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Social Work

With the feet on the ground and the look to the sky

Over the years, private companies have become more socially aware of the world and the context in which they operate. It is no longer just a matter of seeking maximum profitability as an end, regardless of the means (as proposed by Nicolas Machiavelli), but of participating with the community to achieve a more just, inclusive and equitable society. 

The challenges are multiple and complex, in a society that rewards merit but is unable to offer equal conditions to achieve it and at the same time attacks the environment in a purely utilitarian way, with serious environmental consequences. 

However, the complexity of the social field is not the task of one person or institution; on the contrary, it represents an opportunity for meeting and collective action to transform reality. Paulo Fraire, a Brazilian educator, put it this way:  "No one is saved alone, no one saves anyone. We all save ourselves in community". In other words, genuine change comes from collective action and not from isolated efforts. By recognizing the other, working together on the basis of concrete objectives, we move forward step by step towards a better world. 

It is precisely this journey that we want to share, as Grupo Gova was linking, uniting paths, finding wonderful people in different community projects that today are a reality. 

One of the many cultural legacies of the ancient Romans in modern societies are the Latin phrases that summarize great ideas and meanings. “Pedes in terra ad sidera visus”, which means, “Feet on the ground and the look to the sky”, is one of them and represents faithfully our values. 

Since our birth in 2013 as Grupo GOVA, in addition to having the clear purpose of creating urban developments with a return on investment and assured capital gain, we have made a commitment to our community in the search for a fairer and more inclusive society.
Under this premise of empathy we have undertaken different types of actions to join efforts with local authorities, NGOs and other companies seeking to generate positive change in the region.

In this journey, we were led to work with disability in general and Down syndrome in particular. We understand that disability is only one step away from us, and that it represents a difficult challenge to overcome if one does not have the correct information and the material means to advance to a dignified future.  

The concept of disability has undergone an extraordinary evolution throughout our history. For a large part of the 20th century, disability was perceived from an overly paternalistic welfare approach that reinforced dependency and attitudes of social and employment discrimination. In 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) established a definition of disability that implies a before and after, and from where we establish our interpretations and horizons of meaning.

Disability is a human condition that generally encompasses a person's impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions:

  • Deficiencies are problems that affect a body structure or function.
  • Activity limitations are difficulties in executing actions or tasks.
  • Participation restrictions are difficulties in relating to and participating in life situations

This definition recognizes the social context as a determining factor in a person's disability. And it is precisely in that common context that Grupo Gova decides to participate, it is the ground from which we start, projecting with hope and dignity towards the sky in the search of a new horizon.

We make the road as we walk

Under this premise of empathy we have undertaken different types of actions to join efforts with local authorities, NGOs and other companies seeking to generate positive change in the region.

For example, one of the first projects we had the honor of participating in was in March 2017 through a close collaboration with the DIF System of Puerto Vallarta, directed by Master Candelaria Tovar de Dávalos; for the elaboration of the Regional Rehabilitation Unit (RRU).

The RRU was an urgent need for people with disabilities, as there was no service as such in the region. Today, different types of families and individuals can come for physical therapy, speech therapy, early stimulation and comprehensive consultations. To date, more than 65,000 services have been provided at the RRU, changing the lives of many people, including the Gova Group's staff. Director Candelaria, in a gesture of gratitude, named the RRU after the youngest daughter of Grupo Gova's co-founders, Karen Malacara and Fernando Castro.

During 2019, thanks to our commercial partnership with KW, we have participated in the social work of “Red Day”.

Keller Williams' offices around the world devote hundreds of thousands of hours to community work in the locations where their offices are located. They do street cleaning, reforestation, renovation of community spaces, garbage collection and recycling, among many other activities in which we have enthusiastically joined.

It was also during 2019 that we began to work with greater awareness of the problems related to disability, Down Syndrome. In this way, a new dream was born on the horizon, a comprehensive center in the region that supports with dignity the growth and progress of autonomous people.

In March 2020, under the crisis and unemployment following the COVID19 pandemic, we participated in the delivery of meal kits for low-income families where one member has a disability.

We are also currently collaborating in the renovation of the Training Center of the DIF System, which has the mission of providing support and courses that allow women and men to improve their professional skills in order to improve the economic conditions in which they and their families live.

CEAA and GOVA Group, an integral collaboration

What began as a dream, as a search, as a need, was gradually woven through relationships and hard work, until it became a reality.

One of the projects we are most proud of is that we found the Center for Active Teaching and Learning (CEAA, by its Spanish acronym) on our way here. Founded in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon by Lic. Raquel López de los Reyes in 1989, this association understands the need to change the paradigm about people with Down syndrome and/or intellectual disability. With 30 years of work and experience in Mexico, Latin America and Europe, CEAA proposes new ways of interpreting disability, accompanying the development of self-sufficient people with a dignified life to lead.

The lack of information, the material limitations, often lead to restrict the real possibilities for people with a disability to develop and have a decent life in society. Many of the families that have a member with a disability end up separating because they cannot face adversity. Consider that in Mexico, one out of every 650 children is born with Down syndrome, and an average of 6,000 Mexicans are born every day.

Recognizing that need in Puerto Vallarta and Bahia de Banderas, where many families had to migrate to other urban centers in search of help, we decided to actively participate in opening CEAA Vallarta. A place where you can find all the tools for medical, psychological, pedagogical and personal growth attention, open to the whole community that requires it, from the prenatal stage and all along their lifes.. A center of attention that contains the best specialists in each area.

CEAA Vallarta is currently a reality working strategically together with the RIE Vallarta Clinic, located at 170 Tordo Street. Those interested can request information by calling 322 688 1612 or visiting their Facebook page. It is a first step, until we manage to get enough funds for the construction of the integral attention center CEAA Vallarta.

To achieve this ambitious project, and to be able to support through a program of scholarships to the children and families that require it, in September 2020 we participated in the creation of the Andrea 3.21 Foundation, from which we invite all the society of Vallarta, Mexico and the world, to add efforts to achieve this great dream. Having a center like this in our region would help thousands of people to find an opportunity to improve their lives in an integral way and in this way be happy. For more information you can visit their Facebook page or contact their director Sara Cardona at sarafundacionandrea321@gmail.com.

We know that it is important to join efforts, to involve more people who “understand the importance of a grain of sand, no matter how small, makes the mountain”. Let's remember, if there is a solution, it is not imposed from outside but built day by day in a collective way.

We are convinced that people with some kind of intellectual disability or Down syndrome are capable of learning, but we as a society have not been able to teach them. Little by little and with actions and institutions like CEAA, we are learning.

We invite you to be part of the change.

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