Who we are
The Foundation La Ventana de los Cielos is a non-profit organization created to honor and give quality of life to persons with special abilities - conditions and syndromes - of all ages, from six months of age upwards.
Our two Programs:
The General Program
Every Saturday except mid-December to mid-January, 9 am to 1 pm
The Zoo Program - Skills Development Program
Monday through Friday, 9 am to 3 pm
See further under Programs
Field trips and events
La Ventana de los Cielos is the ideal destination for educational field trips for public and private schools, private groups, organizations and summer programs seven days a week. Birthdays, weddings and retreats celebrated here are remembered forever!
Come once and you will want to return regularly!
See further under Programs
Would you like to know more about us?
Below you can read what we believe, about our beginnings, the legal basis, our mission and much more!
Above all, we would like you to be part of reducing discrimination against persons with conditions and syndromes: we say persons with special abilities, because we see daily that they have a special ability to transmit love and joy. When they smile, it is because they want to smile. If they hug you, it is because they want to do so.
Be part of discovering this!
Come and join as volunteer, and contribute financially - however small - so we can keep this dream growing!
What we believe
Our work is guided by our ambition that human rights must be made a reality for all persons with special abilities. We thus contribute to the realization of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as they relate to persons with special abilities.
We promote that the right to non-verbal means of communication, as established in the Convention, be made a reality for children and adolescents with special abilities, with methodologies that emphasize the sensorial and emotional abilities, surrounded by nature.
The zoo-interaction, aqua-experience and equestrian activities are central to our programmes: we encourage the children and adolescents with special abilities to be the subject who proactively loves, cares for, and interacts with the nature and the animals in the farm, rather than being a passive object of care.
We believe these children and adolescents have a special ability to love, and should thus not be considered disabled, but rather, differently abled, and it is incumbent on typical persons, to learn their non-verbal language of communication, rather than us forcing upon them our verbal language.
We are motivated by our christian faith, and promote in our daily activities, the right of every person to develop ethical and moral values in full religious freedom. To encourage the full development and capacities of a child or adolescent with special abilities, we bring together emotional and sensorial practices in which we seek to integrate the whole family, in closeness with nature.
Open House days and celebrations
The first Saturday of every month, are Open House Days for relatives to the kids and friends of La Ventana, from 9:30 am to 1 pm. Let us know at the Foundation e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For our older youth, 16-18 and above, we have the Zoo Program, which meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8 am and 2 pm and on Saturdays between 9:30am and 1 pm. We have the goal of helping them reach greater autonomy in their daily lives, within the possibilities of their condition. They produce beautiful products which we sell. If you would like your daughter or son to join, registration is open every Saturday 9 am to 9:30 am. For other times, and to request the registration form, text us at 305-3327259. Welcome!
The Foundation was started by the singer/song writer Ricardo Montaner and Marlene Rodríguez Miranda, supported by their children Ricky, Mauricio and Evaluna in 2005.
The Foundation counts with a Board with members of international experience, and the daily work is managed by Marlene Rodríguez Miranda. Nils Kastberg serves as Executive Director.
The Foundation, with its base in Homestead, an hour south of Miami, was started in 2005 and initiated its programmes in May 2006.
Since 2008, the Foundation has expanded the scope of its work, to also include advocacy, as a voice for persons with special abilities, in collaboration with various institutions. The Foundation relies entirely on voluntary contributions.
Legal basis and objectives of the Foundation
The purposes of the Foundation are established in its registration as a charitable organization within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 of the United States of America.
1. Provide support and assistance to children with special needs.
2. Develop educational materials to promote awareness of the needs of children with special needs. Such educational materials will be developed in various formats including video, audio and printed materials.
3. Develop and promote services and technologies that will provide a better quality of life for children with special needs.
4. Provide support directly to families with special needs children. Such support will consist of educational, medical and financial support.
5. Promote awareness regarding the possibilities for early intervention and the impact of such early intervention on the future of children with special needs.
Mission statement and program approach
The Window of Heaven Foundation will promote, advocate and protect the right of children with special abilities to a wholesome physical and intellectual development based on zoo-interaction, aqua-experience and equestrian activities.
