Geert's PROJIMO History

Note from the Editor: In seeking answers about the history of HealthWrights and its associated projects, I found Geert Cuypers' history of Projimo. Geert is the husband of Marielos, a former long-time worker at PROJIMO. Geert spent two years at PROJIMO Coyotitán (2005-2007).

As we were packing to move back to the USA, I asked her if there were any picture albums that she would like to take with her. It turned out that she had none. She had been in the project for almost 11 years, and she had no pictures of that entire time to speak of. When I started asking around, it turned out that it was pretty much the same for everyone else in the project.

And so Geert began his PROJIMO history project. Now that the PROJIMO websites are offline, his history provides the most detailed introduction to PROJIMO available on the web. In many ways, Geert’s history is more of a snapshot of a moment in time (2005-2007) than a complete history. But his efforts to fill in the blanks, both before and after his time at PROJIMO, provide crucial details.

Geert has offered the contents of his website to HealthWrights so that this history never disappears. It is our intention to gradually adapt it in this corner of our website.

Geert wrote all of the text in these pages, unless otherwise noted. Only minor edits have been introduced, for formatting purposes.

Note about sending historical documents: Although Geert requests his readers to send PROJIMO historical documents, it does not appear anyone has done so. If you would like to contribute historical documents to Geert’s project, you may send it to him at this address:

Geert Cuypers

PROJIMO Archival Project

5675 Majestic View Rd SW

Deming, NM 88030


You may also send materials to HealthWrights, and we will forward the material to Geert:


c/o Jason Weston

3897 Hendricks Road

Lakeport CA 95453 USA

Purpose of this Site

by Geert Cuypers

  1. To provide a historic and archival time-line of project PROJIMO. PROJIMO has inspired many similar projects throughout the world. We hope that this website may contribute to keeping that inspiration alive.

  2. To inform about the the project.

Owing much to David Werner’s publications, PROJIMO has been a model for CBR programs throughout the world. Many readers of David Werner’s books, including myself, want to visit the project.

Visitors who base their expectations on David’s Werner’s books alone might experience disappointment when visiting. For one thing: the PROJIMO David Werner wrote about in his books (Ajoya) no longer exists. There are now TWO independent PROJIMO projects (Coyotitan & Duranguito) with their own programs and emphasis.

When I visited (July 2005 - Jan. 2007), I was mostly in Coyotitan, so much of the documentation is about that project. Marielos and I left in January 2007. The project has continued to change since then: people come, people go, people pass away. What little information we have about such changes since we left is included in the website pages.

Duranguito is in many ways closer to the spirit of the original Ajoya project.

Both projects have their own special merits and both face their own challenges. A visit to either project would be very worthwhile, and may well change your outlook on life. You could even visit both, they are only about 1/2-hour drive apart after all.

What this site is NOT for

I am NOT a spokesperson for PROJIMO. This Website is about PROJIMO, but is not by PROJIMO. Overall, I strongly support the goals and the work of Project PROJIMO. The opinions expressed in these pages are my own. My comments and reflections are based upon my personal observations of the project during the year and a half that I lived in PROJIMO-Copyotitan. (July 2005 through January 2007)

PROJIMO is an organization without political or religious goals, and is not in any way connected to my “Ave Maria” website.


To all whom this may concern, (written in 2006)

To all former and current coworkers, volunteers, patients and visitors of PROJIMO:

These two poster boards with old pictures seemed to be all that Proyecto PROJIMO had in 2006 as a memory of its early history in Ajoya, and they were in very poor condition indeed when I found them on top of a stack of plywood.

Thousands have visited PROJIMO during its 25 years of existence. Most of those people have taken pictures, creating memories.

It appears that the people of PROJIMO were too busy living their lives and helping others in need to make such memories for themselves. It is only in recent years, since the move of the project to Coyotitan, and with the acquisition of modern technology (computers and digital cameras) that some pictures have been saved on the project computers.

The way it came about

I am married to Marielos, a former worker in the project. As we were packing to move back to the USA, I asked her if there were any picture albums that she would like to take with her. It turned out that she had none. She had been in the project for almost 11 years, and she had no pictures of that entire time to speak of.

When I started asking around, it turned out that it was pretty much the same for everyone else in the project.

PROJIMO must be one of the most documented projects of its kind, but the people whom those records are about, have (almost) none. Yet, whenever I show pictures to any one in the project, they usually comment quite enthusiastically.

It isn’t that the people in PROJIMO don’t like pictures or don’t care about them.

  • Before the digital revolution, pictures were expensive.
  • They were only for big occasions like graduations, and weddings..
  • Taking pictures as documentation of the routine of daily life just isn’t part of the local tradition.

At first my intention was just to find some pictures of Marielos. When that didn’t seem possible, I tried to find ANY pictures at all. When I found out how little there was available within the project itself, the next logical step was to start looking outside the project.

And from this process grew the idea of starting a picture archive of PROJIMO’s history. Most of the current visitors and volunteers that I asked willingly provided copies of their pictures. I hope that former visitors will share just as willingly.

The purpose

  • to collect all information possible (with emphasis on picture) about PROJIMO
  • to compile and preserve a historical record of PROJIMO and its people.

All information submitted will be made available to PROJIMO.

Nothing about us without us?

“PROJIMO” has not requested that I do this. The people in the project have more pressing concerns than cataloguing pictures of the past. Not to mention that an archive would just take up storage space that they need for their supplies.

