|Jessenia is one of our mother-therapists. She is using the TEACCH method with Andres.|
Dear Friends of Asociación Psicoballet Nicaragua,
This past October, we entered into our sixth year of providing educational and therapeutic assistance to persons with disabilities in Nicaragua. When we first opened our doors, we rented a patio in Casa Ben Linder in Managua, where we shared space with several other groups coming and going. We were only two professionals, three psychology student assistants, and ten students back then.
We have grown and matured. Today we are five full-time professionals, four parent-therapists, and two student assistants, serving a total of forty-eight students with a variety of disabilities. Our students face challenges as divergent as Down’s syndrome and blindness. But the greater challenge to all of them is not their disability; it is their exclusion from the educational system and the society. Our objective continues to be to provide a space and resources for recreation and growth for people with disability. Our students learn that they are people like others who don’t share their disabilities, and the world can be engaged equally by all. We use two psycho-therapeutic and pedagogical programs which are intimately linked: special education utilizing methods derived from the TEACCH program, and the Psicoballet dance method. These alternative methods with intensive accompaniment by trained staff facilitate greatly improved learning, in complement to the formal education which is provided in the public education system. Additionally, our students benefit from the opportunity to dance and express themselves through movement as they never would otherwise. For many people with
disabilities, especially for those
in families with limited resources, horizons are narrow, and life is brutally
empty of learning and expression.
|All students at Centro Años Mágicos participate in Psicoballet classes.|
To serve our students, we have opened the spacious Centro Años Mágicos. This space is located in a working-class neighborhood, Barrio Monseñor Lezcano in Managua, within reach of many families of modest means. Our students dance and learn, improving their physical and intellectual capacities, in a context of total acceptance of their conditions. Our students learn for the first time that their limitations do not impede them from learning and expressing themselves, that their bodies and minds have value.
Most of our students simply cannot pay the modest price for our services, but all of them pay what they can. We continually seek material and financial donations to offset our costs, and sponsorships to guarantee more students into our program. Each student costs US$40 per month, and many of them cannot pay more than a fraction of this cost. We request that you consider helping to include a student into the society by making a sponsorship. Your payment of 5, 25 or 40 dollars per month can guarantee the participation of the most needful of the students in our program. Sponsors will receive twice-yearly reports on the activities of the students they support, including current photos of and personal communications from the sponsored students in their activities at Centro Años Mágicos, and official reports on the progress of the students in our program. Additionally, sponsors will receive automatically our newsletters (four per year) and our year-end report on the activities of Asociación Psicoballet Nicaragua. By being a sponsor, your participation and input is valuable to us as much as your financial support of our student.
Our organization is a legally registered not-for-profit association in Nicaragua, and we can make our legal documentation available upon request.
On behalf of people with disabilities everywhere,
Luz Patricia López Palacio