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San Diego students send festive cheer to orphaned kids in Mexico

Del Mar Hills Academy Spanish teacher Andrew Burke is leading a Christmas project he hopes will teach his sixth grade students empathy: They are writing Christmas cards in Spanish to orphaned children in Baja California, Mexico.

"I think one of the coolest things about world languages as a subject is just the ability to connect with people from different cultures,” Burke said. “By writing the letters, students share a little bit about themselves, their interests, where they're from, their families and it's just a nice way to connect with people."

Once finished, the cards will be sent to Corazon de Vida, which is a nonprofit that provides funding to more than 10 Mexican orphanages. The charity covers the cost of food, shelter and higher education for around 500 children in Baja.

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“It's a really nice thing to do,” sixth grader Eva said. “It shows that we care about them and that there are people who are thinking of them."

Another student, Ella, made a card featuring a "friendship bridge." She hopes it will show the children in Baja that kids in San Diego care about them. “They might look at these and think that's someone's thinking about them and that people know they're there and struggling."

As well as the Christmas cards, almost two car loads of school supplies will be making their way to the orphans. It's been a joint effort between Del Mar Hills and two other sixth grade classes in the Del Mar Union School District.

Jason, another sixth grader, wants his card to put a smile on the face of whoever opens it. "I've been making this letter for the kids to give them a little surprise and make their day."