> 3000 Ave Marias -- Songs of Sharon -- Remi Ghesquiere -- St-Basil's Hymnal --  PROJIMO -- Beyond Good and Evil

Home Up 1976 - 1981 1982 START 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 SEPARATION 2000 2001 2002 †AJOYA no mas† 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


PROJIMO timeline:

bulletmovie: "Our own Road / Nuestro Camino"
bulletrelease of award-winning video documentary: Nuestro Camino / Our own Road

Newsletter from the Sierra Madre #42

Children's wheelchair program


Coyotitan obtains legal status as A.C.


Coyotitan obtains assistance from a bookkeeper


bulletDr Sophia Jan


Nuestro Camino / Our own Road. (2000)

Directed by John Montoya  Writing credits Charlotte K. Beyers

In November 2000, this film won “The Oscar of medical films!”
a Freddie Award for “Special People” in the Time Inc. International Medical Competition.

PROJIMO time-line:
This movie documents a crucial moment in PROJIMO history.
Because of increasing drug-related violence in and near Ajoya, people would no longer come to Ajoya with children. The group opened a clinic in Coyotitan. PROJIMO split in 1999, when part of the group decided to permanently relocate to Coyotitan.
This movie shows the beginning of PROJIMO-Coyotitan, with the construction of the first buildings on the new site.

Review on the Internet: http://www.disabilityworld.org/04-05_02/arts/onourroad.shtml

"Our Own Road": The Story of Project PROJIMO in Mexico
By Barbara Kolucki (bakoluck@aol.com)

Project PROJIMO in rural Mexico is often called "Little Berkeley" because over the past eighteen years people in the community have learned to consider it normal to see children and adults who are disabled as integral parts of the community. And even more so, they see them as active participants and leaders in their own lives.

"Our Own Road" is a 27-minute video about this project. It is a well-produced documentary about this pioneering project in Western Mexico. David Werner, its founder, is well known to nearly, if not all, in the field of community based rehabilitation around the world. PROJIMO has been the model for many CBR projects in numerous countries. It has weathered many growing pains and continues to live and breathe the philosophy "Nothing about us, without us".

The video is primarily a narration with numerous sound-bites from David Werner and many of the employees at the center, all (I think) who were residents at one time. They talk about the philosophy of people with disabilities helping each other and that at a local level, one can find a local solution. No one is turned away.

David tells the viewer that most of the time, parents come to PROJIMO with the hope that their children can get some magic cure. It takes time, he says, but slowly they learn that disability "does not mean less valid - or 'in valid'. The center is not about making people who are disabled "normal", but rather about embracing and celebrating diversity and difference.

We see that the center is very practical. Families are given suggestions of what they can do when they get home - from playing a game with a little girl that encourages her to use the hand that is disabled to adaptations for the many activities of daily living. The work and philosophy of the center is about inclusion in every sense of the word. When the playground was being built - children were included in helping to build it, as were all adults. It was not built by non-disabled folks for children with disabilities.

Many of the former residents have stayed on as employees. Most do not have a great deal of education, but they learned to do everything from the daily chores of sweeping and washing clothes to the accounting that keeps track of all the wheelchairs or other aids that are made and distributed. The world at PROJIMO is adapted for people's capabilities, not their disability. They can do just about everything that is needed to be done - for themselves and others.

There are a few especially effective moments in the film.
One is when we see a woman working with wood while she sings a sweet song. [= Marielos] We are watching her, her face and hands for some time. Many directors would not allow such an extended shot for this length of time. But here it is very natural and it infuses more "humanity" than in the usual documentary style production.

The video gives away the "recipe" for the best cure for pressure sores. We don't watch the process of cleaning but discover how the honey and water mixture that is used to pack the wound after cleansing absorbs the infection and prevents bacteria from growing. I get angry and mystified whenever I see or read about this "recipe" - knowing that hundreds upon hundreds of children and adults are dying without knowing about this simple "cure".

David talks about the changes and problems that have faced PROJIMO over the years. Many people in the town have had no work and have turned to drugs and alcohol. There has been an increase in gangs. Many have been shot - including one man we hear from whom was trying to leave gang life and one day was not only shot himself - but the bullet also went through his baby and killed her.

This scenario has caused many problems for the center. Some people would not come to PROJIMO because they knew that some of these gang members who were there as residents did not give up their habits when they were shot and became disabled. Often, they had to be kicked out. But, David tells us that when some of them were given the chance to learn a skill and provide a needed service to others, they become "skilled and caring rehabilitation workers". We see this same man whose child was killed talking about teaching others - and the joy he finds in this.

In recent years, a new Center has been built - the Coyotitan Clinic. It is in town and in a safer area. This Clinic is one example of many projects that have started elsewhere in Mexico as a result of Project PROJIMO. These are all community-based rehabilitation (CBR) projects. They bring the service to the community. And this has not only happened in Mexico but in many countries around the world.

I, like many, have been impressed with this project and the impact that David Werner has had on the field of rehabilitation and work in developing countries. I have always wanted to visit PROJIMO and in fact, to help with making a video, especially one for and about children. Seeing this production is almost like making a real visit. Working primarily for and with children, I would have liked to have heard from a few of the youngsters. But if this is the only comment I have about the video - well, you know it is a good production.

The pride, strength, practicality and ability of people who are disabled at PROJIMO are what the video is all about.

Our Own Road
Peregrine Productions
Executive Producer: Charlotte K. Beyers
Robert Beyers died in 2002.
Charlotte Beyers died in 2005. She was 73.
David Werner
963 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301 USA

Nuestro Camino

The complete movie: © 2000 Peregrine Productions
Spanish version:
English version:

Page last modified: October 27, 2011

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