Happy 2013! ¡Feliz 2013!

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May the new year bring us all many more moments of

sharing, growing and joyful (re) discovery

of the beautifully diverse world we share!

Special thanks to our students, teachers, members, alumni,

and partners for their relationship with Conexiones!

Photo credits:  Kimba, Tamara Newton-Saenz and Harlow Newton

Second Pilot Session of Spanish Through Eco-Art Program Underway at Precita Eyes Mural Arts Studio in San Francisco

Second Pilot Session of Spanish Through Eco-Art Program Underway at Precita Eyes Muralists

After a successful first pilot session last Spring, a second session of the Spanish Through Eco-Art program, produced by Conexiones Institute, has been launched through Precita Eyes. The vision of Conexiones is to garner enough community interest and participant feedback to launch a year-round Spanish Through Eco-Art Program in San Francisco and the East Bay.

Our pedagogical goal is to create an experience that fosters in our children a love for themselves, life, the earth, learning, cultural diversity and the arts.  Learning a second language and creative expression are real-life skills that help support this goal.   This pioneering program, which brings together art, culture, a second language, and ecology is especially created for children and families living in rapidly globalizing and multi-cultural communities, such as the Mission District of San Francisco.

The program in San Francisco is facilitated by well-known artist and educator, Marta Ayala, a native Spanish-speaker trained in the Conexiones Approach and curriculum by Kimberly Newton (aka¨Tía Kimba¨).   Precita Eyes Muralists, a community arts organization celebrating its 35th Anniversary this year, is also a key partner in making this program a reality for dozens of San Francisco families.

Conexiones´ Spanish Through Eco-Art Program at Precita Eyes Muralists

ImageWe are pleased to announce the launch of a SPANISH THROUGH ECO-ART PROGRAM we developed for 2-7 year olds, and which will be offered by our partner, Precita Eyes Muralists! 

They are enrolling NOW through April 11th for a 5-week pilot session that will START APRIL 23rd.  Limited seats available so hurry and sign up!



Meets weekly on Mondays from April 23 – May 21, 2012*




Meets at Precita Eyes Mural Arts Studio located 348 Precita Ave. in San Francisco but most activities will take place in the park across the street.


A 45 min. weekly Spanish and artistic immersion experience being offered by Precita Eyes using the Conexiones approach and curriculum.  Each week, students explore a letter of the week, eco-cultural themes and Spanish vocabulary through various art forms and activities.  This class is conducted 100% in Spanish and is appropriate for all levels of Spanish speakers.

This special program will be facilitated by well-known artist and educator, Marta Ayala, a native Spanish-speaker trained in the Conexiones approach and curriculum by Kimberly Newton (aka¨Tía Kimba¨), founder of Instituto Conexiones.  This approach was developed specifically for sustainability-minded families living in culturally diverse communities like San Francisco who wish for their children to grow up learning skills and values that will help them advance peaceful and sustainable globalization for all.

To learn more about this program and to enroll, please visit:


To learn more about Precita Eyes, please visit:


* If there is enough community interest, a longer program will be offered in the Summer of 2012.

Celebrating Conexiones Institute’s 11-Year Anniversary in 2011!

From post war El Salvador, to the deserts of Arizona, to the jungles of Costa Rica, to the streets of San Francisco…from indigenous elders to CEO’s, to filmmakers, to toddlers…its been a long path of experimentation to provide meaningful and educational ecological and cross-cultural experiences, programs, services, information, and productions meant to advance peaceful, prosperous, culturally vibrant and sustainable globalization for all.

We have had steady growth amidst some surprises and set-backs thanks to the support of our students, members and friends and our determination to move forward! We’re so glad we did!

This Nov. 11, 2011 we will be unveiling our most exciting program yet!   In our new AVENTURAS Preschool Alternative, young children will learn Spanish through eco-cultural field trips, experiences and opportunities for creative expression! Stay tuned!

Carbon Nation Sparks a Solutions-Based Conversation About a Unifying Issue

Justly produced green/renewable energy is a common theme that unites us all and which requires extensive cross-cultural cooperation.   We all pretty much know the problems with oil and coal (whether or not humans are causing climate change), but most of us need more information about how to support a just transition to renewables.

The film, Carbon Nation, by Peter Byrk, not only educates on this important issue, but it motivates and inspires cooperative action.  It is focused on positive case-studies already in place in the U.S.A. and the small solutions everyday people can be a part of.  Those outside of the U.S. can glean many ideas for their own countries from this showcase of solutions.  We like that it doesn´t go into politics, doesn´t point fingers and is based on real solutions that make sense not just for the environment, but for social justice and economic development too.

Of course, there are always hidden social/ecological/economic nuances to consider in any ¨solution¨(i.e. using food crops for biofuel = food shortages and increased deforestation), but this film is a very good start and should be in the toolkit of any educator or advocate working in the fields of sustainability, renewable energy, and climate change.

Watch the trailer and visit the Carbon Nation film website to learn more by clicking here

Spread the word!

Baja All-Exclusive Film English Version Now Available Online!

After many months of hard work, an 11 minute English version of the documentary, Baja All-Exclusive, is now available via YouTube.com!

This short film, produced by Producciones 7Filos and Directed by Carmina Valiente is eye-opening and a must-watch for those who love to travel, especially to Baja California, Mexico.  The reality this video portrays is very similar to what is happening throughout Latin America.  Watch it, share it, spread it!

For more information on responsible ways of traveling to Latin America and beyond, visit the following links:

Sustainable Travel International

Center for Responsible Travel


Ethical Traveler

Volunteer Travel

Journeys of Discovery for Tots Underway Daily in SF

This week, the children of the Conexiones Play School in San Francisco learned about “mountains” by climbing a few of the San Francisco hills. They reached the summit of the North peak of Twin Peaks last Wed. 2.2.11 and they reached the top of Bernal Hill on 2.3.11. The views were breathtaking and the children all want to climb even more mountains as soon as possible…