Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art

by El Arca en Queretaro IAP
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Help Adults with Disabilities in Mexico Create Art
Happy community members in front of the blue tree
Happy community members in front of the blue tree

During a recent visit to El Arca’s workshop I was very pleased to find new faces among both the beneficiaries and volunteers who have joined our community. There was a sense of renewed energy after two years of confinement and online challenges, followed by limited numbers and gradual increases in the days and times of gathering. Everyone is still following the appropriate hygiene measures to ensure a safe environment, but the daily routine is getting reestablished as people work, socialize and carry out physical activities in a spirit of friendship and mutual enjoyment.

Fresh bread was being baked and smelled delicious, some curtains had been installed and a beautiful blue tree was painted across the dining area wall. Its branches held photos of the beneficiaries of the project, young adults with an intellectual disability who come to the workshop to discover and develop their gifts.

Another very pleasant surprise was finding José, one of the permanent residents in the El Arca home since 2000, deeply and happily focused as he worked on a string of beads in the jewelry production area of the workshop. Prior to El Arca, he had been in a fairly over-crowded shelter for people with intellectual abilities in our city, and at that time his cerebral palsy had him barely walking on his own. His impaired speech caused him frustration, as he tried to express his needs and lead him sometimes to angry outbursts that were difficult for him to control.

In these last 20 years with El Arca, José has developed into a handsome, kind and helpful young man with many interests and a very genuine concern for the well being of others around him. I was told he volunteers to welcome and help newcomers to the workshop, showing them around and making them feel at home as they adapt. His cerebral palsy has affected José’s verbal communication and several motor skills (hands and feet), so it is now nothing short of amazing to watch him diligently working on jewelry and enjoying an activity that requires fine motor skills!! Time, patience and a loving, safe environment work miraculously!!

All members of our community, old and new, join me in thanking each of you for contributing and strengthening our project! We are privileged and grateful to count on your participation with us. We hope you enjoy receiving news about our ongoing efforts, along with information on how your generous donation is used. We send you gratitude and blessings and we pray for health, peace and prosperity around the world.

Best regards,

Jose focusing on the beading process
Jose focusing on the beading process
Jose proudly shows the necklaces he made
Jose proudly shows the necklaces he made

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El Arca art exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum
El Arca art exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum

Greetings from Querétaro to all our friends and generous donors from around the world!

We have started this New Year with renewed energy and looking forward to getting back to 100% of our activities in the installations of El Arca’s workshop. Several of the beneficiaries have been coming couple of days a week and now will be active every day of the week. As a result of the two years exceptional conditions due to the pandemic, many young people with disabilities have increased their autonomy and forged a way ahead for producing useful and artistic articles, and family members around them have recognized their gifts and abilities to be productive and encourage them in their endeavors. Team members in El Arca have played a key role in helping each beneficiary establish his/her own local business. Coming back to the workshop will help our beneficiaries boost their creativity, work on improving the quality of their products, and of course resume the friendships so important to all of them.

A great motivation for all of us at the end of 2021 was the opportunity to exhibit paintings of our beneficiaries at the Contemporary Art Museum of the city of Querétaro. Most of them were present at the inauguration of the exhibit and were able to interact with visitors and staff from the museum, showing their achievements and talking about their dreams. What a wonderful way to close another year and celebrate the social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities!!

All members of the community join me in thanking each of you for your contributions to our project. We feel privileged to count on you as our supporters. We hope you enjoy receiving news about our accomplishments and how your generous donation is used. Sending you all gratitude and blessings, we pray for peace and prosperity around the world.

Warm regards

Jorge Luis & his mom next to one of his canvases
Jorge Luis & his mom next to one of his canvases
Brasilia talks to a visitor about her painting
Brasilia talks to a visitor about her painting
Andrea's address during the inauguration
Andrea's address during the inauguration
Announcing El Arca's Art Exhibit
Announcing El Arca's Art Exhibit

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Gabriel selling the jewelry he makes
Gabriel selling the jewelry he makes

We hope this letter finds you and your dear ones in good health and spirit!

It has been now several months since the activities of El Arca workshop are partially online and partially in-person. We look forward to the day when it will be safe to resume all our activities in-person. We also continue to work for the social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, motivating each beneficiary to find a product of their own making to sell, and family members to help in the establishment of a family business. Of the ten members who are enthusiastic about this endeavor, three have started selling the products made at home, with guidance from the staff of El Arca and university students from the Tecnológico de Monterrey doing their social service work at our organization. The interactions among young people with and without disability, and of different walks of life are very rewarding and of mutual benefits.

One of the persons most enthusiastic about this project is Gabriel, a handsome and shy young man, who has been spending many hours elaborating varied and beautiful imitation jewelry. Some are his own creation; others follow models that he has learned during his time at our workshop. His mother is very supportive and helps him finds places and bazars where he can exhibit and sell his creations: necklaces, bracelets and earrings. For the celebration of Mexico’s Independence last month, Gabriel made some special items for the occasion using the flag colors and had a very successful sale as seen in the photo included. 

