Inspired by their daughter parents in Guatemala start organization for autism and employment

Daniela Urrea with art

Mauricio and Claudia Urrea’s daughter Daniela inspired them to create an organization that partners with companies to find work for those on the autism spectrum.

By Mauricio Urrea
Spanish version here.

19 years ago, God chose us to take care of a special angel. As parents we never imagined how great being Daniela’s parents would be and how it would change our  life for the better. 

Daniela and sibling

In the first years after our child’s diagnosis, we questioned why this was happening to us.  Why us? Why would God allow this?  Later we realized that this was the wrong question. The question is what is the reason God allows this? Shifting the question allowed our perspective to change dramatically.

In Guatemala there was not much known about autism. There were no professionals with this specialty; education for these children was non-existent and children with autism were not allowed to attend regular schools. As parents, we never gave up. We believe that our LOVE and PATIENCE have been transmitted to Daniela.

As Daniela grew up, we noticed more and more the lack of services in our country for children with autism.  When she should have been attending school, we home schooled her.  Special schools in Guatemala are few, very expensive and don’t have current knowledge to guide them.

When Daniela was 12, we noticed she had skill in painting and sculpture. We took her to a playground and fell in love with the characters. At that time, she began to paint and create her own children’s stories.  Currently, there are more than 10 stories that she has written and drawn. We have more than 7 years, without missing a weekend, visiting these characters. They have become part of our family.

Fun Characters

Daniela is a happy young woman, full of love, talk, interaction and, like any person, she wants to improve herself. She wants to be independent, but in Guatemala there is still no comprehensive inclusion so that these young people have the same rights and opportunities as any other person.

That’s why Claudia (Daniela’s Mom) and I started a project of Labor Inclusion, in which these young adults receive support, training and the necessary tools to face the world of work, through the creation of partnerships with companies, to receive them and place them in positions, based on the skills and abilities they possess.

ART classes will also be taught, so that they can continue to grow in what for them is their most important form of communication; and that their works can be promoted and shown to the world, so that they feel part of it.

Here is some of Daniela’s art.

Daniela Urrea "Madonna and Child"

Daniela Bird

Daniela Urrea Robot


Mauricio and Claudia Urrea have started Inculab, Centro de Formacion para Inclusion Laboral in Guatemala City, Guatemala. You can contact Mauricio at




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