PROYECTO GIRASOL & PROYECTO SALVACIÓN
Our story begins with our founder Sandra Juárez de Témaj, her husband Cesar Témaj, and a program called Proyecto Girasol. This program was for people struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol. It was a place where they could stay at for rehabilitation. Sandra and Cesar first became involved by supporting the program with food and supplies. From there they continued to develop a relationship with program's participants and workers. This was the first time Sandra works with those who struggled with addiction.
Shortly thereafter, the previous director left the program. As a result, each of the participants had to leave the program house and return to their own. Sandra continued to work with them, meeting once a week in her clinic. The program participants would do well in the meetings, but once they left they returned to their same issues. It quickly became apparent that the program participants needed to stay somewhere with supervision if they were going to make real progress in their rehabilitation.
In response to this need Sandra and Cesar started a new project. They rented a house for the project so that people who suffered from addiction had a place to go to complete their rehabilitation. Here Sandra and her team offered several different therapies as part of the rehabilitation program. Since the program was requested by and made for its participants, Sandra let them choose the project's name. The name they decided on was Proyecto Salvación.
From "Proyecto" to "Fundación"
Proyecto Salvación continued for two years and was able to provide help for many members of the community struggling with addiction. It was around this time that Sandra and Cesar were made aware of a public works warehouse that had been abandoned. They both knew that if the government would let them use this space it would save a significant amount of resources. So they began a petition for the warehouse. It was a lot of paperwork, but the government decided to let Sandra and Cesar use the warehouse under several conditions. The biggest and most important condition was that the space be used for children of the state. Though it was not exactly what they had set out to do, Sandra and Cesar decided to accept the government's conditions and use the warehouse to take care of the children. As such, Proyecto Salvación was expanded to the include the care of children.
For obvious reasons, Sandra and Cesar decided to maintain the house for those struggling with addiction separate from where the children were going to live. They did their best to maintain both projects going, but unfortunately it was more than one person could handle. Sandra had to face a difficult decision. It was with heavy heart that she decided to close the house for those struggling with addiction and continue her work with the children.
Part of the difficulty with the new project for the children was that the warehouse was in disrepair. It was going to be a lot of work to turn this public works warehouse into a place suitable for children to live in, so Sandra and Cesar sought out help from the community. One of the suggestions they received was to take the project and formalize it as a foundation. As a result, Fundación Salvación was created.
FUNDACIÓN SALVACIÓN GROWS
There was a lot of work to be done at the young foundation. The warehouse had wide variety of junk, from scrap materials to broken down vehicles. Furthermore, the number of children grew rapidly. Fortunately, since its formalization in 1998, Fundación Salvación has been blessed by a multitude of people, churches, and organizations who have given their support in many different forms.
One such form was construction and maintenance. For a building to be lived in, certain amenities are required. There have been many volunteers, both as individuals and groups, that have come to build rooms, install plumbing, install lights, repair roofs, and so much more. Through the help of many, the warehouse was renovated to be a place children could call home.
Other blessings came in the form of areas for the children to relax and be children. A paved area was added for basketball, soccer, and other sports. A playground was added. A garden was put in. One of the larger rooms was converted into an activities room. These areas went a long way to provide for the physical needs of the children.
One of the biggest needs that Sandra focused on was education. She knew that the best way for these children to move forward and grow was through learning. Throughout its history Fundación Salvación has received significant support through supplies and materials, a classroom for tutorials and study sessions, and even a small library.
Sandra's degree and most of her career work was in psychology. Since the beginning of Fundación Salvación she focused on providing for the emotional and spiritual needs of the children. She made sure that all of her beloved children knew God, and she worked with them tirelessly to help them overcome any issues they may have. Her passing in 2011 was a huge blow to the Fundación. Family and supporters have since given their all to continue her work and to provide for the children of Fundación Salvación. In recent years Fundación has been blessed by the development of their social work and psychology department. Once again, this is thanks to support from a multitude of individuals, churches, and other organizations.
FUNDACIÓN SALVACIÓN TODAY
Fundación Salvación continues to work hard for the children who call it home. Fundación is constantly pursuing new project and new ways to provide for all of the needs of our children. It is the goal of Fundación to protect, restore, and transform vulnerable children and adolescents.