Although our sister organization Asociación Damas Salesianas provides assistance to 23 countries around the world, America Developing Smiles and its local chapters have focused their efforts in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Colombia, Mexico, the United States and Puerto Rico.
Venezuela’s 40 Asociación Damas Salesianas centers provide health care to over 5 million patients per year. The main Center, Centro Don Bosco, provides medical services to over 200,000 patients per year. Major services include general medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, ophthalmology, dental care, and lab services. The centers also provide technical training for over 3,000 people per year, and degrees in micro-enterprise management for over 500. Hundreds of previously unschooled children have been taught to read and write and have learned skills for successful future employment.
America Developing Smiles has funded the Gonzalo Zabala day-care center since 1997, which is part of the The Dolorita Complex located in the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela. This complex also includes a health care center, and the Mama Chela pre-school.
The Gonzalo Zabala center cares for 40 children between the ages of 3 months and 4 years, while their mothers are taught basics skills to sustain their families. These children receive two meals a day and are bathed daily. In 2002, thanks to the efforts of our Palm Beach Chapter, AMERICA DEVELOPING SMILES began supporting the “Mamá Chela” pre- school, which provides education to 60 children between the ages of 3 and 6.
American Developing Smiles has supported the Gustavito García Lujan Complex since 2001. Founded in 1986, the Gustavito García Lujan Complex located in El Hatillo, Venezuela, in an area called "Corralito", includes a health care and dental center, an elementary school with about 500 children, and a day-care with over 100 children. The center also provides additional specialized training to over 1,000 students per year.
In 2004, America Deveolping Smiles starts funding a twice-a-day food program at the pre-school and day-care centers in San José, Barlovento, and Maria Auxiliadora center, in Valencia, Venezuela. The San Jose center already provides basic health care and education to over 40 children ages 3 to 6. The Maria Auxiliadora center provides a special education program to about 40 children with hearing and learning disabilities.
Asociación Damas Salesianas (ADS) has four centers in Nicaragua that provides food and education to the most needy of children- three in Masaya and one in Managua-. Since the year 2000, America Developing Smiles’ fundraising work has helped support the operations of these centers.
Centro La Purisima. Located in Masaya, La Purisima offers computer and English courses, as well as cooking, and dressmaking for a nominal fee to unskilled workers of the region. Also, there is a pharmacy and a small health care center that provide services to over 3,600 patients per year and provide specialized services include pediatrics, gynecology and physical rehabilitation. Proceeds from the student’s tuition and the sale of donated clothes helps to fund some of the center’s operational needs.
Centro Escuela Laura Vicuña. Located in Masaya, Laura Vicuña provides education to more than 300 children per year from kindergarten through 10th Grade. Thanks to the AMERICA DEVELOPING SMILES contributions education in now extended to 12th grade for a fully credited high school diploma.
Centro Melania Lacayo. Located in Masaya, this center offers a remarkable special education program with daily meals to more than 70 handicapped children.
Centro ADS Managua. Located in Managua, ADS Managua offers computer technical training in computers.
In 2003 America Developing Smiles embarked on a significant fundraising partnership with “Key for Colombia”, a South Florida 501-3c non-profit organization that promotes projects and fundraising activities to support unfortunate children and families displaced by the injustices and casualties of war in Colombia. Through our combined efforts, we have helped more than 600 children at five educational centers and supported to food assistance programs in Medellin, Bogota, Cali, Pasto, and Sincelejo.
In the year 2004, AMERICA DEVELOPING SMILES supported the educational center Don Bosco, in Rio Negro, Colombia that provides basic health care and education to over 50 children ages 2 to 5 in a rural area on the outskirts of Medellin.
the year 2007, America Developing Smiles began supporting the efforts of several ADS centers in Mexico. The Maria Auxiliadora School in Queretaro, provides education and CCD courses to over 100 kids, as well as technical and adult extended education training on subjects including English language courses, arts and crafts and dress making. America Developing Smiles backed the construction of additional classroom space by adding a second floor to the facilities of the Maria Auxiliadora School. Similarly, it also assisted with the purchase of the bakery equipment for the Don Bosco Center in Puebla, which provides technical training courses in computers and bakery and offer dental care facilities. Both bakery products and dental care services are provided at minimal cost to help cover operational costs of the center.
In 2007, America Developing Smiles de Puerto Rico was registered as a non-profit organization under the Department of State in Puerto Rico and expands its mission across the Caribbean. America Developing Smiles de Puerto Rico seeks to expand the Basic, Primary and Moral and Preventive Education programs provided by Asociación Damas Salesianas’ Centers and Programs of involvement and is looking to implement supporting fundraising programs and events.
Asociación Damas Salesianas has two independent and autonomous non-profit organizations in Puerto Rico including the center Los Hijos de Don Bosco in Barrio Obrero and La Casa Don Bosco in Orocovis. In La Casa Don Bosco, ADS volunteers organize technical training courses and help oversee a successful marching band, which involves more than 60 kids and young adults. The band practices weekly and assists with local and international cultural events.
Since 2007, Los Hijos de Don Bosco has been providing after-school programs to more than 20 kids from 5 to 11 years old.
In 2007, America Developing Smiles extended its “Sponsor a Child” Sponsor a Smiles program under the name “Padrinos de Sonrisas.” More than 100 scholarships will be placed at the Maria Auxiliadora School in Barrio Obrero in Santurce. With its Puerto Rico chapter, America Developing Smiles brings hope to more than 300 kids and young adults in Puerto Rico.