The Window of Heavens Foundation considers zoo-interaction, aqua-experience and equestrian activities as natural and highly effective forms of support to the development of children with special abilities.
Through years of evidence based practice, the Window of Heavens Foundation has been documenting the development achieved by children who have benefitted from the work in its experimental farm.
In its new phase of development, the Foundation wishes to combine its experimental and empirical work, with documenting the development achieved by the beneficiaries, and promote zoo-interaction, aqua-experience and equestrian activities, as a fundamental right for each child from its start in life or when the special condition is identified.
Establishing zoo-interaction, aqua-experience and equestrian activities as a fundamental right for every child from the start in life or when their condition has been identified, should be seen in the same natural way as early and basic education is seen as a right for every child.
As such, zoo-interaction, aqua-experience and equestrian activities should be established as public policy and as a State policy measure, ensuring access to such services to all who need it.
The Foundation would like to promote that zoo-interaction, aqua-experience and equestrian activities not only be seen as a therapeutic or a public health measure, but as a fundamental educational measure for the physical and intellectual development for children with special abilities, and thus, should be established as a right in compliance with the measures established in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Foundation will thus promote these measures with Ministries of Social Development, of Public Health, and with Ministries responsible for Basic Education, either directly with them at national level, or through international or regional organizations linked to the protection of the rights of the child, or devoted to the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights. This will be done in order to mainstream the protection of the rights of children with special abilities, particularly in the areas of social development, public health and education.
In collaboration with international organizations, the Foundation will promote the development of methodological frameworks as well as the promotion of the establishment of physical facilities which will enable the full enjoyment of this right to each child with special abilities.
Furthermore, the Foundation will contribute and promote the development of indicators for ongoing monitoring, and for evaluating the efficiency of zoo-interaction, aqua-experience and equestrian activities, so as to provide the basis for establishing these measures as a fundamental right for children with special abilities, and as a State policy measure, to be financed with public funds from the areas of social development, public health and education.
The Foundation recognizes the right established in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to spiritual development and values for each child. The faith-based values which underpins the work of the Foundation, gives it the possibility to insert into all its activities, the promotion of ethical and spiritual values, with no discrimination. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes furthermore, the importance of these values as non-verbal forms of communication with children with special abilities.
The Foundation considers that this right to spiritual development and of values for children with special abilities, without any discrimination, is fundamental part of the most comprehensive possible development for these children, but also, its promotion contributes to create societies which do not devalue, denigrate or discriminate, but rather value, appreciate and receive the enormous love and ethical values that children with special abilities glow with when treated as individuals with equal rights, and that this equality of treatment requires that all in society learn and recognize to interact in the emotional language in which they are able to communicate and excel at doing so.
The Foundation recognizes that in mayor parts of the world, the situation of children with special abilities continues to be appalling, and that their rights continue to be breached systematically, on a massive scale, daily, with societies and States which continue tolerating these breaches of their rights, with an emotional indifference at their exclusion, and a lack of recognition and investment in generating awareness of their rights, in making visible the breach of rights their situation implies, or in allocating the resources required for their development in a comprehensive manner as individuals, within the context of their special abilities.
Even though the capacity of the Foundation is limited in relation to the magnitude of the exclusion children with special abilities live daily all over the world, the Foundation will seek to promote alliances and attain the mainstreaming in international humanitarian and development programs the conditions and plight of children with special abilities, and that it be an integral part of any program which promotes social development, public health or education, be it in emergency, humanitarian or development situations.
In this light, the
Foundation seeks as an integral part of its mission, the promotion of a changed vision in which every citizen sees every child with special abilities as a citizen with rights, and not the object of random charity, and ensure that from the family unit to the highest levels of the State, and that their rights be protected and promoted, including the recognition that all their physical, emotional and spiritual needs are indivisible elements of the comprehensive development within the context of their special ability.
Within this framework, the Foundation will promote awareness raising in society, in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, of the need to respect and learn to communicate in non verbal ways with those with special abilities, and as part of these forms of communication, acknowledge the extraordinary results which naturally develop from the introduction and systematic use of zoo-interaction, aqua-experience and equestrian activities.