The El Niño Rey (The Child King) is a Mexican Scholarship and Dental Mission. El Niño Rey originated as one man’s pastoral commitment of mercy and justice to provide educational funding and materials to needy children in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Fr. Matthew Foley, a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, served as the pastor of Santiago Apostol in Quechultenango, a small town in Guerrero for six years and performed mission work for over thirty remote villages located in the Southern Sierra Madre Mountains. It became clear to him in his travels that there was a serious need to foster and somehow offer financial help for education to these impoverished children. Fr. Matt sent appeal letters back home to family and friends who responded with money to start the El Nino Rey scholarship program. Since its inception in 1995, the El Nino Rey scholarship program has aided over 900 students. The scholarship funds provide for tuition, school supplies, uniforms, books, transportation, and special fees which are needed for the parents to be able to send and keep children in school.
In 2000, Fr. Matt returned to Chicago where he was assigned to St. Norbert Parish. Dentists from the St. Norbert Parish heard his stories of the poverty in Guerrero and in 2001 decided to organize a mobile dental mission to the isolated villages of Quechultenango, Xochitepec, and Talixtlahuaca.
Today, Dental Mission trips continue to take place that provide professional care to over 1000 patients each year in more than 20 mountainous and isolated villages. Medical supplies and sophisticated dental equipment are donated from pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies or are funded by El Niño Rey annual appeals. 100% of the patient services are provided by volunteers on each trip.
In 2005, St. Norbert Parish Women’s Council started a clothing donation with the Esperanza (Hope) program. The Women’s Guilds of the parish collect clothing for the children in Guerrero. Large shipments are sent to these very grateful villagers two times a year.
The El Niño Rey Mission:
- To save the children of Guerrero, Mexico from deprivation.
- To break the cycle of poverty through education.
- To foster and promote among the children and their families improved health through the administration of medical and dental services.
- To create a faith-filled group of young leaders who will in turn share their gifts and educational blessings with their communities.
To Volunteer for a Dental Mission
El Niño Rey relies on our volunteers to make possible the annual mission trips to provide dental and educational services to the people of Guerrero, Mexico. They welcome your interest!
If you are interested in volunteering, please visit the El Niño Rey website (www.elninorey.org) and review the guidelines for Dental Mission Volunteers. If you comply with the guideline and are interested in supporting future trips financially or as a volunteer, contact El Niño Rey by:
- Email: please click here or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Telephone; please call 847-272-7090.
- By mail: please write to:
El Niño Rey
c/o St. Norbert Parish
1809 Walters Avenue
Northbrook, IL 60062
To provide support for El Niño Rey
El Niño Rey depends primarily on its volunteers and the financial support of its generous and supportive donors, and some foundations.
If you wish to provide financial assistance, purchase items from the El Niño Rey ‘wish list” or underwrite medical equipment, visit the El Niño Rey Website (www.elninorey.org).
If you wish to contribute to the St. Norbert Parish Women’s Council Esperanza clothing drive for the children of Guerrero, watch for collection announcements in the Church Bulletin and/or the weekly Parish Office Newsletter.
To stay connected with El Niño Rey
Visit the El Niño Rey Website (www.elninorey.org) and obtain a copy their current newsletter. These publications are filled with reflections from recent mission trip, news about the community as well as happenings across the El Niño Rey organization.
You can also connect of El Niño Rey on Facebook.