Ciudad de los Niños
The mission of Ciudad de los Niños (Spanish for “City of the Children”) is to provide a safe, secure, healthy and nurturing environment for children who have been abandoned and do not have food, shelter, or enough clothing to survive within their community. In addition, it is our mission to provide educational and training opportunities, which will afford these children a chance to become independent and productive citizens, who will eventually give back and support other children in need in the future.
Our primary service is to build and operate a high quality orphanage for abandoned children, which provides them with food, shelter, safety, security, education, vocational skills, high values, spirituality, and the means to be able to become productive and contributing citizens in their respective community. In addition, support is provided to existing orphanages in need, and/or to build homes for families who need assistance with keeping their children in their natural home setting.
When John Shinsky was eight years old, his father died of a heart attack. Shortly after that, his overwhelmed mother placed him in the Parmadale Orphanage near Cleveland, Ohio. He lived there for the next three years, until Bob and Martina Weiss became his foster parents. After earning a football scholarship to Michigan State in 1969, John made a promise to himself that one day he would open an orphanage. He wanted to give others the opportunities that Parmadale gave to him.
About 10 years ago, John visited an orphanage in Matamoros, Mexico. He subsequently purchased adjacent property, recruited volunteers and raised funds to build nine additional buildings. In 2005, a Mexican businessman, Mr. Ramiro Gonzalez Garza, offered to donate 17 acres in Matamoros to John so that he could build and operate an additional orphanage. As a result, John and his wife, Cindy, founded Ciudad de los Niños de Matamoros. This allowed him to realize his dream of helping orphans in need.
In 2009, John and Cindy Shinsky partnered with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos International (NPHI) and its American fundraising arm, NPH USA, to open and operate Ciudad de los Niños. The partnership, based on an initial three-year agreement, is expected to evolve into a permanent relationship and allows the organizations to combine their unique resources and strengths for the shared mission of transforming the lives of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children.
Because of John’s dream and commitment, and the support of NPHI and NPH USA, many abandoned, abused, and neglected children are going to be blessed with a safe and supportive home as well as educational, vocational, and spiritual opportunities.
• John Shinsky Wins Humanitarian Award