Posted by: lacasadelosninos | January 9, 2010

La Casa Newsletter 2009

One of the things that we have learned in our experiences with La Casa is that change is constant and we must be flexible to go with the flow… seems to be greater than we are !!!

The 4th year of La Casa brought the dynamic energy from 9 teachers from Chico State University’s Adaptive Physical Education Department who immediately made an impact on the pueblo’s schools and of course La Casa.  Many of the niños and school maestros benefitted from their input.  La Casa was twice blessed with the presence and expertise of Ms. Kathy Knaas who has become our Education Liason, reading specialist and un Buena Amiga.  On her first trip this year, she brought along the help of her daughters Amalia and Emily, mom Anne, her sister in law Marlene, good friends Marie and her son Evan.  Willie is always involved, sorting and keeping us organized at La Casa.

Scott Oberg and business partner Mike Landon  came and networked our computers at La Casa, two of which were donated by Dan Penner.  Scott’s family came again this year with  a suitcase full of supplies for crafts, and a library cataloging software.  Val Laing, a Home Economics teacher from Canada, came to La Casa for two weeks to bake and cook with the kids.  She learned a valuable lesson in tortilla making from Marta who just turned 9.  Sasha, Jen and Micah Panasik’s  visited La Casa and had some fun making bracelets with Dulce.  Sasha did a little painting to help us move into our new location.

La Casa’s first annual benefit golf tournament was held at the El Campo de Ensueño outside of Lo de Marcos.  There were 72 golfers, rock and roll, folklorico ballet, raffles, auctions and a whole lot of fun for everyone!  Our goal was to raise funds to further establish our library…. we succeeded!  La Casa was also a recipient of a brand new computer from an earlier benefit golf tournament, The Jaltemba Cup. 

Sadly, we learned that we would need to move La Casa de los Niños to another location by August.  When we returned to Lo de Marcos in June along with Dulce and Jim, we began our search for a new location in earnest.  Activities continued at our old location with the return of Kathy Knaas and more volunteers from the Sebastopol Area, Lisa, Tad and their daughter Molly Houston.  They made cookies, sang songs, played games, had a stuffed animal “give away”, a special song sang by Molly,  and read stories from the library.  Molly and her family also sponsored a fund raiser at Molly’s School in Sebastopol.  Dulce brought books from Hermosillo and read to the kids in La Plaza.   It was good to see Dulce laugh again!  La Casa hosted another “free spay clinic”, sponsored by PEACE, the first few days of June.  Lynn Bercaw from Chico  volunteered and enjoyed taking the animals temperature, checking their vitals, and working with the children at La Casa too! 

We found a new location for La Casa!  It is located right behind the new Plaza with a huge yard for the Niños to play!  La Casa received additional assistance from Gillian Rivas and her son Parker Fernandez during our move.  Parker, who is in his first year of college at UCLA had attended his early years of schooling in a Spanish immersion program.  It was fun to see his Spanish skills return in working with the Niños and tutoring our amiga, Vivi in Ingles in exchange for breakfasts at her new restaurant.  Gillian used her Physical Therapy skills to work with Ailen who broke her leg badly this year.  Sharon Roome was here in June to help La Casa with the move, and to celebrate our wonderful “new” La Casa.  In October, La Casa joined with others around the world to remember and celebrate Fernando’s Life with a Balloon Ceremony.  There is more on that in the blog.

During our move to the new location we received support from many of the townspeople of Lo de Marcos.  We were again saddened with the impending loss of our head maestra Diana as she was expecting a new teaching assignment out of the area.  La Casa de los Niños was very fortunate to have Diana and her soft ways with the Niños!  Like a miracle, one of our move in helpers from the community, Antonio, tells us his wife, a physical education teacher in the past, may be interested in working at La Casa!  In addition, Antonio is an “hombre de mil usos” and was very valuable in repairing and installing new electrical fixtures in the new building!  His wife, Clarita, has proven to be an excellent Maestra for La Casa and has brought her special ways of working with Los Niños!  Trini continues to work at La Casa as well as her daughter, Belen, who is in charge of the salon de material, and Natalie, who works with the older niños with special projects. 

The Niños still love  coming  to La Casa de los Niños and we are all looking forward to seeing what the New Year brings!  Thank you for all you have done and do to help us continue this legacy in Lo de Marcos.  It is truly remarkable.  Gracias !!!!!!

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