This post is also available in: SpanishThere is no greater moment than when people come together for love. Yesterday, Wednesday April 2nd 2014, the Maestro Cares Foundation brought the magical Orfanato Niños de Cristo orphanage in La Romana into the international spotlight. Bringing together not only Marc Anthony, vicepresident of the Dominican Republic Margarita Cedeño de Fernandez, president of the Dominican senate Reinaldo Pared Pérez, Lian Fanjul de Azqueta, Eduardo Martinez-Lima, Romeo Santos and Manolo Cardona, but also the entire Dominican Republic who, via Facebook, Twitter, TV and radio rejoiced in this very special moment. It was the moment that “Mommy Sonia”, Sonia Hane, founder of the Orfanato Ninos y Ninas de Cristo lived a dream come true. It was the moment that 100 boys got a new home. The celebration started as the invitees flooded into the new boys home of the Orfanato Niños y Niñas de Cristo built by the Maestro Cares Foundation with the support of dozens of other local sponsors. Among the guests were numerous friendly, loving faces of the Casa de Campo community, among them Orietta Citati, whose labor of love with the Orfanato Niños y Niñas de Cristo began back in 1995 when it was first opened. Embracing, laughing and joking with the boys, it was clear that for the members of our community, there was nothing more important than the happiness beaming on the boys faces. Over the next hour or so, as more and more guests began to arrive, we had the opportunity to get to know the new facility: a fully integrated campus with dormitories, dining facilities, baseball and soccer fields, a playground and health clinic. A place which will foster a bright and happy future for these little boys. Also showing their support for the project was Lian Fanjul de Azqueta and Lyanne Azqueta, president and founder, and executive director of the Fundación MIR, respectively, whose 3 schools in La Romana educate more than 1500 bright young minds, among them a number of the boys of the Orfanato Niños de Cristo.
Sixto & Judy Inchaustegui, Philip Silvestri, Eduardo Lima & Manolo CardonaAlso in attendance was Eduardo Martinez-Lima representing the Central Romana Corporation who donated the land on which now stands the new boys home of the Orfanato Niños de Cristo. As well as Colombian actor Manolo Cardona, famous for the soap opera “El Cartel de los Sapos”, joined by Sixto Inchaustegui and his wife Judy Dorrejo. A little later, vicepresident of the Dominican Republic Margarita Cedeño de Fernández arrived, and although obviously surrounded by her security staff and press, she took the time to not only meet and greet everyone in the gathered crowd, but also went out of her way to meet the children themselves who were waiting patiently on the bleachers of their new baseball field.
Vicepresident of the Dominican Republic, Margarita Cedeño de FernandezAnd then the main activity started, as Marc Anthony, alongside business guru Henry Cardenas made his grand entrance… and was greeted by a rendition of Marc Anthony’s most recent hit “Vivir mi vida”, performed by the boys, dancing in their red Maestro Cares t-shirts. The emotion of the moment brought tears of joys to Marc Anthony’s eyes.
“2 years ago, we had the opportunity to visit the orphanage and it changed my life, because I saw the need, and I knew I had to do something. In that instant I committed myself completely and today we are here… it’s a day I will never forget.”The proceedings were led by the humorous A.J. Calloway, an American TV personality, who welcomed Henry Cardenas, Marc Anthony and Sonia Hame to the podium. Among gushing and heartfelt words of thanks and joy, came some of the most beautiful moments of all; the words and stories of the boys of the Orfanato, including young Marcoswho in hesitant, yet impressive English greeted the crowd and revealed his dream to become a lawyer. “Thank you to all of you for sharing this triumph, this joy, this dream come true for the children.”
— Marc Anthony
— Sonia Hane, founder of the Orfanato Niños de CristoBefore continuing with the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, the president of the Dominican senate Reinaldo Pared Pérez, presented Marc Anthony with a plaque in recognition of his impressive musical achievements, and the Maestro Cares foundation announced and signed plans to build another orphanage in Colombia. The ribbon-cutting ceremony then took place on the boy’s new baseball field, where Marc Anthony, vicepresident Margarita Cedeño de Fernandez, Sonia Hane and Henry Cadenas were joined by all the boys of the orphanage. Then came the final surprise of the day came with the arrival of Romeo Santos, a famous Dominican bachata singer and friend of Marc Anthony, who joined Marc on a tour of the new facility. Later that same evening the celebrations continued at a private Casa de Campo villa, where Marc Anthony hosted friends, Casa de Campo villa owners and visitors from overseas.
Celebrating a great achievement, Sixto Inchaustegui with Marc AnthonyThe following collection of photos were taken during the opening ceremony of the boys school of the Orfanato Niños de Cristo, a project put together by the Maestro Cares Foundation.
The Maestro Cares Foundation The Maestro Cares Foundation (MCF) was founded by international pop superstar Marc Anthony and entrepreneur Henry Cárdenas in January 2012 as a non-profit organization established to benefit homeless and neglected children in developing Latin American countries. Maestro Cares seeks to offer assistance to these children while supporting social services and other development programs. Soon after it was founded, the Orfanato Niños de Cristo in La Romana was chosen as the first beneficiary of the cause. “Maestro Cares improves the quality of life for orphaned children throughout Latin America. We work to achieve our mission by providing housing, classrooms, health clinics, dining and recreational facilities.” — Marc Anthony