HealthWrights: Volunteer Experiences

For over 50 years David Werner and HealthWrights have been involving others in projects like Piaxtla, PROJIMO, and Habilítate Mazatlán.

This section will expand as we gather more stories from the hundreds of volunteers who have spent time with us over the decades.

Share your experience with us by writing to!

Volunteer Experiences

Letters and Notes

  • PROJIMO: Program for Rehabilitation by Disabled Youth of Western Mexico by Heather Toporowski, B.Sc.P.T. (February 9, 2005)

    Participating in the PROJIMO experience was interesting, rewarding and also tiring! I learned a lot about the philosophy and experience of Community Based Rehabilitation, which will prepare me for other volunteer placements I hope to have in the future. I also found myself stretched as a physical therapist, as I worked with wheelchair training, making recommendations about seating and orthopaedic appliances, and assisting in developing ADL skills. One of my proudest moments was when I successfully built a splint to enable a patient with quadriplegia to feed herself for the first time. My ability to communicate in Spanish also improved as a result of my experience there- from working in therapy, from my classes, and also from living with a family.


  • A Village of Second Chances: a Photo Essay by Lonny Shavelson

    This small photo essay provides a snapshot of PROJIMO at Ajoya in 1990. Featuring Martin Reyes, Mari Picos, Ralf Hotchkiss, Martin Peres, and Manuelito Jesus. Excerpted from “A Village of Second Chances,” San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday Punch, July 1, 1990, by Lonny Shavelson.

  • Wheelchair Design at PROJIMO: Photographs and Memories of Maurits Zijp

    This short photo essay outlines the efforts of Maurits Zijp, an Industrial Design Engineer from the Netherlands, at the Children’s Wheelchair Workshop at PROJIMO in 1999. Zijp briefly covers his experiences analyzing the situation at PROJIMO, and discusses design differences between ‘standard’ and ‘special’ wheelchair designs. He began the work of writing a design manual and a specialized aparatus called a measuring chair which enabled designers to quickly assess the physiometric requirements of clients. He reports that both of these efforts were ultimately fulfilled by PROJIMO.

Volunteer Opportunities

For more information about volunteering at HealthWrights, click here.

To volunteer with HealthWrights related projects like PROJIMO or Habilítate Mazatlán, send an email to

Note also the hybrid learning-volunteering Spanish Training Program.