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What is Ojalá?

Ojalá (Oh - hah - LA) is the word used by millions in Latin America to express a wish, a hope, or a dream. The word itself has an Arabic background, coming to us through multiple cultures and many centuries.

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What we do


We are the children of OJALÁ!

We paint, we plant, we build and we laugh;
We sing, we dance and we celebrate.

We find the good and praise it…
We hold on to what is good!

We are the children of OJALÁ!
We are the children of OJALÁ!


Somos los niños de OJALÁ!

Pintamos, plantamos, construimos y reimos;
Cantamos, bailamos y celebramos.

Encontramos lo bueno y lo aplaudimos,
Y nos quedamos con todo lo bueno!

Somos los niños de OJALÁ!
Somos los niños de OJALÁ!

 

“I don’t teach my students – I offer them a place to learn. Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein

OJALÁ began when the children themselves took full advantage of a place at a table, with a stool to sit on and nothing more than a pencil and a piece of paper. They were completely delighted and engrossed in this simple setting.

Observing their responses brought about our response to them… giving them a place with materials, offering ideas and guidance…this is the foundation of what we do and how we grow at OJALÁ NIÑOS.

 

ART ~ From pencils and paper to 6-7 children, we are now over 100 children enjoying painting, drawing, stained glass mosaics, tile mosaic murals, weaving, wood shop, miniatures, various textile and jewelry creations – and a special class for little ones, ages 3-7.

Their creative talents have brought about the realization that they might learn to form cooperative businesses, developing products to market and sell, thereby becoming financially sustainable. To this end, we are offering classes in the cooperative business model to those who are interested.

Art

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MUSIC happens in the forms of listening, singing, movement (dance), and playing percussion instruments. Believing that every body is a natural musical being, the gatherings about music focus on helping them to discover this 

  

Music

                                                                  

 “I am an instrument… my voice is my instrument.” This is the opening mantra for every gathering.Various musicians are invited to play and share with us – string quartets, choirs, jazz, rock ‘n roll, ethnic groups, international music for peace – alland more have been enjoyed by our wide-eyed kid

Note: If you want to see the previous image click on the left side of the slide show or click on the right if you want to see the next one. Move the mouse over the bottom of the slide show to see the all the images.

 

LITERACY i a very important aspect of the OJALÁ programs. Many of the children have parents and DSC01304other family members who are illiterate. Because of their inadequate living circumstances, there are no books in their homes, no nearby access. Small children are not read to so tey don’t grow up with reading as a normal activity to enjoy. We have begun a Spanish literacy program for the youngest children – and plan to expand to include 3 more age levels. English will come with time, as they discover the benefits of reading and writing in their own language.

 

Waiting in the wings: folks who want to offer classes in sustainable living and environment; ceramics; health/diet; animal husbandry; classes for adults – the list goes on and everything is possible – ojalá!

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There is no age limit, no charge – and no child is turned away.