Deus caritas est, inclina aurem cordis tui - God is love, incline the ear of thy heart.


Hispanic Children and Families Fund
also known as Humanitarian Universal Connexions Inc.


About Us

Who we are

 Humanitarian Universal Connexions Inc. (HUCO), is a U.S.-based 501 (c) (3) tax exempt charitable organization approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2000.  HUCO, a Florida corporation, is registered to do business as (dba) the Hispanic Children and Families Fund.  HUCO is also registered as a charitable organization pursuant to Chapter 496, Florida Statutes (F.S.), Solicitation of Funds and Chapter 5J-7, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), Solicitation of Contributions.

We are recognized as a member by the Independent Charities of America with their Best Charities Seal of Approval and also by the Hispanic United Fund. 

Our organization is operated by a non-salaried voluntary board of directors and volunteer staff from the Tallahassee and the Boca Raton areas.  Our Board of Directors team is comprised of individuals with work experience in both private and government sectors.  Our Directors are deeply committed to the work and mission of the organization. All of them have given significant support in terms of financial and/or personal time contributions.

Our administrative and operating expenses are minimal.  Our Annual Audits will show you how we have used our financial contributions to support our programs.

Our Mission

To relieve human suffering and abject poverty.  We provide and support programs that promote education, health, nutrition, microenterprise, economic and human service development, peace, and a sustainable environment for developing countries.  We accomplish this objective by supporting existing charitable-based human service programs administered by creditable and well-established in-country charitable organizations. These organizations have demonstrated commitment and fiscal responsibility to those individuals they serve.  We unite our efforts with those local in-country sister organizations by making use of their potential and strength in their communities to deliver our support and assistance in a cost effective way.

Our History

Inspired by the sensible charitable generosity and strong civil commitment spirit of the American people and following God’s call in their heart, in 1998 a group of Latin American individuals living in Tallahassee, united to create an international way to help address the poverty crisis that plagues their beloved countries of origin. As a result of their efforts, the Humanitarian Universal Connexions (HUCO) was created in 1999 as a vehicle to pursue this dream.  Their helping hands have been stretched to assist worthy programs in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

Our Goals

Our goals are to improve the health, economic, educational and social conditions of the men, women and children we serve. Our objective is to touch as many people with compassionate hearts as we can possibly reach, and unite their charitable hands to support our social programs for indigent children and families in a Latin America country. We want to show them that they are not alone in this world and that God always loves them, and He manifests through the helping hands of caring people across the world. 

Our program assistance includes but it is not limited to the following direct and indirect connexions:

Direct Connexions:

  • Sponsoring low income elementary and middle school children with education, school supplies and board.
  • Providing scholarship assistance to graduating low income/indigent high school students with a high grade point average in order to pursue higher education.
  • Sponsoring youth educational and recreational programs in the communities we serve.
  • Sponsoring individual families to gain economic independence through small business micro loans.
  • Providing funds to low income/indigent families and individuals to cover emergency medical expenses.
  • Providing funds to to indigent elderly and to families for food and board.
  • Obtaining medical supplies and equipment from international humanitarian organizations (donors) for distribution through our in-country partners to hospitals and health centers that serve indigent populations.
  • Assisting environmental projects that support social and educational programs in a selected area. Obtaining and transferring environmental and agricultural technological assistance and expertise.

Indirect Connexions:

  • Establishing connexions between international humanitarian organizations (donors) who are willing to participate with local in-country charitable organizations in Latin American countries (recipients) that have the greatest needs for their services.

Our Board of Directors

Our organization is governed by an all-volunteer board of directors who receive no compensation for their services.

Executive Board Members

Ligia Mora-Applegate (Co-Founder), President
Plastics Engineer/Environmental Consultant
HUCO Director of Overseas Medical Missions

Claudia M. Amador, Vice President
Chemical Engineer
HUCO Director Solidarity Parties Outreach

Magda G. Jensen, Treasurer
Administrative Business Manager
HUCO Director of Finances

Marivel Craighton
HUCO Assistant Treasurer

Teresa M. Heron (Co-Founder), Secretary
Chemical/Environmental Engineer
HUCO Director all Programs

Eugenia Mora-Ash (Co-Founder), Director
Economist/Public & Marketing Relations Consultant
HUCO Director of Communication and Programs Liaison

Honorary Board Members

David Kahn, MD
Veteran Hospital

Elizabeth Heron, MS
Director, St Leo University - North Charleston

Jeff Fredrick, MS -CPO
Rehabilitation Engineering, LLC

Craig Ash, Environmental Consultant
Ash International, LLC

Board Assistants

Elizabeth Bartlett, Chemical Engineer
HUCO Webmaster

Maria Consuelo Lagos, Quality Analyst Specialist
ACS Health Adminstration, Inc
HUCO Leader Outreach Programs for Children Issues 

Our Fundraising Efforts

Our fundraising activities started with an informal gathering to collect money by selling “arroz con pollo” solidarity dinners in volunteer houses.  Subsequently, our fundraising evolved to include various local fundraising activities.

