Thursday, June 18, 2015

A pleasant morning- Typical day in the garden

   These are the teachers-aides working with the children in Jardin Encantado in the morning.
They are proactively stimulating and engaging the children. The sunshine helps.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Physical Education - Out in the neigborhood for some exercise

. . Some of the big kids out and about... Since I live two blocks from the center the kids walk past my house when they are going for exercise. It's great for the kids to be out and see normal life. It is also good for the neighbors and society at large to be aware of special needs people.

Monday, May 25, 2015

                                 Happy 33rd Birthday Griselda Sanchez!!

   Griselda is a wonderful kind and warm young woman. She is pictured here with our Director Dr. Roberto Martinez.  She is always asking when we are going to celebrate her birthday and Christmas. Thus, Roberto made an extra effort to join in her celebration today.  She is quite personable and would thrive in foster care or a group home.  She is more intelligent than many of our residents, so she is  not really technically part of our identified profile. Unfortunately, she has no family and there are no other options in the country to help her live an even more independent and fulfilling life.  Please pray for her and her continued happiness.

Griselda with Cowboy Pajaro.  The young man is named Jose Luis and his nickname is Pajaro (parakeet) because of his high pitched voice.  He has a great sense of humor and is always eager for adventure and diversions.  Like Griselda, he asks year round when is Christmas. 

It's all about the People !

  We have some wonderful and committed staff.

     This is Marie Eugenia called Jenny.  She is our team leader and has been working with us for almost three years. Last year she had some health issues and surgery. During her recovery period she worked as a helper at the school  Precious Moments in Santa Fe.   Her flexibility and adaptability impressed us all. Upon her return working with us we determined that it was time to give her the promotion and let her leadership qualities shine.

Griselda Lopez is our longest standing aide. She is amazing. She works incredibly hard with the wheelchair kids and is always calm and focused.  She helps with other projects on her days off. She has two little girls and has a long daily commute. On top of all her other skills she is an excellent cook. 

This is Silvia Ninett. She is our newest team member. She has two children and enormous patience with our kids. 

      This is Silvia Gonzalez. She is relatively new, but has an amazing gift for working with children with disabilities.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

El Arca and the original "'Arch'e" article in Wall Street Journal

  We are trying to launch a small residental  home for some of our young adults. We are in planning stages and discussions to create a group home for six of our most independent and least medically complicated friends who currently live in ABI.  Though we are not part of the L'Arche communities, we are looking at their model for structuring and best practices.
  The main obstacles to launching El Arca relate to medical treatments and daytime educational programming.  Please pray we find a way to overcome these challenges.

  Here is the article from the Wall Street Journal that ran on Easter-

"The Gift of Living With the Not    Gifted"

