Like anything worthwhile, Maestro Cares Foundation (MCF) was born of the simple desire to help people in need.
In 2011, Zaidy Cárdenas, now the MCF Executive Director, was volunteering at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic that, despite its limited resources, had provided a safe, nurturing home for young girls for many years.
Despite the growing number of requests to accept boys there, the orphanage simply did not have the space or the resources to make this possible.
Zaidy wanted to help. She visited the home where orphaned boys had been staying, and found that more than 40 children were living in a two bedroom house. Zaidy knew she had to help, and started looking for reinforcements.
At that point, she enlisted the help of her father, Henry Cárdenas, the CEO and President of Cárdenas Marketing Network, Inc., who in turn reached out to international superstar and long-time friend, Marc Anthony. They visited the orphanage, and both Marc and Henry felt an immediate connection with the boys. They, too, knew they had to help.
In 2012, the Maestro Cares Foundation was born with the mission to rescue and provide resources for Latin American children living in poverty. Things moved fast—construction on Maestro Cares Foundation’s first home began later that year, and in March 2014, the Orfanato Niños de Cristo opened its doors in the Dominican Republic. That first facility is now home to 47 boys, with room to include 100.
Building on the success of that project, Maestro Cares Foundation has engaged in education initiatives in Peru, and opened new orphanages for both boys and girls in Colombia and Mexico, with projects underway in Puerto Rico and Bolivia.
We won’t be finished until every child has a home and education. This is our work, and these children are tomorrow’s leaders.