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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Recreate The World Award

The Vallarta Institute
March 21, 2012

Yolanda Sanchez at the groundbreaking for the new Pasitos de Luz facility.

The Vallarta Institute celebrates how any two people, from any two countries, who speak any two languages, coming from any two walks of life can come together to recreate the world in a way that they could not do by themselves.

The 2X2 Recreate the World Award comes with a $2,222.22 donation that the Vallarta Institute donates in the honor of award recipients to one or two non-profit service organizations. An award reception takes place annually in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Each year the Vallarta Institute expects to grow the award by $2,222.22.

Nominations for awards come from guests of the Vallarta Institute Salon Series. Salons gather a group of people who wish to re-create themselves and the world and to give the gift of dialogue and recreation. Each Salon (akin to workshops or retreats) can nominate a pair of people, who are making a difference in the world. At the end of each year, Salon guests will also be asked to be part of the award selection process.  

This year, the annual 2X2 Recreate the World Award goes to a local brother & sister team, Yolanda and Cesar Sanchez.

Yolanda Sanchez is the tireless founder and executive director of Pasitos de Luz, the day care program for over 100 severely disabled kids in the Pitillal neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta.

With a group of 8 neighborhood mothers, Yolanda started the program from scratch in 1999. Today, on a shoestring budget of under $10/day per child, working parents are able to drop their kids off during work hours and the kids get various therapies (physical, art, dance, speech, massage, etc.), medical exams, meals and loving care.

Yolanda's brother, Cesar, worked for years at Pasitos de Luz, making sure operations were smooth while Yolanda focused on the clinical care of the children. Recently, Cesar launched Eagle's Wings, a non-profit organization that provides organizational capacity building services to other non-profits in Puerto Vallarta.

Over 30 staff members from non-profits in Puerto Vallarta meet regularly for workshops on everything from accounting, planning, communications and team building.

Previous recipients of the 2X2 Recreate the World Award have included:

2010 - Carlos Fuentes & Erika Bravo and Carlos Aviles & Inez Ramos (Chile) for their reconstruction efforts after Chile's 2010 earthquake.

2009 - Manuel (deceased) and Marcella Lepe (Mexico) for their work in support of Puerto Vallarta child/teen artists.

2008 - Hector Martinez (Mexico) & Cheryl Francisconi (Ethiopia) for their leadership development work in communities around the world.

2007 - Patricia Arenas (Cuba) & Diana Whitney (USA) for co-authoring "Cultures of Participation at Work in Cuba and the US."

Past award recipients Carlos Fuentes and Erika Bravo from Chile attended the award ceremony and spent 10 days facilitating dance therapy for children of all capacities at Pasitos de Luz. Marcella Lepe also attended the event.

"The Vallarta Institute gives this award every year to two people that inspire others to partner to recreate the world in ways that make a difference," said Jeff Jackson of Casa de las Flores. Maurice Monette added, "Cesar and Yolanda, as brother and sister, are all about partnership, community service and recreation."

  Learn more about Pasitos de Luz Day Care for Special Needs Children

  Learn more about Impulso de Aguila (Eagles Wings PV)

  Learn more about Eagles Wings Foundation

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