Father Gabriel Mejia, a man filled with love—and the unbounded energy and creativity to change lives—opened the first “Center de Hogares Claret” in 1984 in Medellín, Colombia. His center was a sanctuary for children to come for a good meal and a safe place to sleep.
Then, a few years later, during a visit to the United States, Father Mejia learned the Transcendental Meditation technique. He knew immediately that he had found a valuable tool to help his children overcome the traumatic stress they suffered from living on the streets, and to enable them to live fuller lives.
As the power of the drug cartels waned, and word of his successful program for helping abandoned children grew, the number of orphan shelters under Father Mejia’s care increased. Now, in 2011, his Fundacion Hogares Claret, has 52 centers for abandoned children and young offenders spread across Colombia and throughout Latin America.
The Centers serve more than 3,500 children at a time. Through the years Father Mejia’s centers have helped tens of thousands of children to find a way to live productive, healthy and happy lives.
The David Lynch Foundation’s video production team (DLF.TV) traveled through the streets of Medellín and visited several of Father Gabriel’s centers to document this remarkable story.
To date, the David Lynch Foundation has provided funding for more than 150,000 underserved, at-risk young people to learn the TM technique around the world, including tens of thousands in Latin America. The Foundation’s goal is to make the TM technique available to every school and student.
(The full-length documentary premiered in the United States last year. If you are interested in hosting a screening of this truly inspiring film please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)