CASA—Center for the Adolescents of San Miguel de Allende

On Oct 31 I was privileged to speak at the First Annual Wellness and Spirituality Expo in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico—a benefit to raise funds and awareness toward the fight to stop violence against women and children.

This life-changing event was sponsored by Sibyl English of SIBYL Magazine and SIBELLA Poetry Magazine.

CASA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Mexico’s most vulnerable communities through a wide brushstroke of educational programs. From childhood development to employment and other areas, including domestic violence prevention and support.

To learn more about how your financial support can help to change lives, simply follow this LINK.

Have you ever been paralyzed with fear—afraid for your life?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

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© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved 

40 thoughts on “CASA—Center for the Adolescents of San Miguel de Allende

  1. Laurie, I am so delighted that you had the opportunity to speak at this worthy event. Not only did you get to enjoy the culture and beauty of Mexico, you also contributed deeply to help others. Have I ever been paralyzed with fear? I can remember coming across a bear in the woods. It might have been better to be paralyzed, but I think I ran like crazy through the trees!

  2. How wonderful for you to have had the opportunity to attend such a life-changing conference! Those children were so adorable, one hates to think of some of the horrors they may have had to face in their young lives. I am fortunate not to have had any occurrence to cause me to fear for my life, but that does not mean I have no empathy for those who have faced that kind of fear. My friend’s daughters organized two fundraising events here at home to raise money and awareness for the local women’s shelters, at which I heard stories from some of the women whose lives were saved because of those facilities. Very scary stuff! May the world wake up and see the horrors for what they are and put an end to the violence.

    • Mywithershinsyes, Yes, YES! Efforts on behalf of local women’s shelters is imperative. Last Sunday I spoke at the Civic Center in Libertyville, Illinois and the proceeds went to my favorite local charity, “The Sparrows Nest” – a shelter for abused women and their children. My hat’s off to your friend’s daughters!

  3. What a wonderful organization and opportunity for you, Laurie, to present at this event. The photos are gorgeous; I LOVE the giant mural with the lions.

    Paralyzed with fear for my life? Once … when a car came crashing through the window of a restaurant. I was at a bar, my back toward the window, and when I heard the crash behind me, felt the glass, I screamed. But in that same moment, I somehow knew exactly what was happening (my husband later said he thought it was a bomb; I knew it was a car). I remember bracing myself for the hard metal that would crash into my back. And for a moment I was scared. Then somehow calm. In the end, the Italian restaurant with its Roman columns (it was called The Roman Table) was what saved us. The car hit the column and fishtailed only partially into the building. Even the people RIGHT at the window were spared. Talk about close calls. THe protective sunglare coating over the window saved us all, as well.

  4. Yes, a domestic assault that had me paralyzed and unable to fight back for maybe 4 minutes. One other time during a disaster-accident, I was paralyzed for a few seconds, then ran into possible danger instead of away. Not sure why I’m still alive, but loving that I am 🙂

    • FloatingOnSmiles – I know that feeling of being paralyzed. One night when I was in Mexico I was sound asleep in bed when I felt something moving in my hair. I whacked my hair with my hand, jumped out of bed, flipped on the light switch, and there was a scorpion. I tried to scream but nothing came out – my throat was paralyzed in fear!

  5. What bright, colorful murals, and so many adorable children! I just want to pick each one up and give him or her a big hug! CASA sounds like a valuable organization which is helping many young people through some very tough times – I can only imagine the fearful situations they might have been in.

    I remember being paralyzed with fear during a violent thunderstorm when a tornado warning was issued. I kept standing there, staring at the TV, dumbfounded and terrified, when I should have been following instructions to head for the basement.

    • Barbara R. – You’re absolutely correct in that CASA is a valuable organization 🙂 Somewhat like an earthquake, violent storms can be paralyzing, indeed. We can almost become “mesmerized” by them.

  6. Laurie, this sounds to be a very worthy and admirable organization. They have accomplished much in their 30+ years. The children are beautiful!

    I have definitely experienced fear but can’t recall a feeling of being paralyzed, except in dreams. More often a sense of being propelled into some form of action…which sometimes over-rode sane and sensible thought : )

  7. The pictures are amazing and I am so thankful that you shared them. I am going to be thankful for your post all day today and hope that your words and sharing bring many financial gifts to the program.

    I love the lovely children’s faces and uniforms – oh those bibs to keep us clean! Delightful

    Now I want to share something else with you, An ANGEL bought Terrill Welch’s Apple Blossom canvas for me and It has just arrived at my house. Now the creative potager does many a beautiful piece of art, but this Apple Blossom picture just called to me and I asked for it for my birthday from my family – they got me a smart phone instead. I want to say Thank you to my ANGEL. Having this lovely painting sitting right now on the piano music stand (Until I find the perfect spot) catching my eye each time I look up from reading has become a blessing to me…it is the hope of the spring blossom coming again and again without fail….I am taking this as a sign and just want my ANGEL to know how grateful I am.
    Thank you Thank you Thank you

  8. Great! It’s beautiful to know that there are people out there who are sensitive enough to sponsor such programs. It is also amazing to have people like you who are ever ready to inspire and motivate people towards the better life. We are always proud of you!
    Keep up the good work!

