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Mar 10, 2020

One of our kids, Juan Daniel

Juan Daniel
Juan Daniel

This is a little bit about a young boy named Juan Daniel, Ojala gave him an opportunity.

Juan Daniel came to the Ojala Ninos program when he was 10 years old, in 2010. He began to work with stained glass, in a project cutting small pieces and making designs on small vases.He created beautiful pieces that the program volunteers wanted to buy.

At age 14 Juann taught 3 of his peers at Ojala, who also started producing stained glass art, together they showed their work at a local weekly market and sold everything.

Juan Daniel didnt continue his academic school after 9th grade, but went to work with a local brick making family. This is common practice among rural families that need an income from as many family members as possible.  Juan Daniel continued to work without professional instruction with an amazing array of design ideas. Three dimensional and flat. Throughout the years they have readily sold to residents of San Miguel Allende and visitors from all over.

One day we were given a large donation of supplies from a professional stained glass artist, Juan investigated how to expand his own work using these materials. He worked after hours at home learning the techniques using lead.

Juan Daniel is now 19 years old and is a regular instructor at Ojala Ninos, to the new younger children, two times a week. He continues to grow as an artist and as an instructor and no longer needs to make bricks, he has time for music. Playing the guitar is another passion of his.

Hope is an Illusion without opportunity.

Our goal is a future learning center that we want to establish for Ojala Ninos and the community of San Miguel Viejo, we continue to evaluate and bring new learning opportunities for the children of all ages and hope to expand to include adult learning opportunities. We need  to create community space inclusive of classrooms, gardens and adaptable space for events on the Ojala Land.

Thank you for your continued support!

Dec 16, 2019

Inspiration and Opportunity

The wondeful folks who guide our children in their daily classes offer inspiration because of their passion to share their talents and life experience with the children. Opportunity is something that comes from a much larger exspanse of experience that we encounter outside our limited environment. Opportunity comes to our children because WE find those opportunities in our lives and bring them to our community.

A story: I met a man during a shuttle ride from the airport back to San Miguel de Allende. He came from Boston and was coming to meet a medical team that wanted to explore how they might bring their clinics to Mexico. They'd always worked in the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. I offered names and organizations that might give them opportunities. They set up a clinic the next day in a local church that served a large neighborhood  in San Miguel de Allende. The man contacted me and invited me to visit their clinic. While there, another doctor asked me how they might maximize their efforts in our town. I suggested they come to the rural, indiginous community, like where I live and work with Ojala Ninos. They were very excited about this idea. They agreed to come to San Miguel Viejo the next afternoon to meet members of the community. I scrambled to contact neighbors and asked them to come to Ojala's site to meet these new, strange people. Everyone gathered the next day and shared... about what the medical team could offer and what the community needed. The medical team were thrilled to find such a perfect place for their work- and the folks in the community are looking forward to having valuable medical support. An OPPORTUNITY came from a serendipity meeting on a shuttle ride and became a huge OPPORTUNITY for a whole community!

 

We continue our vigilance to keep bringing the world of wonder and opportunity to our children. We continue daily free classes, offered to all children- and acooperative for mothers who are learning skills to make products that sell well in several markets. We are in need of the expanded space provided by donations through GlobalGiving. Thank you!

Ojala means hope- Hope is an illusion without opportunity. 

Sep 19, 2019

Community Center

Building a community-learning center for the indigenous people of this village in the highlands of Mexico is our primary goal. But during these past summer months I've realized more about WHY this is so important.  I'm the founder and I came here to live 12 years ago. One of the first things I heard from an old woman was "Senora, we are only the poor and forgotten."  She was first wondering why I'd

come here to live and also expressing the collective identity of millions of people around the world who feel disenfranchised by the surrounding cultures that have progressed into this century. In the case of this village, San Miguel Viejo, we are less than one mile away from the city of San Miguel Allende, which hosts educated, wealthy visitors from all over the world! Yet here, this village still has no internet, cable, no land lines.

Our education program  is called Ojala Ninos. The word "ojala" has its roots in the ancient Islamic word, "inshala" meaning God willing. In today's Spanish its spoken daily as a "hope". Hope is an illusion without opportunity!

OPPORTUNITY-that's what this center will mean for approximately 500 residents of this village. Ojalas  classes offer space, materials, ideas and guidance to allow children and adults the opportunity to explore, discover and learn about their abilities and desires; to develop  critical thinking through dialogue, finally to realize that they can belong to and participate in the wider world around them.

This past summer we were honored to host 2 families from the US who had heard about Ojala Ninos,  and who were especially impressed by our efforts to bring up social justice issues in the community. The children and adults in these families worked very hard, teaching, painting walls, organizing materials  and generally inspiring all of us. The letters from them back in their homes speak of transformative  experiences, unforgettable times with our delightful,  intelligent, loving children and parents. They saw how important this center will be to a community with no meeting place, no playground, no functional education- no opportunities to learn new skills. With gratitude to Globalgiving  and all of our donors, Ojala Ninos  will do this! 

 
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