Horror at Casa by the Sea

The Author would like to remain anonymous.

I am a survivor of a WWASP facility (AKA. big league money-grubbing concentration camp). I spent 22 months at Casa by the Sea, just outside Ensenada, Mexico. I was enrolled against my will/knowledge. If I come some up the entire experience in one word, I would say abuse. The children enrolled in that program were abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. We were not allowed to speak English, intimidated by employees, without contact from family or friends for months, refused access to say the truth about what was going on, denied a decent education, and raped of our dignity.Females on “lower levels” (levels 1-3) were not allowed to shave, or look in mirrors. The septic system was so horrible that used toilet paper (if there was any at the time) had to be put in a bucket next in the stall. That, mixed with the hot and humid Mexican weather made the stench frequently unbearable, and students were forced to clean out the buckets without gloved or adequate cleaning supplies. There were no vacuums and allot of mold in the trailers we slept in, resulting in frequent allergy and asthma attacks. If a student had a medical necessity, it would rarely get treatment, and maybe that’s a good thing, because the treatment was probably worse than the cause. After reporting a severely ingrown and infected toenail several times, I was taken to the nurses office where she gave me a local anaestheic and cut my big toenail off at the base, with her desk scissors. She poured some powder on it (to stop the horrible bleeding, I suppose), put a large Band-Aid on it , and told me to leave. My parents were charged about $500 for the procedure.

Well, I could go on and on about the kids who were forced to eat foods they were allergic to, the 5 minute cold showers, not being permitted to wear shoes and the punishments received for doing something as random as: standing without permission, sitting without permission, looking out of line, speaking in English, speaking at all or flushing your toilet paper. I could tell you all about the psychological damage that the seminars we must attend to come home have bestowed on me, how we were told our parents were on a “vacation” and didn’t want us anymore. I could probably write a book on how many addicts came through those big gates (me being one of them) and receiving NO HELP with their illness. But I won’t, even though I kind of already did. Ha, sorry. I’m just trying to enlighten a few more people to the ways of WWASP and teen lockdowns in general. Thanks for hearing me out.

47 thoughts on “Horror at Casa by the Sea

  1. My sister went to this school, and I am disgusted at the exploitations of teen problems and parent concern for financial gain. I know that most parents believe their children are “getting help”, but most of the girls fake their way through the programs just to survive and often return to society scarred and much worse off than when they entered. Psychological abuse can break a person more than physical abuse, and after reading many of these experiences of inhumanity and violations of personal freedoms (http://www.nospank.net/chambar… is a great, very detailed narrative), I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who endured these experiences and have the fortitude, not only go on living normals lives, but tell their stories to spread the message. Thank you for your post.

    1. THE SCARS ARE STILL THERE EVEN FOR THE GUYS ITS BEEN 12 YRS BUT I DONT SLEEP BUT 2-4 HRS A NITE BECAUSE OF NIGHTMARE STILL  BUT I HAVE GRADUATED I HAVE CAREER FAMILY ECT   BUT I DEF KNOW IT WAS HARDER THAN IT WLDVE BEEN IF I HADNT GONE TO CASA  HECK   I WASNT EVEN DOING DRUGS ANYMORE WHEN I GOT SENT THERE I HAD BEEN CLEAN FOR 6 MONTHS BUT OH WELL CANT CHANGE THE PAST    IM GLAD I FINALLY FOUND THIS PLACE  GLAD IM NOT ALONE   NO BODY WHO HASNT GONE THRU IT CANT UNDERSTAND SO ITS HARD TO TALK T ANYBODY

        1. wow. what about a freaking professional that has a liscense to practice these things? get your phone book out and look up psychologists. pick one. it’s that simple.

  2. I am I survivor of Casa By the Sea. I was there when the school was closed. I am trying to connect with some of the girls I attended with. I was in Knowledge family. If you know how i can contact any of these people please help. We were not permitted to exchange last names, so it makes it difficult to search.