Trosly-Breuil, France
It’s lunchtime at the Ferns, a group home about an hour northeast of Paris, and the smell of fried fish wafts through the rooms. The food is typical French fare, but the dozen or so diners are anything but typical. The Ferns is part of L’Arche, or the Ark, a global community of people with mental disabilities and their nondisabled peers who live together as equals, as the organization’s founder, Jean Vanier,says he was called by faith to do. 
Residents at the Ferns are among the most severely disabled in the local L’Arche chapter. There is Jorge, a young man with motor dysfunction who expresses himself with grunts. Loïc, in his 60s, has the body of a small child but the facial wrinkles and missing teeth of an old man. His language consists of piercing screams. Then there is Emilie, a gregarious, wheelchair-bound young woman with an infectious smile.
“Emilie would like you to know that she speaks English,” says the community’s director, who serves as my interpreter and guide, passing along the voluble resident’s fanciful messages. “Emilie would like you to know that she helped cook today’s lunch.” “Emilie would like you to know that she recently attended a concert in Paris by Grégoire” (a French pop singer).
All the grunting, screams and chatter meld to form an uncommon orchestra as more residents gather to eat. Then we hold hands and sing: “Bless the Lord, you, God’s servants, / All of you who live in God’s house, / Lift up your hands to the Holy Lord / Proclaim God’s greatness and the power of God’s name. Amen.”
Eating at a L’Arche house can be discomfiting if you’re a stickler for table manners. There is much spitting, spilling and gurgling. But gradually the discomfort melts away, and the residents draw you into their world, unhindered by politeness or social rank. That’s the point of the place: to understand what it means to be human in all its imperfect forms, and to mark human dignity where it is least physically obvious. 
The nondisabled residents at L’Arche include both seminarians and secular spiritual seekers, many of them young, who will spend months or even decades there. At a house for the severely disabled, like the Ferns, there are almost as many of these assistants, as the nondisabled are called, as there are residents with disabilities.
Mr. Vanier, a Canadian theologian and philosopher, founded the first L’Arche community in 1964. It has since grown into an international federation of 147 communities on five continents. Mr. Vanier was awarded this year’s $1.7 million Templeton Prize, which honors individuals who make “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s breadth of spiritual dimensions.”
Mr. Vanier, who is 86, has retired from day-to-day management, but he still lives in the original community in Trosly-Breuil, in a modest house next to a chapel, not far from the Ferns. Well over 6 feet tall, the former naval officer has the bearing of a gentle giant, with bushy brows, large ears and kind eyes. Dressed in a windbreaker and dusty corduroy trousers, he is reluctant to talk about himself.
“Don’t push me up,” he says in a voice that rarely rises above a whisper. “I’m always frightened. Because what I’m trying to live and trying to say is that people with disabilities are important—in themselves but also they have a message to give to humanity. I’m talking about going down to the bottom and listening to the bottom, which has something to say.”
What Mr. Vanier hears today fills him with both hope and anguish about the place of these people in today’s world.
He acknowledges that “there’s a desire to respect” people with disabilities, which reflects progress after centuries of persecution. “In the Gospel of St. John we hear the disciples asking Jesus about a man who was born blind: Why was he born blind? Was it because of his sins or the sins of his parents?” In other words, he says, “the idea was that disability was a punishment from God. And now we are saying at L’Arche that people with disabilities are a way to God. So the world is evolving.”
Yet Mr. Vanier also sees people with disabilities being compelled to adopt the aspirations of the nondisabled. “There’s a tendency of being happy because they’re winning—the Paralympics, working at McDonald’s and so on,” he says. Labor is a central element of life at L’Arche, where residents learn everything from candle making to pottery to bee farming. But, Mr. Vanier warns, if we only celebrate people with disabilities insofar as they’re like us, this risks overshadowing the gifts of these “people of the heart.”
“What people with disabilities want is to relate,” Mr. Vanier says. “This is something unique. It makes people who are closed up in the head become human. The wonderful thing about people with disabilities is that when someone important comes, they don’t care. They care about the relationship. So they have a healing power, a healing power of love.”
That power permeates L’Arche, but in the world outside, threats to human difference and the dignity of the disabled are proliferating. Prenatal screening has meant that a majority of fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, though some recent studies suggest the termination rate is declining. Advances in biotechnology and genetic engineering will make parents and physicians more likely to attempt to “design” away disabilities, to create perfect babies.
