Harold and Jodi Bauman founded Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots in 1996. The couple first came to Oaxaca on vacation in 1984, and although they were enchanted by the city's charms, they were deeply troubled by the many young children they saw selling trinkets in the streets and parks during the day and late into the night. Initially they began to help one family of Triquis (a Oaxacan Indigenous group) enroll their children in school. Each year they expanded their efforts and spent more and more time in Oaxaca, eventually moving there. By 1996, with the help of friends, Jodi and Harold were supporting approximately seventy children in attending school. They soon realized that they could help even more children if they formalized their initiative; with the help of others, they chartered Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots creating the child-sponsorship program. 

A few years after Harold passed away Jodi remarried to Carl Risner. Carl quickly grew to love Oaxaca and its children and he put extraordinary effort in the support of our Oaxacan center and the children served there.  Importantly, Jodi and Carl's efforts led to the purchase and renovation of building where you see our center today in Oaxaca.

Jodi, Harold, and Carl are sorely missed but their legacy grows. As did Jodi, Harrold, and Carl, we believe that:

                                                              "You change the world when you educate a child!

For a detailed early history of our organization please click HERE