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Drawing to relax…

This is one of the five organizations funded by Red Nose for Puerto Rico Fund, established in 2019 in Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico by Comic Relief US.

Wagner Troche is an 11 years-old 6th grade student from the José Celso Barbosa Public School in Puerta de Tierra. He lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Wagner received a scholarship from Fundación Cortés to participate in the Summer Art Workshops for Youth in 2019. In 2020 Wagner benefited from the Nutrition Program created to address the food crisis during COVID-19, participated in the Educa Cortés Summer Virtual Program for three weeks, and continues to participate in the Wellness Mentoring Program, all thanks to the funds from Comic Relief USA/Red Nose Foundation facilitated through Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico.

During this periodWagner’s mother communicated the program that he was having trouble communicating and felt uncomfortable to start virtual school.

He also had started to take speech therapy virtually. Interestingly, the opposite reaction happened when he gets involved with Fundación Cortés. For example, during the individual wellness mentoring sessions with Wagner, he always feels comfortable and communicates efficiently with the educators and the other participants.

Wagner had the opportunity to practice reading out loud with the book: “Estímulos de vida para cada día” (Daily encouragements for every day) by Eugenio María De Hostos, a book included in the EducaKit[1] distributed by Fundación Cortés. And enjoyed reading and sharing with the other participants during the Educa Cortés Summer Virtual Program, usually choosing the longest quotes to recite.

When interviewed for this article, Wagner remembered the values learned at Fundación Cortés to promote wellness in society: social justice, self-sufficiency, dignity, culture, and identity. He also enjoyed sharing the notes from his reflective journal from summer 2020. 

During one of the summer programs workshops, when engaged in a conversation about the value of identity, Wagner expressed: “We need strategies to be ourselves.”

He also showed his drawings and mentioned that since last summer, he continues to draw because it helps him relax and better understand his feelings and emotions.

He mentioned how he cherishes the EducaKit, with the Eugenio María de Hostos book and bookmark with the “5 Exercises to manage our emotions and relax through art”, his favorite items. His favorite exercise is the 4th: “Draw outside; Working outside can be a fun way to relax and make contact with nature”.

Wagner mentioned that the individual mentoring has been of great help and that he would like more opportunities to share more time with his friends from the Educa Cortés Summer Virtual Program 2020.

This is one of the five organizations funded by Red Nose for Puerto Rico Fund, established in 2019 in Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico by Comic Relief US.


[1] EducaKit is filled with art materials, reflecting journal, art exhibit catalog, book, bookmark, and Cortés chocolate)

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