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A Garden, Theater, Mural and Hope for San Miguel Viejo
Ojala Niños

by Ojala Niños

An outstanding event took place at our rancho on Sunday, March 20th. We held a very long-awaited, special event, the inauguration of the first mural at San Miguel Viejo and the new open areas for cultural and educational activities of Ojalá Niños.

It was a sunny morning in which more than 100 people from the community of San Miguel Viejo, including children who participate in our programs, their parents and relatives, as well as supporters of Ojalá Niños, participated in this event prepared with love by our staff, volunteers and the Board of Directors.

We first met in the mural area. Irene Fuentes, Executive Director, presented the magnificent mural and explained each of the elements painted in it. These elements were proposed by the children because of their importance to them and the community.

All these elements tell the journey of the first settlement of San Miguel Viejo: by the chapel at morning, a plumed indigenous man looks towards the cactus fields and corn crops until the Parroquia at night, adorned with the stars of "La Alborada". This is the story of the people of San Miguel Viejo and San Miguel de Allende in a mural of approximately 100 square meters. It was made by the children of the community with the help of Ranchero Pandillero, a group of young artists who use music and art to keep young people away from gangs and addictions.

Throughout this mural, you will find logos of organizations and names of people who helped us to make real this project.

The group of traditional dancers, Indios de la Conquista San Miguel Viejo, from the community, delighted us with their traditional dance and music.

Then, we cut the ribbon.

Elsmarie Norbie, founder and visionary of Ojalá Niños, and our staff cut a red ribbon to inaugurate Barry's Garden. This is a new area, where children can play in a safe space. It also contains a lighted outdoor theater area for presentations, dances and many other cultural, educational activities. In this garden, children will learn how to grow their own food, about nutrition and caring the environment, along with art, music, dance and the skills to inspire creativity, critical thinking, and self-confidence. The area is named in honor of Barry Annino who donated this land for the kids.

Elsmarie took this moment to express her feelings to the community:

"You are my people, this is for you"

We entered the facilities all together. The children ran to the playground. While Rossana's choir group gave a lovely concert, we broke a huge piñata donated by Ron Lenox.

We had tacos, snacks and fresh water and the regional music group of Juan Daniel, our talented mosaic class guide, played, setting the mood for this celebration.

It was a wonderful afternoon to honor our dear Elsmarie Norby and start this new phase of Ojalá Niños on the right foot.

Thanks to all those who join us in this blessed event, to all the people who contributed to make this possible, and to you for reading about our joy.

Elsmarie Norby

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Photos of the Mural by Carlos Castro
Photos of the "Indios de la Conquista" by Kate Van Doren
Photos inside the facilities by Lori Stai




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