. As they met, they started to quarrel about who should be the first to drink, and from discussion they passed on to fierce fight to death. But in some moment of rest, they saw a cloud of vultures ready to devour the one who would lose the fight. Then, recapitulating they told themselves . . . it is better that we be friends and not food for the vultures and crows. Useless fights are good only to food and entertain the spectators and curious.”

This is a wise lesson for sharing and peace, from a deprived little girl living in the slums and misery of Tijuana. Continue reading