    1. I also was at casa, and am trying to find people who were there before too. I am a male and was in Honor family during the summer of 2004. Luckily for me I was 17 when my parents sent me and when I turned 18 I decided to “choose out” . I wish to talk about experiences at casa with someone whos been there. I am also part of the lawsuit that is going on.

      1. hey I know someone who was also there in 2004 when the camp was closed. what lawsuite is this? im almost positive he would probably be interested?!

        1. I was there to from 2002 to 2003 if there a lawsuit i would like to be a part of it too….is funny how me and a friend was talking about boarding school and i told him my was a nightmare and i happen to Google casa by the sea just to see if it was still open…then i saw all this article about this shitty place and how we were treated….i had forgotten about all about what went on in there.. My name An Pham

      2. I attended as well my name is brad haney. I am looking to get involved any way I can with the lawsuit and I am more than willing to talk about thing that happened there with you. Give me a call or email me my number is 224 636 4090 and my emailnis roguestatus3@gmail.com. Hope to hear from you

          1. im looking for anyone that might remember a girl that attended in about 2003 to early 2004. Her name is Kirsten Grabreck. Does anyone here remember her?

      3. Hi Benjamin,
        My name is Ashley Cook I was also at casa by the sea, I was there when they closed the place down. Is there a better way to get a hold of you I would like to get some more info about the law suit that is going. It would be great to talk with someone that went through the same experience.

      4. I was there in 2001. I was only there for 8 months, Thank GOD! I don’t like to talk about it. The people who have asked about it do not believe me when I tell them. I did not know there was a lawsuit. I choose out at 18 as well. I got 20$ and a dropped at the greyhound station. I had hurt my knee and was in a brace as I could not barely walk on it. They dropped me at the Greyhound and took my brace.

    2. YEAH I FOUND LIKE 6 PEOPLE FROM LOYALTY FAMILY THAT I WAS IN BUT ONLY CUZ I REMEMBERED THEIR LAST NAME   I WILL NEVER SEND MY CHILD TO A PLACE LIKE CASA  IT SHLDA BEEN NAMED HELLHOLE BY THE DESERT   OH CRAP  I EVEN WENT TO HIGH IMPACT   WHY? BECAUSEI WANTED TO TALK TO MY BROTHER WHO THEY WOULDNT LET ME COMMUNICATE WITH

    3. Allison. My name is Taylor Niskala. I was there from April to when it closed. I was in odyssey. Feel free to contact me anytime. My email is fr33brd87@yahoo.com and Facebook Taylor Burlington Niskala

    4. I was in the Knowledge family, I was level 4 when the facility closed down. I am in contact with Jackie and Courtney on FB. I know that I am a few years too late but if your still looking we are here 🙂

  3. I too survived Casa By the Sea I was there from 99-2000 I spent 9 months there. To say the least I completely agree with all the comments made here. It was the worst time of my life. Subject to standing and facing a wall all day because someone tried to run, at the same time getting yelled at, about something that was not my fault at all. The food was whole other story I gained about 50 pounds because of the malnuritment it was ridiculous to say the least the food was not healthy.  The schooling was not that great, and really the groups we did the Mexican women they had running the group was not a licensed professional. As to a comment made earlier my experience was that all the girls fake it until they make it…. like it was said survival mode! I had nightmares for years after that I was back there and trapped that I couldn't leave. I of course had anger. There truly was not help there for young people with their lssues, right now there is a lawsuit going on against them for abuse.

    1. I’m pretty sure we were in the esteem or glory family together. Either way, we were really good friends. Would love to reconnect with you!

  4. I was there for two years and was there when it closed. After casa closed I was sent Iowa to Midwest academy and I disagree with all of you. I was an addict also, and although proper therapy was not provided, it did change my life and the way I think of things. Y'all basically sound like a bunch of victims to me. I relapsed my first year in college in 2006 but noe have been clean and sober since then. I'm married and have two beautiful boys and my family is wonderful. Sorry but y'all need to be grateful for what your parents tried to provide for you and stop acting like this horrible act was committed by your parents by sending you there and the staff at Casa.

    1. I know right?
      Those Casa staff sure whipped those kids into shape with the exciting living condition.

      “Thanks for sending me to camp mommy, when I don’t follow the rules I get beat, but I know that it’s good for me.”

