Netflix’s 2021 film Blue Miracle will have you believing in miracles. Dennis Quaid stars as Wade Malloy, a grumpy prize-winning fisherman who learns that he needs a local man on his team to enter a fishing competition in Cabo San Lucas. He finds Papa Omar, the director of a boys’ orphanage in desperate need of cash. 

Omar, Malloy, and several kids from the orphanage hit the deep blue in search of the prize-winning catch. The orphanage’s future hinges on victory – it owes a debt of $100,000, and Hurricane Odile has left most of its facilities in ruin. The miracle comes in the form of a 385-pound blue marlin, which ensures victory and provides much-needed financial relief for Papa Omar’s orphanage. 

Blue Miracle is based on the story of a real life orphanage in Cabo San Lucas

Blue Miracle is based on the true story of an orphanage in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, that suffered extensive damage due to Hurricane Odile in 2014. The Hurricane complicated an already precarious situation for the financially strapped orphanage. 

Its director, Papa Omar, enlisted the orphanage for a tournament organized by Bisbee’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund. An anonymous donor paid the orphanage’s entry fee and helped secure a local boat for Papa Omar and his team. 

Contrary to expectation, the inexperienced team caught the winning fish, a 385-pound blue marlin, which earned the orphanage $258,325. The prize money cleared the orphanage’s debt, helped repair the damage caused by the Hurricane and funded the launch of a girls’ program. 

Papa Omar was involved in a grizzly accident weeks before participating in the tournament

Omar Venegas, aka Papa Omar, is the real-life director of the child-caregiver organization Casa Hogar. He led the expedition that caught Casa Hogar’s miracle fish. 

Pictures of the real Omar Venegas feature at the end of the film. Omar Venegas hopes the film raises awareness about Casa Hogar. “I want everyone to have the opportunity to see Casa Hogar and how God is doing his work,” he said. 

In real life, Omar Venegas nearly failed to participate in the tournament after getting injured in a severe accident. It doesn’t feature in the film, but it contributes to the miraculous nature of the orphanage’s win. Papa Omar was the one to reel in the prize-winning Marlin. He said:

“[God] made sure I was in the tournament. Things happen on God’s plan. God always gives his blessings wholly. He never gives just half.”

Dennis Quaid’s character, Captain Malloy, is, however, a fictional character created for the film.