We have participated in local fundraising events in the community, such as the Annual Latin Spanish Festival and the Gallery 621 auction.

We participate locally in Tallahassee, Florida in a community fundraising event called Alternative Christmas Market, sponsored by John Wesley Methodist Church and Christ Presbyterian Church during the first and second weekends of December .

We are participating in fundraising at the national level through the Combined Employees Federal Campaign and at the State level through the Florida State Employees Charitable Campaign.

We launched a new world-wide initiative, Host a Solidarity Dinner Party, to unite natives and friends of our Latin American countries through our Solidarity Dinner Nights (SOLDIN) to enjoy a dinner party with the common goals of raising funds for an economically disadvantaged family in a country we serve.

Our Partnerships

Our organization has partnered with several Tallahassee-based charitable organizations to send medical supplies or services to overseas charitable organizations.  We have worked with COSHARE (Collection of Surgical, Health and Rehabilitation Equipment) to send several shipments of medical and hospital supplies through the USAAID Denton Program to Colombia and the Dominican Republic; with the PORCH Of SOLOMON and COSHARE to send hospital supplies to Guatemala; and also with ADOPT-A-VILLAGE to organize medical missions from Tallahassee to refugee camps and provide medical and orthopedic services to a variety of people within the indigent population in Barranquilla, Colombia.

We have worked with the following overseas charitable organizations:

Colombia:

  • Ministros de los Enfermos/Religiosos de San Camilo - Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Asilo de San Antonio, Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Asilo Granja San José, Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Fundación Conciencia Social, Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Escuelita San Judas Tadeo de la Iglesia Torcoroma, Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Hijas de los Sagrados Corazones, Agua de Dios, Colombia (since 2010)
  • Fundación Biblioburro

Dominican Republic:

  • Asilo Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Higüey, Dominican Republic

Ecuador:

  • Fundación Jardín El Cajas, Cuenca, Ecuador

El Salvador:

  • Organización Femenina, San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Fundación Hermano Pedro, San Salvador, El Salvador

These in-country charitable organizations serve the economically disadvantaged population with a variety of different programs.

Our Overseas Missions

Barranquilla, Colombia

Our organization conducted several medical missions to the city of Barranquilla (Colombia) in 2002-2005. These missions have been accomplished by health professionals and caring volunteers from the Tallahassee (Florida), Orlando (Florida), and Thomasville (Georgia) areas.  This medical team focused on general medical care in the refugee camps and in providing rehabilitation services, prostheses and orthotics devices to handicapped individuals in the region. 

Medical Team

Jeffrey Fredrick, Rehabilitation Engineer Terri Martin, Physician Assistant
Greg Fox, Physical Therapist Deborah Plascia, Rehabilitation Engineer
Mike Hanna, Rehabilitation Engineer Dr Thomas Payne, M.D., Orthopedic Doctor
Catherine Knickenberger, Pediatric Nurse Deborah Swenney, Rehabilitation Engineer
Dra Liza Kohler-Jerningan, M.D., Family Doctor Dr Armando Zillioli, M.D., Orthopedic Doctor

You can see pictures of these missions and the delivery of the medical supply cargo in the Gallery of Photos section.  Also, you can read related articles written about these missions at:

This year (2013) we are in contact with an orthopedic and rehabilitation group, The Foot Foundation (www.footfoundation.org), making plans for a mission to Barranquilla in 2013-14.

Agua de Dios, Colombia

Volunteers travelled to this town in 2010 to meet with other volunteers in Colombia to organize and deliver a variety of supplies for the Annual Award and Solidarity Party to benefit the children and elders in that region.

Higüey, Dominican Republic

Our organization conducted one social service mission to the town of Higüey, Dominican Republic (year 2000) . The social service mission in Higüey focused on giving a compassionate loving embrace, medical supplies and clothing to the indigent elderly in a local nursing home. 

Team Members

Ana Peña-Borhmann  Tony Hepburn
Rachel Ray Kim Marie Bouza

All of our volunteers strive to establish humanitarian bridges with the local people.  You can see pictures of these missions in the Gallery of Photos section. 

Contact Us
©2010-2016 Humanitarian Universal Connexions d.b.a. Hispanic Children and Families Fund, P.O. Box 16584 Tallahassee, Florida 32317-6584
A 501 (c) (3) Non Profit Organization EIN 59-3622051; STATE OF FLORIDA REGISTRATION No. SC-10694