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Like a pebble tossed into still water, JUNTOS has rippled over the years, casting its circle of influence wider and deeper. — Executive Director, Joanna Poz-Molesky 

In honor of upcoming Giving Tuesday, JUNTOS wanted to share some of the stories that inspire our organization to continue bringing programming to new communities across the U.S and Latin America. Many of these stories begin with JUNTOS, but extend far beyond our reach. It is these individuals and their journey that keep us motivated and excited about our work.

First up: Meet Amelie Reyes.

Amelie is from Jocotenango, Guatemala, a working-class town next to the popular tourist destination, Antigua. She is twelve years old and passionate about dance, always trying to learn with the tools she’s presented (YouTube is a big part of this as other resources are minimal).

When Amelie was introduced to JUNTOS she was inspired to take dance to the next level. Her story demonstrates that a singular moment, a dance workshop, can ripple positive change within a community: today Amelie encourages her peers and the people around her to be a part of something new, to think creatively, and to support the arts. 

  Amelie’s #JUNTOSjourney began in June 2017, when she participated in a workshop and saw a performance at Los Patojos, a program that works with low-income youth in  Jocotenango with an emphasis on creativity and social action.

In July of 2017, JUNTOS Ambassador Julia Horner traveled to Antigua, spending 5 weeks teaching daily dance classes to the community which culminated in a final performance for friends and family.

  Inspired by Julia’s classes, Amelie and two other friends created a dance club at Los Patojos, to continue learning dance in a supportive space.

 Today, Amelie builds leadership skills, inspires her peers, and brings the arts to more members of her community.

“At Lost Patojos, JUNTOS workshops helped us develop confidence and reminded us that when we work hard, opportunities arise.”  Amelie Reyes

It is always a joy to hear journeys like Amelie’s. Join us on Giving Tuesday this November 27th to help us keep growing our community and these incredible stories.