In an increasingly globalized, diverse and interconnected world, Instituto Conexiones (aka Conexiones Institute) offers experiences, productions and publications that connect kids and families to nature, cultural diversity, the arts and each other as part of a larger mission to contribute to a more joyful, peaceful, and sustainable globalization process for ALL. Conexiones believes multilingualism, parks and protected areas, multicultural celebration, the public arts, sustainable agriculture, sustainable business practices, humor and play are cornerstones of a peaceful society ready to tackle global problems in a more equitable way.
The hot spots of globalization are where Conexiones focuses its efforts. Thus, Conexiones serves families and children living in communities that are witnessing rapid change due to immigration and/or tourism, such as Costa Rica, Baja California, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Conexiones began as a team of just a few members of the Newton family back in 2001 who shared a common desire to prevent war and environmental degradation as they had seen in their birth country of El Salvador. Along with some supportive friends, they began producing educational workshops and experiences in 2001, first in partnership with Earth Dance Multicultural Gatherings in Mexico and Arizona. In 2003, Conexiones became a project of Costa Rica Conservation Trust (CRCT), and opened its Costa Rica rainforest camp. In 2004, in partnership with local Costa Rican leaders, ASANA, the Perez Zeledón Municipality and ARAUCARIA’s Savegre Watershed project, it started co-producing sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship for Costa Rican rainforest farmers and young leaders, activities children around recycling and eco-art, ecological fairs, and a voluntourism and eco-cultural immersion program for youth and families visiting Costa Rica.
It 2006, Conexiones became an independent social enterprise and opened a new education center in San Francisco, California, which later moved to the forest of El Sobrante in the East Bay. Thanks to its small staff and with the support of over 300 partners and members, Conexiones continues to produce and co-produce a variety of productions and experiences that advance its mission, such as early childhood education experiences, Spanish immersion programs, videos, events, workshops, exhibits, eco-cultural trips (locally and abroad), ebooks, websites, and more. It produces about 20 classes and programs, including day camps, at 8 different sites around the San Francisco Bay Area during the school year and facilitates year round educational journeys to its sister camps in Costa Rica – a educational organic farm and 300 acre rainforest park bordering the Los Quetzales National Park and a Spanish School in a wildlife rescue center in the San Carlos/Arenal area.
A goal is to spread to multiple languages and countries as well as create a mentorship program for new family day cares wishing to help the youngest of our citizens grow up from the start loving nature, cultural diversity and peace for ALL and having real-life 21st century skills such as knowing how to speak a second language, cooperate, and engage in positive creative expression.
Conexiones Institute welcomes new members and partnerships that feel aligned with the Conexiones vision of joy, peace and sustainability for all to make magic together. Other partners, past and present, include ARAUCARIA/MINAE Savegre Watershed Project, Precita Eyes Muralists, ASANA, CEDARENA, Three Seeds Farm, Buenaventura, Tico Guide Travel, AltSchool, JCC East Bay, Children´s Council of San Francisco, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Wikreate, Noble Profit, Galería de la Raza, SOMArts, and Kensington Community Center.