      I’m sure these people abused at the Casa would definitely like to send the staff gifts and nice cards telling them how much they helped them and how much fun they had at the Casa.

    2. NO U GOT IT WRONG I DID LEARN AND AM A DIFF PERSON BUT THE TREATMENT THERE WAS NOT THERAPY IT WAS ABUSE AND THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO HAD IT DECENT THERE WERE THE BROWN NOSERS  IVE BEEN CLEAN FOR YRS BUT THATS NOT TO SAY THAT WE WERENT TREATED INHUMANELY

    3. the horrible act was by the staff not our parents    they didnt know any better  they were only going off what they saw and read online ect   its the horrible people who ran it is the horrible part

    4. You are so full of shit and absolutely wrong. Obviously they got you. I was an addict. I’m sure more of one than you EVER were. That horrible, disgusting hell was something that NO child should EVER had to have gone through. I would NEVER send my child away no matter what. I will NEVER allow someone to do those things to my child & would kill the one who tried. Your poor children will probably live with the knowledge and horrible things you dealt with. I feel sorry for you, but you will pay for your words too. You sobered up because no one wants to be an addict and you had a way (clean and safe) to do it. NOT because of the abuse that CASA gave you.

    5. Hey what is your name? I was also moved to Midwest academy.. my name is Brittany Kesselhon.. I was in the merit family at Casa and I can’t remember the family I was in… but we were both there st the same time.. I have read all of these horror stories… some is real truth and some is an exaggerated truth and others are bold face lies.. anywho, I’m not on Facebook.. and I would love to connect with some people who went threw what I did.. I try to explain to my boyfriend, friends and family but they just can’t understand.. please contact me back

  5. MY NAME IS CHEYENNE I ALSO ATTENDED CASA BY THE SEA FROM APRIL 1999-JAN 2001  IT WAS THE WORST EXPERIENCE EVER AND WHAT OTHER PLACE HAS ALL THE SURVOVORS THAT ARE PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY THE SAME     ITS BEEN 12 YEARS AND I STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES EVERYNIGHT THAT IM LOCKED INSIDE CASA AND I CANT GET OUT        PARENTS TALK TO UR KIDS AND LOVE THEM  DONT SEND THEM AWAY  I DIDNT COME HOME FOR 12 YRS BECAUSE I JUST CLDNT FORGIVE MY PAENTS FOR SENNDING ME THERE     

  6. I was there for a year and a half and was there for the September 11 2004 closing of the facility. I was put originally in Dilligence and was moved to Freedom for my last 6 months there. I cant find anyone else who I can remember on Facebook which is weird but if anyone else was there before then or at that time feel free to email me or look me up on facebook via email. My email is n.eckels6388@gmail.com

    1. i was in freedom fammily when they shut the place down actually i had just made upper levels..my names nick fese anybody that was there from 03-04 up till  the time they closed contact me on facebook> Casper Loko  .. i been through all the same bs i remember miguel my caseworker was vladimir..member mario the mean ass staff who knew everything.. big ass pancho who was knockin lil kids 1/4 his size.. feel free to contact me

  7. If you guys think it was bad when it shut down in 2004, you should hear the stories from a few years back.  I’ve personally stomped the week old trash down with maggots crawling out in that make shift dump truck with my bare feet. I was also once on a 3 day punishment work project with no breaks and got beamed in the head with a basketball because I stopped digging for 2 seconds. I’ve seen a few people from casa around town and one of them is still my best friend. Justice Family Hoorah!

  8. I was there when it closed then i got sent to academy at ivy ridge … Honestly i wasnt abused … Yes they wer tuff at times but we wer all there for a reason we wernt lil angels

  9. I would be interested to know what you were doing that was healthy and meaningful that got you a trip to Casa? Maybe it just might have saved your life whether you wanted it to or not. Abuse is in the eyes of the beholden. I would venture to guess you were abusing yourself and your family prior to your trip.

