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Ambassador Garza Hosts Theater for Children with Cancer and Disabilities

Mexico City
09-14-04

“Theater enriches our senses and allows us to view life from a different perspective,” said U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza. “The special children who are my guests today are supported by four organizations who provide critical services to children with cancer and disabilities. I am delighted to offer these children an outstanding theater piece.”

On Tuesday afternoon at his residence, Ambassador Garza hosted 100 children with cancer and disabilities for a cultural event. The children saw a production of “El Hado” performed by the Grupo 55 and were treated to music from a jazz ensemble lead by Eugenio Elías. Ambassador Garza’s young guests also received presents donated by the U.S. Embassy, Microsoft, NFL Mexico and FOX Sports.

“I believe that children are the most important members of our society; these special children live their lives fully despite their physical challenges and in doing so, give inspiration to all of us,” added Ambassador Garza. “The organizations that assist these children need our financial and personal support. I am happy to be able to highlight their outstanding work through this event.”

The children who attended the matinee are supported by the following non-profit organizations: Casa de la Amistad para Niños con Cancer, I.A.P.; Very Special Arts; the John Langdon Down Foundation, A.C.; and Proayuda a Niños con Cáncer.

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Additional information on the organizations represented at the event:

Founded in 1992, the Casa de la Amistad is a home that offers support and medication to children suffering from cancer from low-income families throughout Mexico. While the child is undergoing cancer treatment in Mexico City, the institution offers food and lodging, transport and care to the child and a parent. Casa de la Amistad accommodates 500 children and a parent on a rotating basis and also administers a medicine bank that operates in Mexico City as well as in thirteen states. Currently 1,400 children throughout Mexico receive their cancer medications through this service.

The John Langdon Down Foundation began as a one-room schoolhouse for children with Down syndrome in Mexico City in 1972. It now provides educational and recreational services for infants, children, and young adults. The School of Fine Arts, created in 1993, has a faculty of young Mexican artists who provide an environment designed to stimulate the students to develop their own artistic language. There are currently over 200 students in attendance.

Proayuda a Niños con Cáncer Luz de Vida is a nonprofit organization that offers financial assistance and psychological support to low income parents of children with cancer. Founded by parents of children with cancer, Proayuda assists with the cost of laboratory analyses, administers a medicine bank and provides physical aids such as wheelchairs and prosthetic devices. Proayuda is funded by corporate and personal donations.

Very Special Arts is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith. VSA arts is creating a society where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. Nearly five million people with disabilities participate in VSA arts programs every year through a network of affiliates and in over 60 countries worldwide. In 1992 Very Special Arts Mexico was founded and has focused on enhancing the capacity of disabled citizens through the promotion of cultural and art related activities and courses.

Grupo 55, directed by Larry Silberman and Perla Szuchmacher, is a theatrical group that specializes in playful and humorous theater for children, youths and adults. Since 1987, the group has worked in three areas: the development of theatrical works, providing workshops, courses and consulting services, and in the creation of didactic theatrical texts and books.

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