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 for many years despite its limited resources, had provided a safe, nurturing home for young girls. There were a growing number of requests to accept boys there, the orphanage simply did not have the space or the resources to make this possible.
Zaidy discovered that the boys were living in a home apart from the girl’s orphanage. She wanted to first hand see what the situation was. She visited the home where orphaned boys had been staying, and found that more than 40 children were living in a three-bedroom house with scarce resources. Zaidy knew that the only way the lives of these boys would improve was to help and look 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 music icon 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 build homes and schools for disadvantaged children in Latin American. 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 50 boys, with accommodation for up to 100 boys. Building on the success of that project, Maestro Cares Foundation has engaged in educational initiatives in Peru, and opened new orphanages in Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. There are projects underway in Bolivia, Guatemala, United States and a second one in Mexico.
This is still only the beginning – we plan to continue to provide safe environments and education for orphaned and disadvantaged children in Latin America and the United States.