CASA: The Center for Adolescents of San Miguel de Allende, was co-founded by Nadine Goodman, a native New Yorker who traveled to Mexico to study Spanish upon receiving her Masters in Public Health and Social Work from Columbia University. While studying Spanish in Mexico, Nadine met and married her husband Alejandro Gonzalez, an artist and architect born and raised in San Miguel de Allende. Nadine and Alejandro established CASA in 1981.
Nadine Goodman-Gonzalez, is a Clinton Global Initiative member and a recipient of the 2006 Population Leadership Award by Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth). In 2000, Nadine was elected to Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work’s Hall of Fame. Nadine lives with her family in San Miguel de Allende.
THE CASA TIMELINE
- 1981: CASA is founded to provide alternatives to combat high rates of teen pregnancy. The peer outreach program educates over 1200 young women, who conduct over 1.5 million home visits and distribute free birth control on demand.
- 1985: CASA Childhood Development Center opens with on-site childcare for employees and soon expands to include community children. Over 1800 children (50% from single mothers) have been enrolled in this government-accredited program, annually serving 200 families.
- Since 1994: Over 10,000 babies are born at CASA Maternity Hospital and Family Clinic, which is still the only facility in Mexico staffed by interdisciplinary team of midwives and doctors. This clinical training site for students has superior success rates for prenatal and maternal care proven by reduced infant and maternal mortality rates, fewer cesarean sections and improved birth weights.
- 1996: CASA opens the first government-accredited Midwifery School; graduates are licensed professionals who return to needy communities to practice, often providing the only health care for remote areas. Curriculum is a mix of current health sciences and traditional therapies.
- 1996: CASA Theatre is founded. It is staffed by youths, who write, act and produce programs tackling critical social issues such as wellness, family planning awareness, and social empowerment. Over 500 annual performances take these messages to 10,000 people in rural villages and marginal neighborhoods each year.
- 2000: CASA expands its campus library to become a public circulating library with over 11, 450 books and a computer center for families. In 2010, CASA begins rural library projects for children in 14 remote communities, which previously had little or no access to books.
- 2004: Live weekly radio programming begins on a wide range of social issues key to CASA’s mission. They are broadcast to over 45,000 potential listeners, and Internet radio access is provided daily.
- 2005: Domestic Violence initiative is begun. It provides prevention education and victim assistance with a 24-hour help hotline, counseling, medical and legal services and an emergency shelter.
- 2012: The first public midwifery school opens as a result of CASA’s work with the Mexican government to expand midwifery on a national level. The school uses CASA curriculum and CASA technical support, and is staffed with CASA graduates. The goal is to continue to open more public programs across the country.
- 2014 and beyond: CASA is developing international on-line educational midwifery programming for medical professionals and ongoing training for educators.