I remember the moment I knew I wanted to be an artist. I was 5 years old. A little boy who lived down the street took a pencil and plain paper and drew a zebra. It was the greatest magic trick in the universe to my 5 year old eyes. Paper and pencil in the hands of an ordinary boy could become a zebra. The problem was, everyone told me I could not be an artist. I listened for a while, but in the end I just made it happen.
So when I spent an afternoon with Lenina and she told me her story, I got it immediately. She is happy, a deep down, no one can shake it, kind of happy that can only come from having a dream and making it happen.
Lenina Araya Orocu is a founding parent and the director of the Mareas Home School in Samara located on the second floor of Patio Colonial. She came to Samara from San Jose.
Her life might have been easier if, after her divorce, she had returned to where she would have the support of her family and more job opportunities, but she chose to stay here, and it has made all the difference. She needed to build her own life. She needed to show her children what was important by living a life filled with good work for the benefit of others in a place that is beautiful and close to nature. (Her three children are all turning out great, by the way.) Samara is where she found a community that would support her in her dreams.
When Lenina wanted playground equipment for the school Samara threw a party at Cocos Restaurant and raised all the money needed. Volunteers showed up to clean the playground area and ready it for delivery of the new equipment. On July 25, Annexation Day, Mareas dedicated a beautiful new playground located in Patio Colonial. Lenina’s next dream is to offer regular yoga classes to all of the Mareas students.
Funding is tight, but if you have the skills and some volunteer time, please contact Mareas Home School. The fact that Lenina is such a great role model has a lot to do with the number of students enrolled at Mareas. She dreams big and makes things happen, which is a great lesson for the children in our community.
I have a new dream, to gain recognition for Samara as a center for the arts. It will take time, but it can be done. What is necessary is to document who is creating here, prepare information to share in exhibitions and publications, organize a few events and create an Internet presence. All is doable with some cooperation and a few dedicated volunteers. More than a few is even better.
Some local artists have begun meeting weekly, both to share ideas and information on creating art, and how to market Samara as a destination for exhibitions, arts workshops, art tours and classes. If you are interested in joining us contact me or Jaime Koss at the Koss Gallery on Playa Samara.
Dreams come true, but only through hard work and with the support of a good community. Do you want to work in the dream factory?