“Putting smiles on God’s Special People, the developmentally disabled”
- Provide assistance, education and residences for persons developmentally disabled by mental retardation;
- Identify, mark, preserve, and commemorate Catholic historical places, events and persons of international or regional importance;
- Promote fraternalism and sociability among its members and their families.
The Order of the Alhambrans is dedicated to assisting the Mentally Challenged. Our non- profit
organization has established an endowment fund with SDSU. This fund provides $500.00
scholarships to students studying to achieve a degree in the field of teaching students with mental
disabilities. We also help distribute scholarships from the Maletta Endowment Fund established by
a deceased husband and wife, who had been long time Alhambrans. They left almost $400,000.00
to SDSU to also be used as aid to graduate students in the field of Special Education. Between the
two funds the Ben Ziri Caravan #218, distributed over $7,000.00 in scholarship grants in 2011 alone!
Working with our international office the Ben Ziri Caravan was able to obtain a $25,000.00 grant
which was presented to TERI INC. for improvements to a home in Vista for the mentally
handicapped. This money was presented last year and the improvements have been made and the
home has been renamed "THE ALHAMBRA HOUSE!" Our members will continue to work with TERI
INC. to help maintain this house in which six mentally handicapped people live.
Ben Ziri Caravan donates $1,200.00 a year to the Bernardy Children's Hospital each year. These
funds are used to sponsor three parties for the very severely mentally handicapped children cared for
by the hospital. Any extra monies are used to help provide whatever is needed by the hospital. In
the past we have purchased a special lift to help facilitate the movement of patients in and out of the
therapy pool. We have also donated $6,000.00 to help buy a special needs van to transport
We provide $600.00 a year for three dances run by "Downstown Inc." at the Brengle Terrace Park
Senior center. Up to 300 mentally handicapped people attend thee parties and are fed pizza and
sodas while the dance to live music provided by a local band.
For many years Ben Ziri Caravan hosted a picnic at the Vista Steam Museum for many of the
homes in the area that provide a stable living environment for the mentally handicapped. We
provided live music, a cookout with hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, etc. and small train rides. We
have hopes of reinstituting this event in the near future!
So.....You can see that for a group of people that never rose above 65 members, Ben Ziri Caravan of
the International Oder of Alhambra has been very generously providing for the mentally handicapped
of this area with their time, talents, and treasure! We are justly proud of our accomplishments and
we will continue to provide for "GOD'S SPECIAL PEOPLE" as long as we are able to maintain a
viable membership. New Members are WELCOME!
THE ORDER OF ALHAMBRA
BEN ZIR CARAVAN #218
Dedicated to the Developmentally Disabled