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The Fundación San Juancito in Honduras is a private, non-profit organization, working towards economic, social and cultural development, with certified legal status and private financing of indefinite duration, whose structure and functioning is governed by its statues and Board of Directors. FSJ defines its mission as the introduction and implementation of innovative elements that provide resources and information for individual and community advancement, sustainable development for the inhabitants of San Juancito and Honduras in general, projected towards bettering economic, social and cultural situations. Among some of its specific objectives are:
Contribute to social, economic, cultural, and gender development for the formation of consciousness, knowledge, and tools that will permit people to assume their roles in production, conservation, research, and experimentation in order to improve their quality of life, alleviating poverty and ignorance.
Support the betterment and amplification of the population's skills in handicrafts, technical work, cultural exhibition, and small business.
Catalyze the formation of a local handicraft industry and the modernization of production methods in order to improve the quality of materials and designs utilized.
Elevate leadership and self-motivation capabilities within the local population, encouraging sustainable development in the community, from within, through local leaders.
Coordinate with public institutions, non-governmental organizations, and private foundations that work for social, economic, cultural, and gender development on a local, regional, and national level.
Develop programs and projects that raise incomes and diversify production in the community, supporting individual and community efforts simultaneously.
Stimulate the development of creative potential among participants of projects undertaken by the foundation, to elevate self-esteem and personal ambition.
Provide methods to improve the environment, through education about conservation and alternative use of waste products, with an emphasis on recycling.
Solicit funding for projects and programs designed by the foundation from public and private institutions both national and international.
Facilitate the rational use of natural resources and human capital, to maintain the rural population in its place of origin, diminishing the urban migration that inevitably causes overpopulation and deterioration of the quality of life.
The FSJ originated through the humanitarian effort of artist Regina Aguilar, who arrived in San Juancito in 1991 to open a private workshop for fine and decorative arts. Initially the workshop functions as her private studio. Later, realizing the need for training and employment opportunities for the townspeople, Aguilare began training local people through hands-on learning to create products for retail, providing employment and therefore income, while imparting knowledge of artistic techniques that permit sustainable production indefinitely. With the passing of time Aguilar became aware of the myriad problems in the community and saw the pressing need to form a foundation that would aid the local population of San Juancito to elaborate and undertake projects, to obtain funding for these projects, and to assure skills necessary for the individual and community enhancement.
CURRENT PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES SPONSORED BY THE FSJ
Since its inception the Foundation has sponsored the following activities: San Juancito Educational Workshop This vocational training center formed in 1991 trains ex-miners, farmers, and young people in soldering, forged iron work, metallurgy, wood working, creating mosaics, ceramics, and lamp making.
In 1991 the San Juancito Educational Workshop initiated a complementary education program for its employees, enabling them to learn not only a trade but also general art skills along with marketing techniques and workshop management.
After three years, the students receive a diploma in fine arts, design and production approved by the Ministry of Public Education. Twice a year (June and December) the San Juancito Educational Workshop hosts a public exhibition of the artwork of its students. These exhibitions have taken place in the town and in Tegucigalpa.
La Mina Fund
This fund exists for the graduates of the San Juancito Educational Workshop to provide low-interest loans so they may build their own workshops in the community or outside. The purpose is to create a web of specialized workshops to produce goods for In Vitro Marketing. Realizing that product marketing is easier in tandem, In Vitro was formed to market products in Tegucigalpa and abroad. The Magic School Weekly courses in art and handicrafts for children from 4 to 17 years old. This school boasts a faculty of specialized guest artists and an enrollment of approximately 60 students. Since its inception in 1999, the children have received over 40 courses in different aspects of art. Currently, the children have created their own puppet theater, which they performed during the town fair June 24; their original script and handmade puppets tell the contemporary history of their town. The Magic School has held classes every Saturday afternoon since March 1999 thanks to international funding. In June and December exhibitions of the childrens artwork are held in El Crisol Cultural Center in San Juancito.
The El Crisol Cultural Center
This center was founded to enhance the cultural development of the community. The El Crisol Cultural Center boasts a large salon and outdoor theater appropriate for exhibitions, concerts, courses, and small symposiums. The Center also contains a large dinning facility, kitchen, restrooms, and a dormitory for up to 10 people. All of these facilities are at the disposal of the community for seminars and special events. The Center has already hosted the following courses: Hygiene and Reproductive Health April 1997, Given by Diane McNeel and María Alfonso, Teachers from the U.S.A
Gold and Silver Laminate, August 1997, Given by Carlos Carcamo Teacher from Honduras
Blown Glass (lampworking), April 1998, Given by Eileen Jager Teacher from the Untied States
Emotional Wellness through Movement, November 1998, Given by Guisela Kothbauer, Specialist from Austria
Diverse Paper Techniques, February 2000, Given by Dominique Ratton Teacher from Costa Rica
Ikebana, July 2000, Given by Regina de Aguilar Paz Representative of the Tegucigalpa Gardening Club
Engraving, July 2000, Taught by Marcia Salas and Rebeca Alpízar from Grupo Grana, Costa Rica
The El Crisol Cultural Center has also hosted courses and meetings for other organizations, including: the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the San Juancito Cooperative, the Angelworks Foundation, among others. The Center has also hosted visitors who have come to aid in post-Hurricane Mitch reconstruction, including: various Rotary Clubs from the United States, the Southern Battalion of the Untied States, the Order of Malta, Canadian Volunteers, various Foreign Embassies, and United Nations representatives. In addition, guest artists providing free art courses for the community have utilized the Center. Community groups which have utilized the Center for their meetings include: the Town Council of San Juancito, Elementary and Secondary School Teachers, Childrens Theater Troupe of San Juancito, and Adolescents Club to Improve the Community. Investigations into the Economic, Technical, and Environmental Feasibility of the following projects: Blown Glass Workshop (as an annex the Educational Workshop) Womens Dried Fruits and Flowers Business Recycled Paper Production
We are interested in creating other small-businesses and lending cooperatives, towards that end we are collaborating with the following institutions: Rotary Club of District 5170 of Oakland, California FAVA/CA, Florida Volunteers for the Americas Angelworks (a locally based organization dedicated to women centered economic development) The Foundation has already received funding requests from the community for several projects, including: organic agriculture, sewing classes, plant and flower nurseries, and a day-care center for working mothers.
Please solicit additional information about the Fundacion San Juancito from Regina Aguilar via telephone or internet.
In Tegucigalpa: (504) 239-0892, (504) 232-3452, (504) 992-2943
In San Juancito: (504) 777-0513 By Fax: (504) 230-4671
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brief Biography of Regina Aguilar
Regina Aguilar was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. From an early age, she had the opportunity to travel and see other cultures which modeled her outlook on life and the world. She first studied languages in Europe and later Fine Arts graduating from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She has a major in Sculpture and Glass Arts. Aguilar lived overseas for about 20 years of her life and returned to stay in Honduras in 1991. She has lived in the former mining community of San Juancito ever since. Aguilar continues to do her own art work and shows nationally and internationally while combining her work with the foundation.