But biotech-aided parenting will be a messy business, Mr. Vanier warns. “They want to have babies according to what they want,” he notes. “But, boy, they’re going to have trouble when that boy grows up to be an adolescent and says, ‘I don’t want to be what mummy and daddy want!’ ”
Unhindered biotechnology, moreover, risks alienating man from man. The L’Arche movement, Mr. Vanier says, “is about the discovery of the Word became flesh. Jesus was a human being, with a human face, and taught us through the way he lived how to meet people.” But we are now entering a “virtual world,” he worries, “where we’re frightened of meeting people” as they are, even though what they are is what makes them human. 
“Everything is about coming together,” he says, “through the eyes, through the face, through the hands, through the imperfections, with all that is beautiful and all that is painful.”
Jean Vanier was born in 1928 in Geneva, where his father served in the Canadian diplomatic corps. In 1939 his father became the Canadian envoy in Paris, and when German troops advanced on France the next year, the Vaniers made a narrow escape to Britain and from there back to Canada. But Mr. Vanier wasn’t done with Europe.
“At the age of 13,” he recalls, “I heard that there was a school for the future officers of the British Navy, and something rose up within me. I knew I had to go.” At the Royal Naval College the young Mr. Vanier was both a foreigner and a Roman Catholic in a Protestant environment. 
“There is that little compass within each one of us where we know what is right, what is just, what is good, what is true.” Less than a decade later, Mr. Vanier abandoned a military career to follow the little compass elsewhere.
“Because I believed in the Gospel values, I felt called to leave the navy to follow Jesus,” he recalls. “For me to follow Jesus was to announce the good news to the poor.” Eventually he returned to France, where he began studying with a Dominican priest, Father Thomas Philippe.
After earning a doctorate on Aristotelian ethics from the Catholic Institute in Paris in 1962, Mr. Vanier began lecturing on both sides of the Atlantic. Father Thomas, meanwhile, became chaplain at an institution for the mentally disabled in Trosly-Breuil and urged Mr. Vanier to visit. 
“I discovered this world,” Mr. Vanier recalls. “People locked up in institutions. Parents feeling ashamed, pained.” At an institution near Paris, he saw 80 men locked up in a building meant for 40. Violence and abuse were rampant. Elsewhere he saw a teenager chained in a garage.
“What do you do when you see something like that?” asks Mr. Vanier. His answer was to purchase a small house in Trosly-Breuil and invite two disabled men, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, to leave an institution near Paris and live with him as friends.
Raphael only knew 20 words and didn’t speak very much. “Whereas Philippe spoke too much,” Mr. Vanier says with a smile. “The great thing about people with intellectual disabilities is that they’re not people who discuss philosophy. . . . What they want is fun and laughter, to do things together and fool around, and laughter is at the heart of community.”
The men bought a trick mustard pot with a spring in the lid that would jump out when opened. “Raphael, he loved that,” Mr. Vanier recalls. One day a state inspector visited the house, and Raphael “would push the mustard pot, inch it forward toward the inspector, and he finally opened it—and there was laughter! That was at the heart of everything. After long years of being looked down upon, being seen as stupid, they were finding a place of freedom and happiness.”
L’Arche grew quickly, drawing strength from the spirit of the 1960s. Communities sprang up in India, Egypt, Honduras and beyond. “It was a propitious time,” Mr. Vanier says. “Everyone wanted community. People were angry against authority.” There was ferment also within the Catholic Church thanks to the Second Vatican Council, and spiritual seekers descended on Trosly-Breuil. Without Mr. Vanier’s and Father Thomas’s philosophical vision, however, L’Arche would likely have withered away like many a hippie commune did.
With growth came a degree of professionalization and greater state oversight of the houses and the care provided to residents. Though this meant losing some of the original spontaneity, Mr. Vanier has for the most part welcomed the change. Life at L’Arche is never easy, even with the added assistance of psychiatrists and social workers. 
“L’Arche teaches us also the difficulty in meeting the poor,” Mr. Vanier says. “Some have been too hurt, some have psychological problems. And so here we’re called to be very attentive to the needs of the other.” This is the challenge that has proved attractive to thousands of nondisabled people. 
But what about those who can’t take years off to serve? “Try and find somebody who is lonely,” Mr. Vanier says. “And when you go to see them, they will see you as the messiah. Go and visit a little old lady who has no friends or family. Bring her flowers. People say ‘but that’s nothing.’ It is nothing—but it’s also everything.” He adds: “It always begins with small little things. It all began in Bethlehem. That was pretty small.”
Mr. Ahmari is a Journal editorial-page writer based in London."

