All over the World, Kids are Dreaming of a Brighter Future!
We thought that we had lost our dear mother, but through our grieving, we discovered that we regained “MITA.” By uniting efforts with family and friends, we’ve changed tears into achieving what she always wanted to do—TO HELP CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES IN THE PLACE WHERE SHE AND MOST OF HER FAMILY SPENT VALUABLE TIME. MITA's Foundation is the testament of her helping heart and her sharing spirit.
Every year several of the volunteers here in the USA, took their Christmas vacation to make this mission to Culebras possible. The Port of Culebras is located five hours north of Lima, the capital of Peru. Christmas 2015 made the fifth consecutive year that two of the volunteers here in the USA, took their Christmas vacation to GO and SERVE Peru by HELPING those children who would not otherwise have received a present during this very special holiday.
Through helping children in this under-developed country, we gained an unforgettable experience and accomplished an immense task. Each year, we are proud to say, the outcome has proved better than the previous year.
Our team works hand in hand with other volunteers living in Peru. The local team in Peru helps us every year by generously opening their homes to us during our stay. There are no words to explain their gratitude for what MITA’s Foundation is doing for their community.
This year, we are changing things up a bit and moving the target of our mission to Cancas, Peru, which is a costal city far to the north of the country, and nearly on the border with Ecuador. Although Cancas is a more remote destination, it's also a city close to Mancora, the city of Mita's birth. Mita herself lived in Cancas in her twenties, and it has always been a location dear to her heart. We are hopeful that our new outreach to Cancas will be beneficial for this often neglected part of the country.
Tina Peña is an Associate Professor of Spanish and a Medical Interpreter Trainer at Tulsa Community College. She is also the host of Temas en Tulsa,, a television program produced in Spanish that covers current events and topics of importance to Spanish speaking viewers.
Tina is a member of the Governor's Task force for the Advancement of Hispanic Students in Higher Education, the United Nations of Eastern Oklahoma, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the ACLU. Tina is the past Chair for the National Board of Medical Interpreters. In 2013, Tina was recognized as an “Orgullo Peruano” by Peruanos en Oklahoma and has also won the Nania 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award, and the 2007 Pinnacle Award. Tina is also a board member of the Language and Cultural Bank and the Martin Luther King Board.
In Tina's spare time she enjoys tutoring the local youth of Tulsa, Oklahoma. As President of the Mita's Foundation, Tina wants to continue, along with Cesar, the legacy of MITA in Puerto Culebras.
Nancy became treasurer of Mita's Foundation because she wanted to use her business and accounting background to help ensure that as much of the foundation's money as possible goes to help the children. Children were always so precious and important to Mita and she hoped for all children to have a good education.
Nancy met Mita in 2001 and they quickly became great friends. Nancy is thankful to be able to do what she can to help with the foundation and to honor Mita.
Nanda was born in Brazil, and relocated to Tulsa to start a family 20+ years ago. She is an artist who participates in several shows each year. She is also a teacher of Portuguese and English as a second language.
Nanda uses her artistic and organizational skills to help host many of Mita's foundation fundraising events throughout the year.
Nanda has always believed in taking action to helping others, regardless of their nationalities or race. When she was introduced to Mita's Foundation, she soon discovered that the organization's values and agenda aligned with her own. She has been an enthusiastic participant ever since.
Jennifer Jennings was born in Wichita, Kansas, but moved to Noble, Oklahoma at the age of three. She currently works at the American Red Cross and has for the past twenty years. She is a Supervisor over the Apheresis department (platelet collections). She received her associates degree in Sociology in May 2015 and will transfer to Oklahoma State University in the Fall to complete her bachelor's degree in Forensic Psychology.
During her spare time, she likes to read books, hang out with family and friends, and travel. She is a board member for the MITA's Foundation and became involved with the organization while taking Spanish courses at Tulsa Community College. She looks forward to helping the children of Peru.
Raul Peña was born in Peru and lives in Lima with his wife and two children. He is a Pastor and President of “Seminario Bíblico Alianza” in Peru. He is the first offspring of MITA. In Raul's spare time he enjoys reading and playing soccer. Raul got involved in the foundation after his brother Cesar and his niece Giannina asked him to help. The foundation needed someone trustworthy and local in Peru to assist Cesar and the team of volunteers.
He has a great love for the children in Puerto Culebras and welcomes the opportunity through The Mita's Foundation to honor MITA. Raul travels throughout Latin America teaching others to serve God by serving the underprivileged. He follows James 1:26-27 “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep one-self unstained by the world.”
The Rev. Leonard “Len” Busch, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and a longtime supporter of the immigrant community in Tulsa, passed away at the age of 63 on February 23, 2015. Pastor Busch was a supporter of MITA's Foundation from its inception.
His life and ministry was centered around the immigrant communities of Tulsa for many years, but he never forgot to give a hand to the foreigner.
“He would say, 'The Bible says to go out and preach the gospel to all nations, and look what God has done. He's brought all nations right to our doorstep,' but, his love for the foreigner did not stop here in Tulsa, he made sure MITA's children in Peru had a way to get assistance every Christmas by attending fundraising events all year round and made sure the resources gathered during the year were kept in a safe place, his church.
He was impressed by MITA and fell in love with her food and her family. He had hoped to go to Peru in 2015 to meet those children and their families. However, Lenny's legacy and wishes that the children on Peru be taken care of will continue.
Giannina is from Peru and owns “Kay Restaurant.” Giannina enjoys cooking and helping others in her community. She also enjoys music. As a board member, Giannina's role is vocal because she lives in Peru. Prior to the team making the trip to Peru each Christmas, Giannina facilitates the process of providing everything that the team will need to be successful.
She purchases all of the toys and makes sure that the volunteers are committed and know their responsibilities. Giannina is very grateful to her father, Cesar Peña, Vice-President and is humbled by his commitment not only to her Grandmother Mita, but to the under-privileged children of Peru.
Tamara Pittman Breckinridge was born in Tulsa but has an international heart and soul. In high school she loved language classes and studied Spanish, Chinese and linguistics. Later she earned a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa, which included a year at the University of Valencia in Spain delving into Spanish art, literature, language and history. Later Tamara studied Andean culture at the University of Cuenca in Ecuador, where she lived for four months. For fun Tamara has taken French, Russian, and various linguistic courses. Her first full time job was teaching English at John F. Kennedy Bilingual School in Querétaro, Mexico. And finally, Tamara obtained her M.A. in English from Oklahoma State University and went on to teach Spanish and English as a Second language in Oklahoma public schools for over 25 years. She has also taught some Spanish classes at TCC. Tamara believes that there is no higher calling than helping others, especially those who cannot help themselves. She states: “Helping other people is a gift to yourself.”
Tamara enjoys many activities including mule riding, kayaking, yoga, reading, photography, and amateur archaeology and cooking.