It is with a profound sense of gratitude that I write you today. In the past five years, you have seen me arrive and enter into the administration of Project Mexico, taking on the leadership position as Executive Director in 2010. As I said then, my motivation was purely to help take care of the place that helped me form into the adult I am today. Being a part of this ministry for the past 14 years has changed my life permanently, especially the past five years in a leadership role. Throughout the growth, progress, and refining of the programs of Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage, you all have been there by our sides with your prayers and your never-ending sense of generosity.
The time has indeed come for me to pass the torch of leadership for this ministry. I am very grateful for every second that I have spent here in service for the betterment of the poor of Mexico. Project Mexico has reached a place in its history where the skills required to take it into the next era are beyond what I can offer. I recognized this over a year and a half ago and set out to search for my replacement. I am so grateful that God, in His infinite wisdom, has found someone who is fully capable and ready to do this job. Effective January 1, 2014, Ben De La Riva will assume the role as Executive Director of Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage. He is someone that has the skills, abilities, and openness of heart to take on the Executive Directorship of this ministry and help it succeed for many years in the future. He has my full confidence and endorsement. I have known him for a number of years and know that God has been working in his life to bring him to us at this juncture.
As for me, my plans are to stay in San Diego and enter back into the scientific community. My family and I are set on maintaining ties with all of the wonderful people we have come to know and love in Mexico, Southern California, and throughout the country as a result of our work here. It will be difficult for me to stay away from the boys and the work being done on daily basis for the poor and orphaned… So, if you come and visit, there is a good chance that you will see me down at the orphanage, hanging with our boys and staff just reaping some of the fruits of our labors over the past five years. May God richly bless all of you for being with us and may He give you strength to continue standing with us as Ben takes on the leadership role. It is my pleasure to introduce him to you…
A Message from Ben De La Riva, Incoming Executive Director
To Our Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage Family,
I am both humbled and excited to introduce myself to you as the new Executive Director of an organization that, for over 25 years, has changed the lives of so many in such a meaningful and profound way. It brings me great joy to now be working alongside my wife, Soula De La Riva, and so many other wonderfully dedicated staff. After only three weeks on the job, the passion and purpose that permeates this ministry is truly unmistakable; it’s also contagious. It is clear that that a significant portion of my time will be singing the praises of those who do so much and ask for so little in return. With each day that passes, I learn more about a legacy founded in Christ’s love, enriched through human compassion, and fortified by Orthodoxy.
I would like to express my heartfelt respect and gratitude to Geoffrey Bray for leading Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage for nearly five years. Your personal sacrifice and selfless dedication to this ministry has been nothing less than exemplary. As you, Deanna, and Edmund move on to new endeavors, remember that this will always be your home and we your family.
I would also like to personally thank each and every one of you who have proven, time and time again, your generosity and commitment to carrying the burdens of others through the selfless act of giving. Your part in facilitating our ability to build homes for the poor, offer a home for orphaned boys, and provide our youth the opportunity to perform works of mercy cannot be over stressed. I look forward to getting to know you, our supporters, as we work together for the benefit of the poor and orphaned of Mexico for years to come.
With heartfelt thanks and appreciation from all of us at