What is Nueva Vida

Hogar Nueva Vida (HNV) was founded as a group home for girls located in the South of Mérida, YucatánMéxico in 1996. Principal support and direction came from the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania.

During this time HNV provided a safe environment for young girls from difficult family situations.  The girls lived at HNV from Sunday evening to Friday evening.  They returned home for the weekend.  HNV provided housing, food, education, love and care as each girl seeks to develop her talents.

Over the past few years, we have observed a significant decline in the number of girls living at Hogar Nueva Vida. This decline has prompted the following question: What are the current needs of the community in the south of Merida?

The answer has been this: There is still a great need to assist in the education of elementary age girls in a supervised, caring environment, but the need for them to stay overnight in a residential setting has abated due to better living conditions of the families. Many families do need support in supervising, caring for and educating their girls, but they don’t want them to be away for the whole week. Thus we decided to transition from a Sunday night to Friday afternoon “hogar” to a 12:00p.m.-7:00p.m. daily “estancia”.

The number of girls expected for next school year is already double the number of the girls currently "living" at Nueva Vida. We are happy to say that of the seven girls currently living at Nueva Vida who were planning on returning for next school year, five will be able to participate in the estancia program since their families live nearby. We will continue to offer a caring, supervised environment, a nutritious lunch, showers, help with the girls’ homework, enrichment classes and the chance to develop responsibility by doing chores.

The differences are these: The program and facility will be called the “Estancia Nueva Vida”. Enrichment classes will be more frequent and structured. English and computer classes will be held more consistently, and art, music, field trips, and educational media will be added to the enrichment time as well. Also a new tutoring block will emphasize academic concepts rather than just the concrete mechanics of a given discipline often found in their homework time. We will be using the newly and beautifully painted “sleeping” rooms for tutoring and enrichment activities.

Obviously, the other major change is the daily schedule. The girls will attend public school in the morning and arrive at Nueva Vida around noon. They will do chores, eat lunch, play and have a large group activity centered around values and community building. This will be followed by a four period rotation consisting of homework completion, tutoring of concepts, showers/reading time, and enrichment classes. By the time this is all finished for the day, it will be 7:00 PM when family members will arrive to take their girls home, and everyone will get a good night’s rest to repeat the process again the next day!

You can follow these links to find out more about The Diocese of Erie Pennsylvania’s Misión de Amistad;   including Nueva Vida, and their other programs here in the Yucatan.

Please contact me if you would like further information. 

Patricia Pipkin pjpipkin@mac.com

Director of Nueva Vida, Coordinator of the Mission of Friendship