Smurfit Kappa employees from the Orange County, Nogales plant participated in a very significant event that made a difference in the future education of a group of children, when the Smurfit Kappa Foundation donated to an association called Manitas que Hablan (Hands that speak).
This association provides education for children with a language and hearing disability and facilitates their integration into society by teaching them social skills. The donated amount will be invested in a 2 year project that will build two completely new and fully equipped classrooms, and it will also guarantee four specialized teacher´s salary for the same amount of time. In the past the children were located in two different buildings because of the limited capacity. One of the members of the Board of Directors of Manitas que Hablan stated that this donation "will make an amazing difference for these children because now they will all be learning and socializing in the same building and this will obviously help them learn much faster".
The Board of Directors of Manitas que Hablan, and the children who receive their assistance, were excited about the future and thanked the Smurfit Kappa Foundation and the Orange County –Nogales employees who were represented by Karla Cruz, a machine assistant that has worked in Smurfit Kappa for six years and has hearing and language disability. Karla gave hope to the children when she said "don’t give up when you encounter obstacles, seek to always move forward".
Karla was accompanied by Greg Hall, who is CEO of Smurfit Kappa Orange County, Eduardo Rubio, VP of Packaging in Mexico; Carlos Jimenez, HR Director for The Americas; Kristy Schmidlap, HR Director for Orange County; Robert Johnson, Nogales Plant General Manager; Mario Ozuna, Operations Manager at Nogales facility and the local HR Team.
Towards the end of the event the children and Karla, (white shirt), interpreted in sign language a very popular song composed and sung by the famous salsa singer Marc Anthony, which is called Vivir la Vida (Living the Life).