JUNE 2012

Donna Esposito

[Bernie Jantzen with boys in Seed Program]

The Mariposa Project, a non-profit organization in the US, provides life-skill programming for parentless children in Mexico. At Love in Action in Chapala, the Mariposa Project has been busy with five programs this Spring Quarter.

The TEXTILE Program has two levels. In Textile 1, the focus is on craft activities. Susanna Rodriquez creates the craft projects for the 6 girls and 3 boys, with two pre-teens, Emiliano and Alan, assisting. Four girls are in the Textile 2 program. The main focus is to encourage the girls to be on time, to think about safety (don’t wear dangling jewelry around a sewing machine), and to “dress for success” (what apparel is appropriate for the workplace). Elieser Rangel is helping the girls sew a personal item (a felt bag) and one item for the facility (laundry bags).

In the SEED Program, 3 preteen girls have taken over a small plot of land outside their house to till and plant colorful flowers. They are responsible for watering and pulling weeds each week. They are learning that all plants need a specific environment to survive, as well as the parts of a plant. The instructor, Bernadine Janzen states, that “while they protest about the dirt under their nails, they are laughing at themselves and showing a sense of pride in the work they are providing for their home”.

PET PARENTING brings in two dogs from the Ajijic Rotary Dog Assisted Therapy program for the pre-school children. Caring for a pet helps teach acceptable social behaviors and even academic support in writing and counting. Ruth Reno has joined the program to assist with this group of energetic children and to provide insight into a design that will provide social and life-skill related activities.

The SOCIAL CONNECTION classes started last quarter and continue to develop. Two instructors, Lois Vlahov and Luzma Grande, work one-on-one with youth at LiA, providing relationship building between a special-needs youth and a healthy adult.

The Mariposa Project classes are popular and have waiting lists of children who would like to participate. With more volunteers, more children could take part in these skill-building classes. Adults are needed to develop a class in building soccer skills for children 6 to 12. If you have experience in coaching or any of the Program skills, contact us at the Mariposa Project at 01-387-761-0360 or emailing: Classes are usually 1to 1.5 hours and 4 to 8 weeks in length.

If you want to learn more or volunteer at Love in Action, contact Kari at

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