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About us

We are a non-profit organization (501 c3) established in 1992 and the first foster home licensed to operate as an adoption agency in Puerto Rico. We temporarily house children removed due to abuse or neglect who are candidates for adoption from 0 to 7 years old. We also receive children placed for adoption by fathers and mothers who face unintended pregnancies and/or unplanned parenting and see adoption as a responsible alternative.

Our story

In 1989, the growing social problem of child abuse on the island and the delay in resolving permanency plans inspired a group of women committed to the well-being of the children and youth of Puerto Rico to join together in the creation of the Pro Ayuda Foundation of Puerto Rico. Two years later, in 1991, the organization was officially incorporated, and in 1992 it gave life to the Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal.

Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal became the first residential establishment licensed to operate as an adoption agency in Puerto Rico. We obtained the license from the Department of the Family Services to operate as an adoption agency in Puerto Rico, with the mission of restoring the rights of children to be within a loving, permanent, and safe family environment, when family reunification is not viable.

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Since 1992, we have provided a safe, needs-centered, temporary home to 479 children who are survivors of abuse. Our focus is on helping them navigate the process of grief and family loss, form their own identity, and restore trust and security.

In 2011, we began the construction of new facilities that were inaugurated in 2013 with the support of various benefactors. In 2014, we adapted the old facilities to found the Escuela Montessori San Cristóbal, which began operations in 2015, offering an inclusive education that is sensitive to the individual needs of our participants and the nearby community.

Since 2016, we have integrated the Montessori Model into the daily life of the shelter, adapting it to home environments. In 2021, we achieved a significant milestone by obtaining accreditation from the Council on Accreditation, becoming the first adoption agency in Puerto Rico to receive this validation of quality standards in administrative operations and services.

The origin of our name

We are called Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal in honor of the story of San Cristóbal, who dedicated his life to helping travelers cross a dangerous river. One day, a boy asked him for help crossing, and although at first he seemed like a normal child, during the crossing, the boy's weight became overwhelming. It was then that the boy revealed that he was Christ and carried the weight of the world's sins on his shoulders. In recognition of this act of service and sacrifice, we adopt the name of San Cristóbal as a symbol of our dedication to caring for and protecting boys and girls, accompanying them in the process of grieving and losing their biological family, until restoring their rights and status as children in a loving, permanent and safe family environment.


The story of San Cristóbal serves as a metaphor to describe the work of the staff of the Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal. Just as San Cristóbal helped travelers cross a dangerous river, the institution's staff provides support to children who are going through difficult circumstances. The revelation that the child was the Christ and bore the sins of the world represents the difficulties and traumas that our boys and girls experience. The commitment of the shelter staff resembles the dedication of St. Christopher, offering care and support even in seemingly overwhelming situations.

The child's evolution towards a safe environment symbolizes the process of establishing permanence in a family home. In this path, the adoption agency plays an essential role in restoring the right and status of children as children, providing a safe, stable and loving family environment.


The philosophy of our entity focuses on the firm commitment to ensuring that each child experiences love, protection and opportunities essential for their well-being and development within a family environment. We recognize adoption as a valuable means of restoring the status of a child to children who have suffered the loss of their biological family.

We consider that placing a child for adoption is an act of parental/maternal responsibility, where fathers and mothers, with love and consideration, seek the optimal environment for the growth of the child, renouncing their rights and providing the opportunity to grow in a family willing to offer the necessary care and support.


Our pillars


Provide a temporary home with trauma-sensitive interdisciplinary services, aimed at improving the quality of life of children from environments and circumstances that compromise their well-being.


Proveer los servicios y el acompañamiento necesario a las familias dispuestas a ofrecer a la niñez proveniente de entornos y circunstancias que comprometen su bienestar, la permanencia en un hogar seguro.

Child placement

Inform, accompany and coordinate the services necessary for conscious decision-making to women and/or families contemplating the placement of a child for adoption.


Offer educational services and ongoing support to biological and adoptive families, as well as the agencies that provide services to promote their well-being.

Our values


Offer personalized attention to each minor and trauma-sensitive treatment by taking into account personal circumstances or specific aspects of each situation.



Understand and share the feelings of others; Seeing things from someone else's perspective instead of our own.



