Paso Del Norte Health Foundation’s IGNITE Initiative Builds Community, Museum Staff in Juarez

The regional partnership between the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and Juarez’s La Rodador museum is starting to bear fruit.

Through the Health Foundation’s IGNITE Initiative, more than 250 youth have been trained in La Rodadora museum’s RODIS Jr. program in Juárez.

With La Rodadora being the only interactive museum in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and the largest museum in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso, program participants get a unique opportunity to help themselves and help others.

Ehudy Escobar, Instructional Relations Coordinator for La Rodadora Museum says, “La Rodadora engages disconnected young people from high school into an extracurricular training program, where they learn about art, science and technology, with the aim of strengthening their life skills, which in turn seeks to keep them away from potentially harmful activities for their health and development.”

Through their RODIS Jr. program supported by the Health Foundation, ‘disconnected youth’ were recruited and trained to be museum guides.

“We refer to ‘disconnected youth’ as individuals between the ages of 7-18, who are not involved in out-of-school activities or participating in the labor market,” PDNHF Officials said.

“Rodis Jr. helps the participants strive educationally and socially, which seeks to transform them into agents of change to find their social identity within the community,” they added.

More than 250 youths have completed the three-month program and the museum continues receiving applications for future training sessions.

Paso del Norte Health Foundation officials say, “The program has shown positive outcomes for both the youth participants and museum patrons.”

During the sessions, participants learn museum operations and how to guide children and families through museum exhibits. They also receive encouragement through mentoring on how to pursue an education and obtain a professional degree.