I have always thanked my parents for instilling my culture and heritage as a young child growing up in Texas. My frequent connections with my family in Guatemala and Mexico have made me proud of my “blood.” This pride was not only reflected in my strong efforts as an adolescent to perfect my Spanish, but also today as a professional specializing in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. As I think about the future and see how “advanced” the thinking on disability is in the United States, I can’t help but keep in mind those back in Guatemala and Mexico faced with challenges that know no borders, race, or culture. As “Third World” countries are always perceived as primitive and “backwards,” I am proud to share with whom ever has stumbled to this blog, the advancements happening in Guatemala.
I recently met the former Consulate General of Guatemala stationed in Chicago, Nelson Olivero. He is blessed with an extraordinary talent and has generously shared this talent with the Chicago community through an art show fundraiser he hosted, in support of the Foundation Margarita Tejada. Now Ambassador Olivero, stationed in Mexico City, donated over 200 art pieces and sold them, donating 100% of the funds to this foundation that supports children with Down Syndrome. This diplomat who has visited all four corners of the globe, made me realize that even though we enjoy luxuries and comforts, there are those who cannot be forgotten. Pictured is myself with Ambassador Olivero at this event.
Foundation Margarita Tejada, is truly the envy of many early childhood/developmental centers found in more “developed” countries. This organization understands the importance of early intervention and has programs for children starting in infancy, up until their adolescents. This foundation understands that children should be given the chance to show their true potential, even though born with a neurodevelopmental difference. The philosophy is the modern, forward thinking catalyst needed in a country that still denies admission to university and educational centers based on disability, and not true potential.
For more information about the foundation visit: http://www.fundacionmargaritatejada.org/wsite/index.php