Act promptly, with interest and care, collaboratively so that the services are carried out.


Continuous improvement

Perform services in accordance with all laws, regulations, rules and standards applicable to the home.

Reexamine the programs and services offered in order to make adjustments as necessary to improve or adjust them to the needs of the population served.

Our logo

The color white It is related to the purity and innocence of childhood.

The orange color evokes positive and lively energy capable of promoting good attitudes and memorable moments.

The fuchsia pink color seeks to nuance the effects of the environment and circumstances that are not favorable for the well-being of each child with the love they receive at Home.

The color gray denotes the capacity of each human being who intervenes with the minor to value their voice and guide them along the way.

Our team


Executive director

Keyla La Santa Díaz, MSW

Keyla La Santa Díaz has a bachelor's degree in Social Work from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus and a Master's Degree in Social Work with a specialty in Administration from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Metro Campus. She currently serves as executive director of Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal. Ms. La Santa has the certification: Trust Based-Relational Intervention (TBRI), Training for Adoption Competence and Safe Home Study. Additionally, she has five (5) years of experience as a social worker offering direct service to school communities, minor victims of crime and families formed through adoption. Likewise, he has four (4) years of experience in social administration.

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Assistant Director

Shakira Maldonado Arroyo, MSW

Shakira Maldonado Arroyo, has a bachelor's and master's degree in Social Work with a specialty in Administration from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Metro Campus. She currently works as an assistant director at the Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal.  Ms. Maldonado has the following certifications: Child-Centered Play Therapy, Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), and Safe Home Study. Additionally, she has two (2) years of experience as a social worker, offering direct service to survivors of gender violence, crime victims, the elderly, families and children. Likewise, he has two (2) years of experience in social administration. Ms. Maldonado has experience in the legislative field through the development of public policies.

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Service Supervisor

Iris Maldonado Cruz

Iris Maldonado has more than 15 years of work experience focused on caring for children from difficult backgrounds. Her background includes passing a course in Administrative Organization and Development of Child Care Centers, as well as obtaining certifications in Child Development Associate (CDA) and Recreational Leader. Likewise, it has continuing education on topics related to trauma, stages of development, early stimulation and Montessori philosophy.

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Supervisory Assistant

Siomara Gómez Rodríguez

Shelter Social Worker

Stella Soto Gonzalez, MSW

Nurse Coordinator

Finance and Human Resources Coordinator

Social Workers Adoption and Voluntary Adoption Placement

Madeleine Calderón Rivera, MSW

Kristal Torres Muñiz , MSW

Board of Directors

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José Vizcarrondo Carrión


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Yannia González Rodríguez


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Betzaida Garcia



Julie Ann Martínez


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Ana M. Pérez

Vice President

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Zulma Licha Negrón


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Denise Berlingeri


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Pedro Zorrilla


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Angélica M. Morales Reyes


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Daniel Pérez del Valle


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Alexandra Rodríguez


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Julio Rivera Rodríguez


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Mario Montilla


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Rosa Avalo (Lila)


Our facilities

The facilities at Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal are designed to offer a welcoming and safe space. Our approach focuses on providing adapted environments and appropriate resources to stimulate the comprehensive development of children. From play areas to learning spaces, each corner is designed to encourage children's exploration, creativity, and emotional and cognitive growth. In addition, we are committed to the implementation of a Montessori model-based philosophy, where the environments are carefully prepared and the materials selected to inspire and motivate our children. Through constant improvement of our facilities, we seek to be increasingly sensitive to the needs of our participants and the trauma they may have experienced, thus providing comprehensive and compassionate support to each boy and girl who comes to our home.

Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal is an organization affiliated with the United Way of Puerto Rico since 1993.

The Federal Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit organization that accredits organizations that provide social services in their communities. Through accreditation, organizations evaluate themselves against standards recognized as best practices and focus on areas for improvement, thus ensuring continuity of services and the highest level of quality in the programs they offer. Currently Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal is the only adoption agency in Puerto Rico accredited by the COA.

It is the first adoption agency in Puerto Rico to obtain accreditation by the Council on Accreditation (COA) for a term of (4) years.

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Our sponsors

We have the great support of these entities that share our mission of improving the quality of life of Puerto Rican girls and boys. We extend our deepest gratitude to you.

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