The idea for this is entirely mine. I did inform PROJIMO that I would like to do this, and they agreed to cooperate if it isn’t too much of a hassle to them. I have been given permission to search the PROJIMO computers for pictures, and they made their contact list available to me when I returned to Coyotitan in October 2006.

Rigoberto supports the idea. Mari is rather indifferent about the whole idea. It is not something she has ever considered doing, and the whole idea is still new to her. Pictures as documentation of daily routine is not part of the tradition. It is most definitely not a priority for her at this moment in time. Although she did ask me about scanning an album of her own family pictures…

This documentation may not have an immediate application, but can nevertheless be useful at a later time for informational and promotional purpose. David Werner’s books only show a very limited aspect of PROJIMO. Rather than the thought-process behind the rehab, this archive would document the people in and around PROJIMO, and the changes within the project over the years.

If you’re wondering what I am going to do with that, check out the other part of my website (Ave Maria pages). Regardless whether the Ave Maria is a subject you care about, I hope you will be able to appreciate the effort that went into this. Even more important than the effort is the outcome: I made it all available to anyone who might be interested.

It will be essentially the same with this PROJIMO archive project. I doubt that it will be possible to display everything on a website, but there are other ways of making things available nevertheless.

Suggestions and comments are invited.

How can you help?

Did you ever visit Proyecto PROJIMO or Proyecto Piaxtla?

Do you have any pictures of the project, people in the project or activities by the project?

Please, share them with us!


  • Copy your pictures to a CD-ROM, write your name, email and other contact information on the CD-ROM and mail the CD-ROM to me in a small box or padded envelope at one of the addresses listed below.

  • Provide as much as possible the original, unaltered files.

    • Digital camera picture files usually contain electronic information on the camera type and the date the picture or movie was taken. That information is lost when the picture file is altered. We do hope that you had the camera date set correctly when you took those pictures.
    • Digital cameras name their pictures sequentially.
    • If the picture files have not been renamed, this will allow me to sort the pictures in chronological order even if the camera date is not correct or no longer available.
    • Even without this information, we will gladly accept any pictures you are willing to share with us.
  • Feel free to enclose any additional information, stories, and memories about PROJIMO you care to share with us.

B. PAPER PRINTS, negatives, slides

If you could digitalize the pictures (scan into computer @ 300 dpi or higher + save in jpg format on CD-ROM), that would be greatly appreciated. If you do not have that possibility, or if the output of your scanner is not of good quality, you are welcome to send the paper prints or even the film negatives if they are still available.

Paper prints or negatives will be returned after digitalization only if you specifically request so. However, I cannot make any guarantees about turn-around time at this moment. If acceptable as a substitute, I could mail you a CD with the digitalized pictures.

Please date the pictures as accurately as possible. Write the date and any comments about the picture on the backside of the picture, without damaging the picture itself.

If you do go through the effort of digitalizing your paper print pictures (or renaming digital pictures) and you do know the date they were taken, please consider saving the pictures with a filename that begins with that date. This system has the advantage that the computer can sort the pictures in chronological order, even if they come from different sources.

The format I have been using is: “YYYYMMDD nnn comment.jpg”

  • Date in format YYYYMMDD without additional spaces, hyphens or other divider characters,
  • space
  • nnn would be a sequential number for that specific date,
  • space
  • A short comment as to the content of the picture may also be included at the end of the filename.

C. Film and Video

I can digitalize VHS video tape, but not any type of celluloid film. You are welcome to submit such documentation, and I will do my best to preserve it until I can eventually digitalize it.

Please be aware that magnetic video tends to fade after 10-15 years, due to loss of the magnetization of the signal on the tape. This loss of signal can happen much faster if the tapes are stored close to a source of strong electromagnetic radiation, e.g. a television or a microwave.

If you do have older video tapes, please consider copying them every few years, so the signal stays of good quality.

D. General request for all types of documentation

If possible, provide as much as possible additional information about the submitted documentation e.g.

  • Who took the pictures?
  • When did you visit PROJIMO?
  • Date taken?
  • Who/what is in the pictures?
  • What specific activity. e.g. community visit to…, etc. …

This information will be helpful to catalog and organize the submitted documentation.

Please, snail mail your documentation to the following address:

Geert Cuypers

PROJIMO Archival Project

5675 Majestic View Rd SW

Deming, NM 88030


Or scan and email them to me at info at

  • Please do not forget to provide YOUR contact information!
    • Part of this effort is to compile an updated (and updatable) contact list of former PROJIMO’s visitors. Your contact information will be forwarded to PROJIMO.
    • If you provide your email address, I shall confirm receipt of your mailing.

What more can you do?

Pass on the message! Forward this page or a link to it to anyone you might know that has visited PROJIMO.



When you submit your documentation to us, you acknowledge your agreement that:

  • This documentation will be used to compile a historic archive of Proyecto PROJIMO, its people and its activities.
  • Proyecto PROJIMO will have access to all documentation and information submitted.
  • Unless requested not to do so for specified reasons, all submitted documentation will be brought into public domain.
  • It is the intention that all information will be stored in digital format. Documentation submitted in a different format will be digitalized to the extent possible.
  • In case this archival effort would lead to a publication, credit will be given to the suppliers of the documentation if such credits are known to us, but no financial compensation will be provided.