IN RELATION IN MEXICO

NEW BEGINNINGS REHABILITATION CENTER:

Vicente Guerrero, Baja California, Mexico

January, 2014

Courtney and I worked for two weeks with women at a rehabilitation center called New Beginnings in Vicente Guerrero, Baja California, Mexico. We spent time with these women, learning the stories about domestic violence, sexual abuse, slave trade, drug and alcohol abuse, and physical assault. We depicted the women in hand-drawn portraits and gifted these to them. We painted murals of the portraits on the center’s walls. We came back to the United States with prints of the portraits and the women’s stories to share, in hopes that they can inspire other women and men around the world.

Here are the heroes we got to know at New Beginnings:

Karla: Age 21, Children: Stacy, 3 months old

Karla

What do you love about being a woman? I love being a woman because I am able to create another life: a baby.

….

Maria Magdalena: Age 30, Children: Neli Guadalupe, 5 years old, Rodolfo Manuel, 14 years old

Maria

What have you gained from the painful experiences in your life? Bravery. I am able to make better decisions. They have removed the veil from my eyes.

….

Silvia: Age 24, Children: Abram, 2 years old, Ramiro, 4 years old

Silvia

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? There would be no more violence against women.

….

Jaira: Age 24, Children: Esmerelda, 4 years old, Joselin, 7 years old, Daleyssa, 8 months old

Jaira

What would you like to teach your children? I am just now learning how to treat my daughters better. I want to give them everything. I am teaching my daughters to treat others the way they want to be treated.

….

Maria Soledad: Age 25, Children: Esmerelda, 9 years old, Aurora, 2.5 years old, Misael, 6 months old

Maria Sol

What are you proud of? I am proud to be here. I am proud to have my children with me and to bring them into a space where they can have a better life.

….

Elvia: Age 34, Children: Luz Amayrani, 15 years old, Jesus Daniel, 8 years old

Elvia

What do you love about being a woman? I love being a woman because I can reach out to other women and show them how they can take charge of their lives.

….

Video by documentarian Stan Parker.

The artists painted a mural of a local family at a community center.

Mexico Mural Family

Mexico Mural

Full Mural Mexico

They transformed two of the six portraits into murals that were painted on the walls of New Beginnings. The team spent the days teaching yoga and meditation, creating portraits and murals, playing with the kids, interviewing the women, creating collaborative art, and learning how to make salsa and tortillas!

New Beginnings

OASIS AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

Vicente Guerrero, Baja California, Mexico

2012

The artists painted a massive mural on the school walls and played with the kids while the documentarian created resource material for promoting the program.

Oasis Kids

Oasis Mural