The Casa Franciscana Mission in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico dates back to 1968, when the Mexican Obregon Diocese asked the Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara, CA, USA to provide pastoral care to the English-speaking community in San Carlos, Mexico. The friars agreed to minister this care to the San Carlos community under the condition that they could also serve the poor in the neighboring city of Guaymas, Mexico. The Mission remains a legal entity of the Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara in the United States.
The Mission’s current programs address the many needs of the marginalized population of Guaymas through its free medical/dental clinic, Mesón de Jesus (dining room for poor adults), Mesón de Niῆos (dining room for children), food packages for the home-bound, migrant shelter support, vocational training programs that include a women’s arts, crafts and jewelry making co-op and culinary arts training program. In collaboration with Shriners Hospitals, children with orthopedic and burn issues are transported to clinics in Phoenix. Our services are open to all, but we primarily serve four of the poorest Guaymas neighborhoods, a population of approximately 10,000 in a city with approximately 110,000 people.
The Casa Franciscana Mission has a history of creating important programs that evolve into standalone community institutions. Examples of these programs are the Hogar de Paz (an orphanage); Jerry’s Club (a safe after-school recreational program for children 12 years of age and under); Belles Artes (a music academy for youth). They are all self-sustaining with the assistance of Mexican governance boards and the Guaymas community.
Summary of services provided in 2018:
Serve 51,830 meals to adult poor
Deliver 5,146 food boxes to the disabled and elderly
Provide 5,867 meals, take home food and educational support to young children
Facilitate 3,519 medical/dental services
Distribute 635 pairs of children’s shoes
Shelter 125 people
Provide assistance to 829 migrants
Offer two workforce development programs (culinary school and women’s jewelry making)
The Casa Franciscana Outreach (CFO), formally established in 1988 and based in Scottsdale, AZ, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization also under the Franciscan Province of Saint Barbara. The principal purpose of the CFO is to raise funds and awareness for the Mission in Guaymas, Mexico. The CFO provides approximately $300,000 in funding annually for the important work of the Mission. This work is completed through the work of an all-volunteer board supported by a part-time paid accountant.
The Casa Franciscans Mission is also an Asociacion Civil (A.C.) in Mexico which is the equivalent of a 501(c)3 in the United States and maintains a separate board in Guaymas to meet that country’s requirements. The two boards meet annually and function collaboratively.