Excerpts quoted here without permission from publisher 

Suzy moves to her new home

  Suzy has found a permanent home with the wonderful home for handicapped people in Antigua, Guatemala:  Hermano San Pedro.
  It was a complicated and emotional decisions we all went through as we considered what was best for her. She has special relationships with our Nineras (especially Griselda) and the nurses at ABI. Though she is loved and well attended to at present we were not sure what we can do for her in the future. Also, since she is our most challenged person with Cerebral Palsy, we are not confident that we can deliver the appropriate treatments and protocols fitting of her disabilities.  Her new home has a constant flow of visiting neurologists and physician mission teams  bringing the most up to date treatments to people like Suzy.   Antigua is the most visited tour destination in all of Guatemala, so please visit her next time you go there.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Instructor Biblica para Niños Especiales

 Instructor Biblia para Niños con Necesidades Especiales

 Fundación Cadano en  Zona 13, Ciudad de Guatemala está en busca de una persona para enseñar a niños con necesidades especiales acerca de la Biblia y el amor de Jesucristo. La posición sería para dos tardes a la semana durante cuatro horas: Miércoles y viernes de 1:00 pm hasta las 5:00 pm- Instructor ofrecerá clases a tres niveles de residentes con discapacidad intelectualA.  

13:00-14:00; .  Clase Avazado     para los residentes y contienen contenido
                                 similar a una clase de la Escuela Dominical de niños de 4 años

14:15-15:15:.. Clase de nivel Medio Confíe más exclusivamente en música, vídeos y                                       
                                 juegos para transmitir el amor deJesucristo

15:30-16:30    Clase Iniciales  Esto sería con los más profundamente incapacidado
                                  niñosy se basaría en la música y simples elementos visuales para
                                  transmitir esl mensaje de El Senor.:.

Requisitos solo un amor de los niños con necesidades especiales y un amor de Jesús Cristo. Materiales y refrigerios serán proporcionados por la fundación. Compensación será
Q 80 quetzales por día.

Si está interesado por favor póngase en contacto

Jamie Waller
Fundación Cadanino
3246 7201  

17 calle "A" 7-04
Zona 13 Colonia Aurora I

Enero 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Help Wanted - Job Posting

          Bible Instructor for Special Needs Children

 Cadanino Foundation in Zone 13, Guatemala City is  looking for a person to teach special needs kids about the Bible and the love of Jesus Christ.  The position would be for two afternoons a week for four hours:  Wednesday and Fridays from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm-  Instructor would offer classes to  three levels of intellectually impaired residents.

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm; Advanced class. This would be for residents and contain content
                                 similar to a Sunday School class of 4 year olds.

2:15 pm to 3:15 pm:  Middle level class. Rely more exclusively on music, videos and  simple
                                 games  to convey the love of Jesus Christ

3:30 pm  to 4:30 pm  Beginners class. This would be with the most profoundly impaired
                                  children   and would rely on music and simple visuals to convey
                                  the message.

Job Requirements: A love of special needs children and a love of Jesus Christ. Materials and snacks will be provided by the foundation. Compensation will be 80 Quetzales per day.

If interested please contact:

Jamie Waller
Cadanino Foundation
3246 7201  

17 calle “A” 7-04
Zona 13 Colonia Aurora I

January 2015

Saturday, May 17, 2014

More Photos of the big kids -

  The young adults tend to be relatively physically coordinated and have fairly autonomous lives.
They are always looking for love and attention. Several of them would thrive is an assisted living or halfway house residential setting.

                                                    Ernesto (Canche) 


                                         Jose Luis   (Pajaro)




Ingrid Miranda Profile


 A brief profile of Ingrid Miranda-   She is 14 years old and has lived at this center for 6 years.  Though she is 14 years old, she appears about 9 yrs old. 
She has autism, epilepsy and low intelligence. She can stand, but not walk.  She responds to attention, but in off standard ways.  She enjoys attention. 
She wears and diaper and is unable to speak.  She understands very little of communications.   Controlling her convulsions has been an intermittent 
problem.  She has scoliosis of the spine and her arms and legs are somewhat warped.  One of her legs is shorter than the other. We have recent 
x-rays of her legs and back. 

She has made some progress over the years. It is believed that she was very much neglected by an extremely poor family prior to her entering the 
center 6 years ago. 

There are approximately 10 wheelchairs kids and 60 kids who can walk and have fairly normal mobility. She is in the bottom decile of 
residents in terms of intelligence and physical capabilities. 

With help, she can use a spoon to eat.  

Ideally, we would like ideas to help her come out of her autistic shell.  Ideas for physical exercises and mental stimulation 
would be most helpful also.