Faro de Luz
A church and community center that supports vulnerable communities by giving them tools to improve their quality of life.
Meet Gersom and Amada Ayala
Gersom and Amada met when they were young and both had a passion for helping. They are now currently the founders and pastors of Faro de Luz.
Gersom is a son of missionaries and has always been involved in altruistic labors. He is a handyman/ builder/ carpenter and loves using this talent to help people in need. He helped Kathy found Casas de Luz in 2005 and designed our 16x20 model home. Gersom has huge visions for Faro de Luz and the community of El Ranchito. He wants to turn the lives of community members completely around and build a better Mexico.
Amada is originally from Vera Cruz, Mexico and grew up in a humble community. She was surrounded by extreme poverty and felt drawn to help those around her. Amada came to Tijuana with Gersom and began building houses. She loves meeting community members and getting involved with them individually to change their path. Amada loved the way a house could begin a family’s transformation, but she wanted more. Together, Gersom and Amada developed the idea for Faro de Luz to teach the community how to live with God and create a new beginning.
In 2017 someone donated a piece of land to Gersom and Amada in one of the most isolated areas in Tijuana, Mexico. This land fell in the community called “El Ranchito.” There is a huge problem with drug addiction, child and spousal abuse, illiteracy, and an overall lack of value for life. Gersom and Amada decided to begin visiting and getting to know the community before building the community center. They visited the land and handed out food and donations to begin spreading the word about their vision. Lazarian World Homes donated all of the material for the building of the community center and church, Faro de Luz. It is named Faro de Luz, meaning “lighthouse,” because the community center and church offer a source of light and hope in the lives of community members in El Ranchito.
After the initial building of part of the community center and church, Casas de Luz supported Gersom and Amada in expanding to build a kitchen, bathrooms and storage area. In just two days, the walls were lifted and Faro de Luz expanded dramatically. Since then, they have installed bathrooms, a functioning kitchen, and a storage area for Casas de Luz donations. Through donations from our re-purposing with a purpose program, we were able to fully equip the kitchen and bathrooms. A few months later, we built a second story that is currently being worked on to become dormitories for building teams and families who need a place to stay during times of hardship. This construction was again supported by builders from University City High School in October 2018.
Faro de Luz now receives around 80-120 people three times a week. Amada and Gersom provide them with food, workshops for embroidery, reading and spelling, English, values, and personal hygiene. At first, people were hesitant to come, but after seeing and interacting with the volunteers, they began to gain our trust and care. We have seen huge radical changes in a lot of the families, some of them have abandoned drugs and want to help their children move forward and grow, trusting in the support that we can provide them with the help of our sponsors.
Gersom and Amada have a vision to help the parents of many of the community children escape the harsh cycle of drug addiction, prostitution, abuse, and other toxic behaviors that have been a part of their lives for so long. They want them to take charge of the education and care of their children and help them form a life worth living. In this way, we can help reduce the number of little children who abandon their studies and homes and join gangs, drug cartels, and prostitution.
In the future, they dream of having different projects that teach applicable skills to adults and teenagers alike. For example, they want to have a woodwork shop where they can teach community members how to make furniture. By creating these self-sustainable projects, Faro de Luz no longer has to depend on Gersom and Amada’s resources, but on the community’s ability to sustain itself.
In collaboration with Koya Project, Griffin Clark has been working on bringing an Aquaponics farm to Faro de Luz. As a way of supplying the community with fresh vegetables and fish, the Aquaponics farm is a sustainable way of ensuring that members of the Faro de Luz community center have fresh food on their plates.
Additionally, the farm will provide an opportunity for community members to learn about farming and some mechanical skills. In this way, members can begin a small farm in their home and have a sustainable source of food.