Roberto Manzur, Michael Murillo and Edgar Represa come from different walks of life, but have a strong bond as if they were family. All three share a deep friendship, affection, understanding, and hope for happiness – as well as a disability.
Roberto and Michael have Down syndrome and Edgar became paraplegic from a severe brain injury caused after falling down from a fourth floor. He is also a recent survivor of testicular cancer.
Roberto loves photography and is a soccer player, Edgar imitates and dances like his idol Michael Jackson, and Michael loves the song “El Rey”.
Since June 2010, the three friends have benefited from the unselfish work done at La Casa de los Sueños or The Dream House.
Robert’s father, Jorge, is the founder – and only investor of the Jorge Manzur Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
His organization welcomes all youth who have any type of disability – from Down syndrome to autism. All services are free. After the age of 22, a person with a disability loses all their rights in California. For many, their destiny becomes living in an asylum.
“If all goes well, the family might visit once a week, then once a month, until one day they forget about altogether,” Jorge said. “I never want that to happen to my son.”
“He is the light of my home, he represents to me the reason to overcome obstacles daily,” he said. “He is able to develop more happily here, he is content and all he knows is that his father is Superman.”
In a place that used to sell automobile rims, Jorge has given life to a dream he shared with his eldest son, Jorge Carlos – who also helped turn his automobile shop into the local nonprofit.
“I want this place to continue to be this wonderful dream,” said Jorge Manzur. “Because God doesn’t choose the capable ones; He makes capable his chosen ones.”
At “The Dream House” youth take academic classes from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
“Little by little they have learned how to navigate through life,” said Erika Villegas, director of programs for “The Dream House,” – along with Nidia Manzur, Robertos’ mother and teacher of physical education.
In their academic classes, the youth learn the alphabet, how to tell time; they color books, exercise, play bingo, practice regional dancing, zumba,, watch movies and are given guitar, piano and organ lessons.
Here, everybody is able to dream; parents and siblings alike become volunteers and, finally, people who have disabilities like Roberto, Edgar y Michael are the victorious ones, the true kings.
The Dream House is located on 111 E. Whittier Boulevard, Montebello, CA 90640. Their telephone number is (323) 712-0863, from 7:00 am. to 8:00 p.m. Via web: http://www.jorgemanzur.com/