Message from Board Chair and Executive Director

October 2016 marked the first anniversary for the Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar. During this first full year of operations, the Board of Directors and staff worked together to lay the foundation and develop the roadmap for the future. The Board of Directors committed to focusing the Fundación’s efforts in five priority areas:

  • Healthy eating and active living
  • Emotional well-being
  • Gender equality
  • Resilient families
  • Collaboration and alliances

With these priorities as a framework, the Fundación embarked on four ambitious programs during 2016:

  • Reto por la Salud, a partnership with nine nonprofit organizations in Ciudad Juárez
  • Juárez en Acción (Juárez in Action), a partnership with the Juárez-based Futbol Club (FC) Bravos
  • Violence reduction program in partnership with FICOSEC (Fideicomiso para la Competitividad y Seguridad Cuidadana) and multiple nonprofit organizations, and
  • REALIZE executive and board leadership training for nonprofit board members and staff.

These programs resulted in contributions of more than $8 million pesos (more than $430,000 US) from partner organizations; the donation of 5,700 soccer balls to teach values through play and sports to children in vulnerable situations; and partnerships with 25 nonprofit organizations and related programs in Ciudad Juárez. These achievements move forward our mission: “to lead to improve the quality of life of the people in the region, promoting partnerships and initiatives for health and well-being.¨

Another milestone achieved in 2016 was obtaining approval from Mexican authorities to work as a registered non-profit. This authorization allows contributions received by the Fundación to be tax deductible. This was essential to guarantee the long-term sustainability of the Fundación.

All these efforts and achievements would not have been possible without the continued generous support of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and the Hunt Family Foundation. Their funding and guidance are the cornerstone of the Fundación.

Our pending goals are many. We understand the challenges to achieve our mission. We envision an organization, which in the near future, is recognized for its community engagement and sets new paradigms supported by our stakeholders, permanently influencing improved health and well-being.

Benjamín Torres – Barrón, Board Chair 2015-2016

Benjamín Torres – Barrón
Board Chair 2015-2016

Ernesto Ávila, Board Chair 2016-2017

Ernesto Ávila
Board Chair 2016-2017

Karen Yarza, Executive Director

Karen Yarza
Executive Director


Lead to improve the quality of life of the people in the region, promoting partnerships and initiatives for health and well-being.

Making an Impact

The Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar, A.C. (Fundación) is a Ciudad Juárez-based nonprofit association established in 2015 by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to improve the quality of life of children, youth and families by leading, advancing and promoting initiatives, programs and partnerships for health and well-being. The Fundación works collaboratively within the organization and with different stakeholders and sectors to ensure that its programs and initiatives are meaningful and effective and address the needs of community with particular focus in five strategic areas:

Gender Equality:

Strengthen the role of women in society, empowering girls and women by promoting gender equality.

Resilient Families:

Work with children impacted by violence, through resilience and peace-building activities.

Emotional Well-being:

Promote healthy environments that contribute to the emotional well-being of the community.

Healthy Eating and Active Living:

Promoting healthier eating habits and active living.

Networks and Partnerships:

Achieve a collective impact by working in coordination with community stakeholders and sectors.


After a little more than a year in operation, the Fundación has numerous achievements:

  • The Fundación was presented to the community at a launch event attended by more than 120 people and the local media.
  • The Fundación issued the Reto por la Salud (Challenge for Health) initiative to provide matching funds to nine Juárez nonprofit organizations. As a result of this challenge, the selected nonprofit organizations collectively raised more than $2.6 million pesos ($144,500.00 US), which allowed the Fundación to grant an additional $1.3 million pesos ($71,000.00 US) funded by the Hunt Family Foundation. This represents an investment of nearly $4 million pesos ($215,500.00 US) to support health and well-being projects in Ciudad Juárez.
  • A partnership was established with the One World Play Project, an international organization that donated 5,700 undeflatable soccer balls to teach values through play and sports to girls and boys in vulnerable situations.
  • Through a partnership agreement, FC Juárez Bravos soccer team will serve as Fundación ambassadors and participate in the “Juárez en Acción” program to improve health and quality of life in Ciudad Juárez.
  • In partnership with the Novagrass Foundation, the Human and Sports Development Workshop training was provided to more than 50 teachers and facilitators on techniques and activities to use the soccer balls provided by the One World Play Project for teaching values to children, youth leagues and community groups.
  • A partnership agreement was established with the Trust for Competitiveness and Citizen Security (FICOSEC) to launch a joint Request for Proposals for projects addressing family and juvenile violence in the southeastern part of Ciudad Juárez. A total of $4.5 million pesos ($243,200.00 US) have been designated to provide grant assistance to five different projects.
  • The Fundación provided board leadership training to more than 25 community organizations. The training was led by C.E. Marin & Associates and The Ken Blanchard Companies and funded by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.
  • The Fundación held the first Juárez en Acción community mobilization weekend. Under this initiative, the public was invited to participate by implementing projects and activities to provide community assistance, rehabilitate public areas and promote personal well-being. About 2,400 people participated in more than 40 different activities held throughout the city.
  • As ambassadors of the Juárez en Acción program, the Juárez Bravos soccer team and Fundación staff and board members helped clean and rehabilitate Revolución Park, in coordination with the Arte en el Parque (Art in the Park) nonprofit organization.

