Expo Esperanza (Hope Expo) was held on August 16 and 17, 2012 at Casa Vida y Esperanza (CVE) in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, Mexico. This project of The Fatted Calf is in its third year and keeps getting bigger and better each year. This year we had 47 children participate and exhibit 208 projects in 25 project areas. Thirty-six of these participants were children from CVE and 11 were children from the town of Magdalena. A goal of EXPO Esperanza is that the children will learn, practice, and experience the following skills:
· Sense of accomplishment (which leads to more self-worth)
- Work ethic
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
- Technical knowledge and skills (animal science and husbandry, agronomy and horticulture, art skills, photography, sewing, culinary skills and food safety, electrical and mechanical engineering)
Project areas this year included: horses, beef heifers, lambs, chickens, dogs, entomology, horticulture, vegetable gardening, drawing, painting, three-dimensional art, sewing, photography, book mark, creative writing, bread, dessert, Lego creation, rockets, electricity, shooting sports, oral interpretation, cooking demonstration, singing, instrumental.
Isaac, 11-year-old boy from CVE, wanted to quit the first day of practice at the dog obstacle course because his dog Mac would not even attempt the obstacles while the other children’s dogs were all very motivated to try. Isaac returned to his group home wanting to quit the dog project, but his houseparent Joel Leman convinced Isaac to keep trying. Joel then worked with Isaac showing him how to have patience with Mac and rewarding the dog when he performed correctly. Isaac went on to win Grand Champion in the dog project with the fastest overall time amongst seven competitors and was one of only two child-dog pairs to finish all three runs with zero faults on the obstacles. Needless to say, Isaac was a very happy boy.
At last year’s EXPO, Mariela, an 8-year-old girl from CVE, couldn’t maintain her composure on stage enough to make it through her song. She did, however, enroll in singing again this year and the crowd was literally watching in anticipation to see how the 9-year-old Mariela would do in 2012. This year she gave one of the best performances of the show and won a purple ribbon!
Federico, 17-year-old boy from CVE, could not get his horse to even complete the pattern correctly in the 2011 barrel race, but in 2012 he was the Champion barrel racer finishing 0.81 seconds ahead of second place Karla.
Five children worked five to six days per week for five weeks to tame, halter-break and train their heifers for EXPO. Nine children worked three to four days a week for five weeks to get their lambs ready for EXPO. Eleven children each received a cage with two small chickens five weeks before EXPO, and they each had to feed, care for, and grow the chickens until the show. They were evaluated on how much weight their chickens gained and how much feed they used.
When asked about EXPO, Lupita, age 16, said, “My favorite was photography because I had a lot of fun taking pictures. I learned that although I made mistakes, I can learn from them.” Karla, also age 16, added, “My favorites were horses and singing. I learned that you should prepare your projects well ahead of time, so you are not rushed at the end.”
Thank you to Miranda Gerrard, the summer intern for The Fatted Calf, who worked with the children on a daily basis to prepare their animals for EXPO. Many thanks also to all of the donors of The Fatted Calf who helped make EXPO Esperanza 2012 a great success. Thanks mostly to God for allowing us to serve Him by serving these orphans and needy children.