Carasucias: The shining dream of Mónica Carranza, inspired by poverty
Get to know the heartbreaking story of life and struggle of Mónica Carranza, founder of the orphanage “Los Carasucias” (The Dirty Faces, in Spanish).
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“One thing is to talk about hunger and a very different one is to BE hungry.”
Whoever had the pleasure to meet Mónica Carranza can assure that she was a person that poured love out on everything she touched. She offered her life to children and families in poverty.
This is the unbelievable story of the “Mother of Los Carasucias,” a natural born fighter who was beaten with many blows and gave love back.
Biography of Mónica Carranza
Mónica Carranza was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by the name of Azucena. Nonetheless, since her nickname was Monita, she ended up being known as Mónica.
When she was 10, her father passed away, she had no contact with her mother, and from one moment to the next she and her 8 siblings were taken to different orphanages. Mónica escaped and started her life on the streets.
In her childjood, she underwent all kinds of cruelties until she met someone who changed her life. “This magical person even taught me to write and read, since I never went to school,” said Mónica.
As time went by, she married, had one child, and settled in Mataderos, Buenos Aires.
After her intensive work assisting children, single mothers and the elderly in extreme poverty, with a brave effort she brought “Los Carasucias” to life.
On the 28th of December 2009, Mónica Carranza died of cancer at the age of 63.
Story of the “Los Carasucias” foundation
As Mónica told in an interview, the birth of Los Carasucias was unplanned. Her husband worked at night, her son studied and she sat alone at home, where she had the chance to see many hungry children.
“We cannot pretend that children are animals and get used to seeing them sleeping on the streets,” she said.
Firstly, she started making sandwiches for some children that asked for something to eat and then she ended up cooking for them every day.
Everything started in her kitchen, where she fed many children of the neighborhood and after that she started to feed them in the nearest square. At that time, 700 children received their meal at Mónica’s.
Since the amount of children and families kept on growing, Mónica started to dream of renting a storehouse. “Thanks God I could put a mortgage on my house and get this place for feeding the children,” she said about the new project.
There she fed more than 2,500 families and 1,500 malnourished children, with HIV, tuberculosis, diabetes and other diseases.
In the year 2001, the famous Argentinean musician León Gieco celebrated his birthday and gave a concert at the Los Carasucias Foundation.
On the year 2007, the Argentinean president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner visited the foundation, which had been recently enlarged.
One year after that, the Comisión de la Mujer de la Legislatura de Buenos Aires (Women Department of the Legislative Power in Buenos Aires) gave her recognition for being a woman “not stuck to any role model and who fought against stereotypes of the female genre.”
Currently, Los Carasucias is a foundation and an orphanage for children, single mothers and the elderly. It also provides their meal to more than 500 families.
Where does the name Carasucias come from?
As Mónica said, “One day I sent the children to wash their faces and hands. Then I saw the towels tingled with mud and I thought how many black towels you must have needed, Carasucias.”
Los Carasucias today
Roberto Zuccarino, the son of Mónica Carnaza, is a professional tango dancer. His memory of his mother is “I grew up with a person whose life was an example, her moto was love.”
Before Mónica passed away, she asked his son to keep her Project alive. She always said, “Los Carasucias must have everything, their soul must also be fed.”
Nowadays, the orphanage keeps on working and it has a great team of professionals and volunteers who make it possible to take care of many children, the elderly, single mothers and families.
“The children are between 1 and 18 years old, they live in contexts of poverty, they carry stories of violence and abuse, and they generally have absent parents. They are fragile and have suffered too much,”explains Mariano Robles, volunteer at Los Carasucias.
The activities carried out in the orphanage include:
- afterschool support
- psycological and medical care
- orphanage for children, single mothers and the elderly
- gynecological medical care and pregnancy monitoring
- food for families
- free access to medicine
- access to clothing, food and essential ítems.
Los Carasucias and the SanaSana Foundation
Los Carasucias was the first Project in which the SanaSana foundation took part. It is an organization devoted to donating Web Platforms to all orphanages and institutions in Latinamerica that want to participate.
The new Web page of Los Carasucias http://www.loscarasucias.org.ar was the outcome of months of teamwork of professionals with the main goal in mind of providing a practical and functional Web Site and a better global visibility for orphanages, with an impact on the growth of donations and the means by which this is
How to help the Carasucias Foundation
Even though the Orphanage Los Carasucias keeps on working, donations of all kind are always needed.
“Kids at Foundation, in addition to going to school, play sports and dance, have tutoring, psychological, medical and dental care too, so we need everyone’s help so that together we can accompany children in their growth,” said Constanza Wullich , Institutional Head of the Carasucias .
You can help keep alive the legacy of Mónica Carranza in many ways:
Donate food and clothing
You can donate food, toys, clothing, school supplies and equipment to help the families in need at the orphanage Los Carasucias.
You can send your donations to: Lisandro de la Torre 1948, CP 1440, Mataderos, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
You can coordinate your donations by calling to this number: +54 011 4686-2727 or sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsor a child
You can sponsor a child and help him grow healthily and happily. You only need to fill this form.
You can donate money by transferring it to the following bank accounts:
Banco Santander Río
Account number: 026 26360/3, Branch: 026
If you are not in Argentina, you can also donate via Paypal. Visit the Web page http://www.loscarasucias.org.ar to find more information.
Help the Los Carasucias Foundation with your donations and share the touching story. Make your contribution so that the soul of Mónica Carranza keeps alive.
“I idolize children. I idolize them with all my being. A child for me is hope, is the path, is something marvelous, is tomorrow.”
Lisandro de la Torre 1948, CP 1440, Mataderos, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Te.: +54 011 4686-2727
Sources: Perfil, La Nación, Con-versiones, Heroinas.blogspot, 24con, Donar Online, Idealist, Ámbito, Página 12.
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