Testimonial: Improving Health through Sports
and Values Education

First and foremost, thank you for providing the great experience of the Human and Sports Development Workshop. It was very important for me to attend the workshop, as it provided me with more tools to use in the programs we run, such as ADN (Ampliando el Desarrollo de los Niños - Expanding Child Development) and the Desafío (Challenge) Youth Employability Program.

Nowadays, doing physical activity is of paramount importance to the whole community; however, not everyone has this habit. That is why I believe it is critical to help small children develop these habits so they can practice them every day out of their own initiative. Now, in addition to the health benefits, what better way to give another focus to physical activity and sports than to teach values. By teaching values through sports, children learn and incorporate them into their lifestyle.

Fortunately, I have been able to implement this methodology with youngsters from the Desafío (Challenge) program and it is amazing to see the changes they experience from the beginning to the end, and to see how they practice these values and knowledge not only in the program but also in their schools, workplace and home.

Thank you for your courtesy. I look forward to participating in the workshop again to convey the lessons learned to the children and youth of Ciudad Juárez.

Maria Jose Rosas, Fundación Pedro Zaragoza, A.C.

Testimonial: Challenge for Health

Participating in the “Challenge Fund for Health” was a positive challenge for CEIAC. It triggered the creativity and teamwork of CEIAC staff to meet the goal. It prompted us to identify and cultivate new potential donors who made contributions ranging from $100 pesos ($5.00 USD) to larger donations at events. We ultimately gained the trust of new donors who have big hearts and were willing to help us so we can continue helping others.

This is how we recognized within ourselves the inner strength and the opportunity to demonstrate that we can achieve common goals.

We heard that it was a little easier for some organizations to collect the set amount, while others found it difficult; however, these organizations did not give up until their goal was achieved. This tells us that we are all struggling and working to continue providing our services in the best possible way.

The CEIAC (Centro de Estudios para Invidentes A.C. – Center for the Blind), Juárez Team

Extending Thanks to the
Hunt Family Foundation Challenge Fund

The Fundación extends its sincere appreciation to the Hunt Family Foundation for its generous $1 million Challenge Grant to inspire matching gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations in the U.S. and Mexico to support the Fundación’s work in Ciudad Juárez. The Challenge Grant is already making a measurable difference in Ciudad Juárez through partnerships with FICOSEC and nonprofit organizations.

Financial Statements

The Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar promotes networks and partnerships that allow us to join forces and leverage available financial and in-kind resources, as well as expertise and methods that have been successfully tested and implemented in different contexts, to meet the challenges of our community in a more comprehensive manner and thus achieve a greater impact. As a result, we have received a positive response from the local and international community, our main sources of funding, as shown in the following graph. The Fundación is committed to stewardship and transparency to ensure that every investment in the Fundación and the community is effective and leads to improved health and well-being.

Finance Dashboard – All financial data as of December 31, 2016.
Fundación Paso del Norte, Ingresos/Income 2016
Fundación Paso del Norte, Egresos/Expenses 2016
Fundación Paso del Norte, Hunt Challenge Grant 2016
Fundación Paso del Norte, Reto para la Salud y Bienestar/Challange Grant (MXPeso) 2016

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders who voluntarily lead, oversee strategies and manage resources effectively for the benefit of the Ciudad Juárez community.

  • Ernesto Ávila Rodríguez Gil,
    Board Chair

    Capital Bank

  • Laura Ochoa Bermúdez,

    Empresas Ixtlán

  • Estuardo Alvelais Destarac
    Arca Continental SAB de C.V.

  • Domingo Arellano Contreras

  • Michelle Assael Arroyo
    Clínica Médica Internacional

  • Guadalupe de la Vega Arizpe
    Almacenes Distribuidores de la Frontera

  • Xóchitl Díaz Porras
    U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission

  • Luis Mario Gutiérrez Gutiérrez
    Hospital Ángeles

  • Marina Monsivais
    Barracuda Creative PR

  • Ricardo Mora Díaz
    Technology Hub

  • Benjamín Torres Barrón - Founding Chair & Immediate Past Chair
    Baker & McKenzie Abogados, S.C.

  • Humberto Valles Hernández
    Independent Consultant

  • Tracy J. Yellen
    Paso del Norte Health Foundation

  • Marco Zaragoza Fuentes
    Windstar LPG


Karen Yarza-Sieber, Executive Director

Luis Mendoza-Pérez, Deputy Director

Jesús Enrique Valenzuela-Palos,
Program Officer

Contact Information
Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar, A.C.

Ave. Paseo Triunfo de la República 3304 int 401
Col. Partido Escobedo
Cd. Juárez, Chih. 32330 México

+52 (656)257-0136
+52 (656)257-0137
(915) 400-0147

To learn more about the Fundación or to make a donation, visit