Juan GONZÁLEZ CERVANTES
Birthplace: Hascato, Jalisco, México
scholarship holder of AMFPA since: 2001
Painting Method: Mouth painter
I was born on August 4, 1978 in Hascato Jalisco. I was raised by my paternal grandparents because at the age of 15 months I became an orphan when my mother died. I only went to grade school due to the fact that there was much financial need at home.
I started working when I was 8 years old in a ranch in town. At 16, while I was working, I suffered and accident that left me without my arms and unconscious for one week
My accident was so shocking to everyone in town that a family from the Federal District offered to help me during my rehabilitation. Once they realized that I also had the will and desire to improve myself, they also helped me to pursue my studies. They later sent me to study English and computer courses. I participated in swimming activities at DIF (National System for the Integral Development of the Family) Zapata. Here, I was offered the opportunity to participate in the Paralympics’ games in Sydney 2000.
I refused the invitation due to the fact that two years earlier I had met the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists and had applied for a scholarship. At that time, I had started studying Publicity Drawing and Painting at the Academy “El Greco”. After one year of constant deliveries of samples to the Association, I was accepted.
First, I entered as a grantee. After two evaluations, I was able to become an associate. During the next seven years that I worked and advanced in the quality of my paintings, I had the opportunity of being invited by magazines, television programs and exhibitions. All these opportunities gave me the impulse to continue my efforts, especially since I got married in 2005 and started a family.
WE SEE THE BODIES BUT DON’T KNOW THEIR CAPABILITY
The capability of a disabled person is not only limited to fulfilling daily common activities as part of our daily lives. In the case of Juan, it means achieving his greatest independence as a productive person, having a job which allows him to reflect his pride as a human being, an attitude of daily challenges captured in his paintings, where one can observe his feelings, values and opinions.
Knowing his life, observing his achievements, his constant work, his double efforts, is synonymous to life.
I am thankful to be part of it.
I admire my uncle for his paintings, how he drives his vehicle, how he cooks, how he eats, and because he continued with his studies and did not give up. I learned from him that you should not give up if you have a disability. My uncle is a great person and I admire how he paints. We all admire him.
Alí Getsemani Vargas Castro, 10 years
We love you very much.