Sunday, April 30, 2006

Miguel Rios Lends a Helping Hand

Miguel Rios, one of Spain’s most popular rock musicians and famous personalities, lent a helping hand, literally, to ANIMO a few years ago. During the time of Franco, sign language was forbidden, so it is only recently becoming acceptable for deaf people to use it. ANIMO, along with its Animal Assisted Therapy, also gave classes in sign language, to both the deaf and the hearing. Miguel Rios is a kind and agreeable friend who regularly visits Mojácar on his time off. He showed great interest in ANIMO and its techniques in therapy. He enthusiastically agreed to help raise funds by doing a concert supported by a sign language chorus, the first of its kind in Spain. Despite being rather ill with the flu on ‘the night’, he sang two of his biggest songs, ‘Himno de la Alegria’ (that Bach thing) and Santa Lucía. He was accompanied by Pepe Grano de Haro from Los Puntos, some session musicians, our daughter and around forty people including deaf, physically handicapped and some children from the local community who came to ANIMO every day to learn how to sing in sign language. To watch them all signing along to the songs was quite inspirational. All the T.V. stations were there and they played to a packed house. It was so beautiful to see that you couldn’t help but be moved emotionally. There is nothing like bringing the disabled into mainstream life! Thanks Miguel!

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