Pasitos de Luz is pleased to announce that each year we see numerous positive results and heart warming successes! We are proud of the many achievements of our kids through the years. We are also proud of the partnerships we have gained and maintained, all helping to provide resources to help us meet our mission of helping the kids be the best they can be.
A Pasitos de Luz Family Success Story
Claudia coordinates the team of staff who work in the nursery. She is 34 years old now but first became involved with Pasitos de Luz when she was just 14. She was among the very first women who came to Pasitos in 1999 with a child with disability. She brought her little brother José Angel, for whom Claudia was a full-time care giver, since their mother had to go out to work. José Angel has Hydrocephalus, an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid, resulting in pressure on the brain. Claudia brought José Angel to Pasitos week in, week out, until he reached adulthood. Thanks to the excellent care he received, José Angel is now an independent young man in his twenties, working at Hotel Samba Vallarta and enjoying his life.
Nutrition, Health and Wellness Successes
Pasitos believes in helping the families as much as possible. Approximately one third of the Pasitos de Luz staff are mothers of the children creating a complete win-win where the children get needed services and the mothers can earn money for necessities working in roles such as cook assistants, nannies, cleaners and laundry workers.
The children and staff eat two meals a day (breakfast and lunch), as well as receiving a midday fruit snack, from Monday to Friday at Casa Connor, the home of Pasitos de Luz. Up to 180 meals are cooked and served daily. In 2019, we cooked and served almost 40,000 nutritious meals!
We know the importance of focusing on the well-being of the whole family. We try to help where we can, by giving weekly donations of food and supplies to our families, to ensure our kids get as much nutrition as possible when they are in their homes. Moms like Lupita have seen a huge change in her daughter, Monse, and the impact on their overall lives is inspiring:
“Monse was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, a developmental disorder that affects many parts of her body and means that she has physical, behavioural and intellectual disabilities. She would regularly have meltdowns and panic attacks. She was unable to formulate words, and would communicate by shouting and screaming. She was still wearing diapers, even at the age of 5, and couldn’t walk properly. Within two weeks of starting at Pasitos, she was out of diapers and could go to the toilet by herself. She started walking with more confidence. I hate to admit it, but she was malnourished and in desperate need of good food. Thanks to the healthy meals that all the kids receive at Pasitos, she started to put on a bit of weight. The positive changes I have seen in her since she started at Pasitos have been so remarkable that I really believe she can make a happy life for herself now.”
The types of therapy successes for our children range from improved motion and strength to increased skills. These successes are a result of both therapy and nutrition regimes. Examples include:
- Learning to sit up and/or walk
- Strengthening abilities to protect themselves from falls
- Increasing strength for sitting and standing
- Improving balance
A first-hand account from Xochitl’s mother Claudia follows: “My daughter can now talk, she tries to sit up by herself and she even tries to stand up with help from me. It is amazing to see her trying! Her dream is now to walk. She has the ability to express herself, letting me know what she does and doesn’t want.”
Pasitos de Luz provides physical/occupational therapy, multiple early stimulation, hydrotherapy and electrotherapy sessions. We also offer alternative therapies through our Temazcal (a traditional Mexican steam bath), as well as music and dancing. The overall number of physical therapy, early stimulation, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy and electrotherapy sessions increased from 5,157 sessions in 2015 to 6,373 sessions in 2016 to 8,965 in 2017. In 2018, these same therapies, plus the Temazcal, music and dancing sessions, totalled 9,045. And in 2019, the increases were once again significant with a total of 13,254 sessions. In the 5 years from 2015 to 2019, we have offered almost 43,000 therapy sessions!
From Cesar’s mother – “The changes in him have been truly incredible. Now my little boy not only sits up by himself, but he also crawls and even tries to stand up. He can now eat independently and has become a really sociable little fellow. What is clear to us is that he is truly happy being at Pasitos de Luz. As a family, we have also benefited enormously from the support provided by Pasitos, as we begin to properly understand the needs of our son.”
Increased Skills and Graduation Successes
Through a number of our special education classes and activities, the children demonstrate successes including:
- Improving cognitive functions
- Teaching and learning basic education skills
- Developing creative art and dance
- Developing self-confidence
Alondra’s mother Rosalba and Monse’s mother Lupita explain their experiences:
“When Alondra started at Pasitos she couldn’t speak, let alone form full sentences. Now she sits at the dinner table with us and chats away about her day. I feel like I am getting to know who my daughter really is for the very first time. This is all thanks to Pasitos de Luz.”
“If you compared the Monse today with the Monse of ten years ago, you wouldn’t recognize her. Monse used to bite and kick to express herself. She used to pull my hair and her grandmother’s hair. These days she is very calm and extremely sociable. She is really chatty and loves dancing. She has even begun to read! Thanks to the teachers at Pasitos de Luz, she recognizes letters, can write some basic words and can add and subtract numbers. She has really come such a long way, which makes me feel very proud for her.”
From 2015 to 2019, we saw a number of children improve their skills and, in some cases, graduate to other systems.
- 57 children were channeled to regular schools
- 32 children were channeled to preschool
- 34 children learned to walk and sit up without help
- 34 children learned to walk
Pasitos de Luz has so many success stories. One of our many touching stories involves Ximena, who had psychomotor delay. Upon entering Pasitos, Ximena could not sit up. After three months of therapy coupled with good nutrition, minerals and vitamins, this was the result: Ximena’s first steps
After her time at Pasitos de Luz, Ximena went on to attend mainstream Kindergarten.
From Alondra’s mother – “I have to say thank you to Pasitos de Luz for existing and for shining the light that we so desperately need as parents of children with special needs, the light that enables us to see that our children have abilities as well as disabilities and are capable, slowly but surely, of achieving incredible things and of functioning within wider society.”
And this is why our work is so important.
- We help people who have reached desperation with their child or children, and they truly want what is best for them.
- We provide a significant depth and breadth of services at no cost to the families.
- Because of the services we provide, from food and nutrition to diverse therapies, education, recreation, care and love, the children and their families are able to experience life at a level they never dreamed possible.
- We empower families and their children. With help from Pasitos de Luz, the mothers come to recognize they have the power to affect their lives and their children’s lives. They recognize their choices do matter and they have an element of control over what happens.
- We provide hope….we provide hope where there was no hope.
We see daily, weekly and monthly improvements in our children as they engage in therapy, educational programs, nutritional programs and recreation. To find out more on the progress of individual children, we encourage you to meet some of our kids !