2445719Santiago’s Children: What I Learned About Life at an Orphanage in Chile is a poignant memoir written by Steve Reifenberg about his experiences living in “Hogar Domingo Savio,” a small orphanage in an impoverished neighborhood of Santiago, Chile. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Steve lived and worked with children in the hogar from 1982-1984, which turned out to be among the most politically important and tumultuous years in Chile’s recent history. Because of Steve’s deep immersion into Chilean society, Santiago’s Children simultaneously depicts the struggles of ordinary children placed in incredibly challenging circumstances and offers a one-of-a-kind look at the cultural, social, economic, and political problems faced by Chileans during Pinochet’s brutal military dictatorship.

We hope this website creates a space for people to share their reflections about Santiago’s Children and about their own struggles, hopes, aspirations and insights in their efforts to make a contribution in a complicated world.


  1. My wife and I adopted a girl from Santiago in 1982. Trying to locate biological parents. Where do I start? She was 5 in ’82.

    1. Hi, my husband and i adopted a baby girl in 1980. we hired a lawyer in Chile who eventually found her biological family. we provided him with as much information as we could, including the mother’s name and address. and the name of the orphanage. My daughter communicates on a regular basis with a sister, and hopes to someday meet her.

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