SONORA AND BAJA, MEXICO – Ponguinguiola A.C. is a community organization dedicated to working with public and private schools and low income communities in Sonora and Baja, Mexico. They work within the community to promote healthy and ecologically responsible lifestyles and to motivate children to develop a love of learning and reach their full potential in life. Monica Robinson Bours, the organization’s founder, says “We have different workshops for children such as reading and art in our own library and in the schools and communities we have reading and environmental programs. We always try to approach them so children really love them, engage and participate.” In addition to making copies of The Art of Learning available to parents and teachers in their library, Ponguinguiola’s program director and educators have read the book and are applying the principles in their workshops with children.
One exciting program in Baja, which takes place over the course of a year, has children between the ages of 4 and 9 learning about the Resilience based principles through an exploration of the trees, insects, and animals that live in their environment. They learn about the concept Value Process Before Results by adopting a local tree and exploring the value in each stage of the tree’s development (leaf growth, flowers, fruit, dormancy) toward its ultimate goal of reproducing. They will then explore Investment in Loss with their trees by examining how losses (such as fallen leaves in Autumn or dying flowers) allow for future growth and adaptability. Lastly, the children spend several days a week participating in a program called “Learning About Myself” which employs Using Adversity to teach them to explore, identify, and discuss their inner, emotional states. Through this program they are beginning to develop mindfulness and early meditation skills.