  10. it has been 11 years since i have been at casa by the sea, the memories slowly fading becoming dim reacuring nightmares! i know the drugs running away and not going to school didnt make it easy for my parents to deal with however the abuse i indured with my parents didnt lead me towards a very positive direction.i can say my dad and i had were best friends, his wife (stepmother) jeaulos about the love we had for eachother had a way of turning him against me, and you would think as my father being a strong and smart man could look past the distruction she was creating. the program took me to a deep and dark place i was left,abandoned once again! so now my thought are that no one is reliable or loyal. i will say i have moved on to an extent and i have created a wonderful career for myself. not one day has gone by where i dont cry about being sent there and my relationship with my dad has never been the same. if there is one thing i can tell parents that are in need of help is, abondoning your kids and leaving them in another country is your idea of good parenting or protecting your kids is for from right.love and communication is much more needed!!!

  11. to the comment below…. Glad you somehow where the only one out of thousands of kids to get treated well… Kudos you crazy freak……. 10,000 kids did not band tighter to make a lie, 10,000 kids told the same storys even though on different sides of the world.. Go figure….. Get lost wwasp employee!

  12. ten years later staff from casa tried to contact me to apologize for the horrible things he did to me…….. If said things never happed why the ten year later sorry after I named him and all staff in a law suit I Won…. I started Christopher cross said I would come back and handle the school and staff. After we met with lawyers. it was only months before feds closed them down…… You don’t get shut down for nothing…..

    1. I was there journey was my family, one man that cruel was marcos was his name not a likable man.
      I reached level 5 and convinced my family I was ready to move on
      One thing that did help me was that I spoke Spanish
      My mother Colombian and my dad Italian Armenia descent
      So I guess at first yes weird stuff was said but I made sure right away hey I know what you said.
      Only 3 of us spoke Spanish in that facility. For people who didn’t speak Spanish it was challenging.
      Far as my experience at first it was super tuff I felt like shit they shaved my head, I wasn’t cooperating so yes they intimated me and scraped my chin on the carpet. Things like that.
      Obsviously we all want out so you learn to cooperate no choice right ?
      After leaving casa by sea it took several more years to realize this is not the life i was intended, went to rehab once again, yes I have good and bad memories of casa by the sea but we all must move on right, now I have 2 awesome boys and a wife that stuck by me during my rehabilation so yes I am blessed, i had remourse towards my parents for sending me but hey I wasn’t an angel did horrible drugs, partied way to hard, went to jail and went or rehab atleast 5 times. I now have a strong bomd with my family, just felt I wanted to tell you my story thanks John p h

  13. This Manuel Avalos I was there 2002 2003. I did manage to escape for a bit until they popped homeboy and I across the road in that hill. Got the ass whoopin of my life and placed in super man position for 10 days straight. Email me at mavalos@ezbel.com. im looking for the homie big Danny from Creek Side. Or Brandon Kehoe

  14. I was there in Loyalty Family too Cheyenne! 1999-2000. Left on my exit plan at 18 went straight to the Air Force. Still can’t believe we lived that horror story.

  15. I was at Casa 2000-2002 in the courage family. I was no perfect angel, acting out, and very strong willed. I understand my parents concerns for me during those times and their desperate attempts to try to help me at any cost. I am no longer angry with them or blame them for this unfortunate experience (they did not know the truth going in or for many years after). I am an educated woman I received my Associate and Bachelor Degrees in psychology and went on to attend law school receiving a Juris Doctorate Degree with duel certificates of concentration in criminal and family law. I spent most of my Young adult like working with children in placement as well. It is through my continued education and experiences I have learned that regardless of the situation and actions I was still but a child. No child or person for that matter deserves to be abused or deprived of their humanity as we all were. The fact of the matter is what happened at these facilities was and is wrong plain and simple resulting in many of us were ultimately deprived of our youth. All of the cases (criminal and civil) as well as the closure of many if not all of their facilities is undeniable evidence of this. Now is the time to focus on healing and moving forward with our lives. I refuse to allow these traumatic events and my abusers to control my life any further or define me as a person. I am and always will be a survivor!

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