Southwest Airlines is proud to support La Cuna!SWA

The statistics are hard to read. 5,000 children in San Diego County alone are in foster care.

Over a third of these children are between 0 and 5 years old. Half of these children are Latino.

Babies are the fastest growing group of the foster care population, yet services that address their specific needs are lagging behind. La Cuna is the only foster care program in the county serving the needs of Latino infants and toddlers.


Through La Cuna’s services, foster babies and young children are being connected with loving families committed to the process of their healing to erase the early scars of neglect and abuse, and prevent disastrous social and psychological problems.


Currently, 96% of La Cuna’s foster children are able to remain in one La Cuna home until they are either reunified with rehabilitated family members or adopted by their La Cuna foster parents.


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From supporting initiatives such as those enabling young leaders of tomorrow to attend college; to supporting advocacy efforts for social justice, the Community Affairs & Grassroots Team is making a real impact in people’s everyday lives.

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La Cuna’s mission to ensure Latino foster infants and toddlers grow up safe, happy and healthy has been expanded through a new partnership with Chicano Federation.


This past July, La Cuna’s Board of Directors, headed by San Diego attorney John Gomez, decided to integrate the unique foster program with the 41 year old non-profit organization.  Members of the La Cuna Board have joined Chicano Federation’s Board of Directors, and an advisory board is being established specifically for the La Cuna program.


Under President and CEO Arnulfo Manriquez, who took the helm this past May, Chicano Federation is entering a new era. In four months, the organization not only “adopted” La Cuna and placed its 100th baby, but also completed an internal restructuring, launched a new website, and was awarded a Head Start grant to serve 280 more children at four new facilities in Encinitas and Solana Beach starting November 1st.


Chicano Federation’s other programs include comprehensive child development programs, small business development for women, affordable housing, childhood nutrition and HIV research and education. The services reach more than 10,000 individuals a day.


“We are creating and promoting empowering opportunities for our community,” says Manriquez. “With the La Cuna program, we are finding quality homes for foster babies who have been abused or neglected. The program has a 96% success rate. That’s something to celebrate.”


Manriquez will be travelling to Washington D.C. this month with Congressman Bob Filner and the Velarde family of Chula Vista.  Gloria and Carlos Velarde will be awarded the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption Award.  This is given to people for their extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of loving homes.  The Velarde’s became La Cuna foster parents two and a half years ago and have since adopted their baby, Angel.


The Velarde’s will be recognized once again upon their return at the Chicano Federation’s annual gala on October 16th at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. “La Gran Fiesta” is a celebration of Mexico’s bicentennial featuring a special dinner menu by world-renowned Chef Martin San Roman from Rincon San Roman in Baja California and Loews Chef Patrick Ponsaty, recipient of 15 Michelin Stars.  Also, making its U.S. debut at the event is “Bicentenario Pop” a contemporary art exhibit by Elena Sacal.  The work depicts the heroes of the Mexican Independence and was currently on display at “El Palacio de Gobierno” in Mexico City.


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Lidia S. Martinez
Manager, Community Affairs & Grassroots
Southwest Airlines

 Lidia S. Martinez 2014