  9. Laurie, you know I am enormously proud of you being asked to speak at this international event, but even more proud of the reason you were asked. You are truly one of the more compassionate people I’ve ever had the joy to know. Your virtual tour of the faces and spaces there have brought a world of pleasure to me and countless others. Thank you for bring their windows and doors to my portal!

  10. Hi Laurie

    Like my old friend Len Pilcher (the Kiwi pilot with the highest recorded logged hours as pilot in command – over 40,000) “I scare easy”.

    I can remember so many times I was scared stiff.

    Once at about age 8, I was out hunting in the late evening, just as it was getting dark. I was about half a mile form our house, in a patch of bush in a gully, I heard a weird screaming noise, and “freaked”. I froze, unable to move a muscle. After about 10 minutes of the unearthly howling continuing, I finally plucked up the courage to move cautiously towards the noise, to see what it was. After about 10 minutes (that seemed like hours) of quiet cautious movement, I finally caught sight of two hedgehogs mating (must be painful with all those spikes 😉 ).

    So many others, up trees, on cliffs, on high buildings, in out of control cars, on motorbikes at high speed, and many others.

    And now, I can usually have that fear come up, and pass through it, in under 1/10th of a second, such that few people ever notice it. I do.

  11. Laurie, I have a special place in my heart for Mexico. I grew up on the border in El Paso TX. In my youngest days, I was “cared for” by Mexican women, who traveled to the US to work as housekeepers. When I was older, I remember how one woman taught me to speak conversational Spanish; and also, how to make Menudo. She would leave her child with his grandmother, in order to earn money for all 3 of them. Each night from Mon through Thurs, she stayed overnight in a different home. Returning from her “shopping trip” in the US, to Mexico on Friday night; and starting all over the next week. My dad was left as an orphan on the door step of the Salvation Army in San Diego, by a woman who signed her name “Maria”. In my heart, I am Mexican too. Whenever there is violence and sadness on the border, I feel it deeply in my heart. My nickname (from friends in St Louis) was even “Juarez”.

    As to your question, yes, I have been a victim of violence; but never have I allowed myself to be paralyzed by fear, though I did learn not to push my father over the cliff of his tenuous anger being restrained, as a young girl. I watched my mother keep some details of her life private. I have been beaten by a man. I have been threatened with a pair of scissors by a different, irrationally jealous man. I have left “secretly” from a man to avoid physical harm with only a suitcase (while ostensibly at the laundromat). Even in the “best” of men, I believe, lurks a potential for violence, that women have to learn to avoid and protect themselves from. Always in my inner spiritual work, the healing of the gender-based issues is one personally accepted mission, as I know this affects all of humanity.

  12. Laurie, as I said last week this is a dream trip, made more resonant still by the noble heft of the itinerary. Your magnificent photos of the children and of this picturesque town are visually arresting and your subject is as vital as any other. I have had a few health scares for sure, though it appears I am prone to always thinking the worst when a modest and treatable issue is detected. One such instance was a comment during a kidney stone x-ray that there was a dark spot on liver. Naturally I briefly though I was doomed, before it was identified as a vericose vein. In any case as applicable to the situation you discuss here, I’d say that fear is self-defeating.

    • Sam – I’m so glad that the dark spot on your liver turned out to be a varicose vein. The world needs your positivity! Especially the children in your classrooms who are daily on the receiving end of YOU!

  13. Hi Laurie – your post is so inspiring! It’s a beautiful country and CASA is a wonderful organization. I just love the artistry there and the bright, happy colors.

    • AirportsMadeSimple – I’m grateful for the post you did for me on the airport in Leon, Mexico. It was a tremendous help arriving and departing. On a compare/contrast basis, a small airport. However, the Federales are plentiful. Did you know that you can bring tequila (specifically) back across the border without any problem? Oh my gosh, while there we discovered “Agavero” (which can’t be bought in the states). And we were allowed to bring it back – no questions asked from Mexican or American authorities 🙂

  14. I’m having an exciting week. So please excuse my tardiness.
    To answer… One of the residents of my brother’s farm was a tom turkey. The car parked, I climbed out and was halfway to the house when I heard the unmistakable sound of the turkey’s warning. I knew I had to act fast or he’d get me. Could he have killed me? In my mind, at that time, yes. In reality probably not. But fear is seldom logical.
    Thank you for the beautiful photos–such adorable, innocence faces.

    • Leanne – Oh how fun to have an “exciting” week – I sure hope I get to read about it in your blog! You are oh-so-right that “fear is seldom logical,” but it’s hard to remember when you’re in the middle of it. “Death by Turnkey” would not be pleasant!

    • Any Lucky Penny – As Hillary Rodham Clinton once said, “It takes a village.” I’m so grateful for the other women who traveled to Mexico from all over the globe to help raise money for CASA!

  15. Your photos are amazing. Thank you for sharing your experience in Mexico – makes us all sit back and think. Most of us are sheltered and safe and loved. Being paralyzed with fear is what we wish would NEVER happen to these children, and to children of any country, anywhere.

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