The place where the idea of PCI was born, formerly known as ‘Casa de Todos’ is now a primary school in Tijuana
The dictionary defines Legacy as “something handed down by an ancestor or by a predecessor from one’s past. A legacy isn’t just an inanimate object. It can also be a talent or a love from something.” I recently had a chance and privilege to join our founder, Dr. Jim Turpin, on a trip to Tijuana, Mexico, along with another staff member and a few of Dr. Turpin’s and PCI’s long time friends.
As Dr. Turpin explained, ‘the idea of PCI was born in Tijuana, in a remote community fifty-four years ago’ when he was invited by a friend of his to visit Tijuana and support a local school and community clinic called ‘Casa de Todos’ – a home for all; in Casa de Todos, Dr. Turpin had a chance to meet Sra. Maria Meza, who was running the Casa at the time. By providing him with an opportunity to connect with those in need, she helped him feel connected with humanity at a deeper level, with communities all over the world in ways he wasn’t expecting. He felt then, he says, relevant. It was then and there that the idea of PCI was born.
After Tijuana, Dr. Turpin quit his private practice in Coronado and moved to Hong Kong, where PCI officially started. Today, PCI works in 16 different countries providing services to over 6 Million people annually as of last year.
But as much as PCI has grown, expanded to several countries, and become a high-quality technical, sophisticated, innovative organization, it has always remained true to its roots -to the philosophy of helping people help themselves, of working with and for communities, of going to where the most vulnerable are, and providing them with knowledge and tools they need to lead healthier, fuller, even happier lives.
During the visit to Tijuana this week, we had a chance to visit what is now a local primary school (formerly known as Casa de Todos). We visited the Hospital PCI built in the early seventies (originally a maternal and child hospital, and now a hospital for families that is run by the Baja California’s state government). We had a chance to connect with staff members at the hospital including one who was born at the Casa de Todos, and whose father worked for PCI back in the day.