We are encouraged and delighted to see the advances and transformations taking place in several beneficiaries and the level of engagement of their families. We can’t thank you enough for your contributions to our project; they allow us to keep helping young people with intellectual disabilities develop their gifts, gain greater confidence and autonomy and venture into establishing their own local businesses. We send you blessings, may you all stay safe and healthy and enjoy the colors of the beautiful fall season!!

Jorge Luis painting colorful peacock on wooden box
Jorge Luis painting colorful peacock on wooden box
Ivan happy to be again in the carpentry workshop
Ivan happy to be again in the carpentry workshop
Independence Day successful sale
Independence Day successful sale

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Flamboyant tree blooming in the workshop's patio
Flamboyant tree blooming in the workshop's patio

Hope this letter finds you and your loved ones in good health and spirit!

As spring arrived and the jacaranda and later the flamboyant trees bloomed all over the city and countryside, the number of people affected by Covid in Querétaro started to decline. We therefore decided to resume some of the activities in the workshop in Santa Bárbara about a month ago. Few beneficiaries come at a time and they are spread in the various areas of the building and the patio in order to reduce any possible risk of infection. One thing for sure is that everyone is delighted to leave their home and spend few hours in their working space and meet again their friends and staff members!!!

Fernando has been a member of our community for the last 3 years. When he was 10 years old, he had a cardio-pulmonary arrest that left him with several limitations in the intellectual and motor levels, as well an emotional vulnerability. Since then, his mother has been overprotective due to her concerns about his health and well-being. He is now 26 and has developed into a handsome and very nice and outgoing young man. He lives with his mother and interacts often with his two sisters and their families. Staying home for more then a year due to the pandemic was very hard on him. He now comes twice a week to El Arca to work in the carpentry and baking areas. During the contingency, we realized the importance of encouraging the beneficiaries to develop quality products that they could promote and sell on their own, with the guidance of El Arca. Some, like Andrea and Jorge Luis, have been selling some of their beautiful paintings to family, neighbors and friends around them. Fernando would like to develop his own granola recipe and sell a quality product with good nutritional value. Along with Isabel, who is in charge of the bakery, they have developed a tasty granola formula and are being helped by various university students to define cost and price, design the packing and labels, and start promoting the product for its sale. The motivation and joy of Fernando are contagious both at his home and in El Arca!!

We are delighted that the beneficiaries from our project continue to work on beautiful, useful and yummy creations! They and the people around them are able to focus more on their abilities and gifts, instead of their disabilities, and they are taking the first steps towards partial economic independence and greater confidence and autonomy.

Thank you so much for your contributions to our project, they allow us to keep going with our undertakings, and to bring joy and satisfaction to many people like Fernando! All members of our community in Santa Bárbara, Mexico, send you blessings, may you all stay safe and healthy!!

Brasilia preparing for bracelet making
Brasilia preparing for bracelet making
Andrea painting a wooden cross
Andrea painting a wooden cross
Fernando preparing the granola mix
Fernando preparing the granola mix
Fernando baking granola
Fernando baking granola

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Celebrating the women of our community
Celebrating the women of our community

Greetings to you from Querétaro, Mexico!

We will soon be completing a year since the beginning of the confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although everyone is very keen to be able to meet and work together again, a certain routine for activities from our homes has settled in. Most of the beneficiaries are now comfortable using the adequate tools to be able to connect virtually, on their own or with a little help from a family member.

During this month, as we commemorate the many courageous and extraordinary women all over the world who led the Women’s Rights movement, and brought much needed attention to issues such as gender equality, and violence against women, at El Arca, we are celebrating the many gifts of the women with intellectual disabilities in our community.  

They all enjoy the activities in the bakery, carpentry, jewelry or painting workshops; participate joyfully in the yoga, zumba and folkloric dance classes led by our dedicated staff; and develop their reading, writing and math skills with our volunteers. They also help out with chores and cooking at home, and all of them have dreams for a better tomorrow.

Andrea is a 34 year-old woman with Down syndrome who, despite the contingency, still dreams of an independent life. She is an extraordinary painter, loves to dance on many rhythms and enjoy listening to music. She is a very structured and direct person who expresses herself with clarity and honesty. Andrea is also a very thoughtful and generous person; last December she weaved scarves for family members as Christmas gifts :)) Before the pandemic, she was working three days a week in a restaurant where she enjoyed the interactions with clients. Luckily, César her employer, has promised to hire her back as soon as the conditions are safe for her. A beautiful large painting that Andrea made last year now decorates the living room of César, who had commissioned her a 2 x 1.5 meter canvas.  

Join us as we honor and encourage Rocío, Juanita, Andrea, Lupita, María Luisa, Bertha, Alejandra, Brasilia, Leticia, Ana Karen and Fernanda to keep moving forward in all their activities and endeavors. Your contributions allow us to keep going with our undertakings despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic. And for this, we are very, very thankful!!! All members of our community in Santa Bárbara, Mexico, send you blessings, may you all stay safe and healthy!!

Cesar is so pleased with the painting of Andrea!!
Cesar is so pleased with the painting of Andrea!!
Colorful scarves made by Andrea
Colorful scarves made by Andrea

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Organization Information

El Arca en Queretaro IAP

Location: Corregidora - Mexico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Mireille Kheirallah
Corregidora, Queretaro Mexico
$35,045 raised of $45,000 goal
 
381 donations
$9,955 to go
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