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History -sbs

BY: Admin



Father Fabretto
driving ‘baby’ in the 1960s – a gift from the government – which he used to clear the road to Cusmapa.

Padre Fabretto’s philosophy was to give a home and hope to underserved children. His work grew to include five Oratorios in the Managua area and the northern highlands. These Oratorios offered a home, meals, counseling and both religious and academic education. For more than four decades, Padre Fabretto sustained the Oratorios despite many adversities, including devastating earthquakes, severe hurricanes, and the devastating civil war of the 1980s. Despite a lack of financial resources, as well as the nation’s uncertain social, political and economic climate, Padre Fabretto managed to obtain local resources of food, clothing and educational supplies, to maintain his “Familia” (family) of several hundred children, in five different Oratorios.

In March 1990, as peace came to Nicaragua, the “Familia Fabretto” suffered a devastating blow: Padre Fabretto passed away unexpectedly at the age of 70. Upon his death, the organization was left in a state of limbo; the future of Fabretto’s Oratorios – and that of the children it served – was uncertain.



Father Fabretto
with children from one of the Oratorios in the 1980s.


Padre Fabretto’s Legacy Continues

After his untimely passing in 1990, Kevin Marinacci, then a volunteer, and his father Carl established the US 501c3 nonprofit organization, Fabretto Children’s Foundation, to continue Padre Fabretto’s legacy of service. 

From 1993 to 2021, Fabretto’s work grew from humbly serving 300 children to reaching over 60,000 children and youth in 2021 through education and development programs in Nicaragua. During this time, Fabretto offered quality education programs and nutritious meals at 9 Fabretto centers and in partnership with hundreds of local public schools. Fabretto introduced innovative education programs to the country, including the award-winning rural education program, Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial (SAT), and trained thousands of teachers each year in methodologies like Open Learning and the Montessori method. In 2021, Fabretto managed several of the largest corporate social responsibility programs in Nicaragua, which promoted technology integration in education, improved community food security, and provided access to preschool education in rural communities. 

Over several decades, Fabretto also welcomed thousands of volunteers to serve alongside communities in Nicaragua and ran a robust Child Sponsorship program connecting individual children with sponsors in the United States and Europe.


Fabretto’s Next Chapter of Impact

In February 2022, after over 60 years working in Nicaraguan communities, Fabretto was forced to close our centers and suspend all programs in Nicaragua. Fabretto was one of more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations whose operations were suddenly shut down by the Nicaraguan government in 2022, as part of sweeping changes that have affected the entire nonprofit sector in the country. 

As of mid-2022, Fabretto Children’s Foundation, the US 501c3 organization, has begun a new chapter to live out Padre Fabretto’s legacy of service beyond Nicaragua’s borders. Our goal is to collaborate with on-the-ground nonprofit organizations across the Americas and, together, increase their impact on children and youth. We are focused on building local capacity to serve – drawing on years of experience growing a local nonprofit organization in Nicaragua, Fabretto assesses local needs and works alongside our partners to adapt proven programs to each context, provide technical assistance and teacher training, and mobilize resources to the most underserved communities. In 2022, we began working with our first two partners in Honduras and plan to expand to Guatemala in 2023.

We are deeply grateful for the loyalty of our supporters. With your ongoing support, Fabretto will continue to create change, fulfilling Padre Fabretto’s legacy of empowering children and youth to reach their full potential.

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