The artist turned advocate for those who are born with extra love is our QUEEN SHEVA of this last Wednesday in July. The charismatic Guatemalan Isabel Tejada.

Isabel Tejada is the oldest of 6 brothers and sisters who grew up in a loving family with parents as great examples. The strength of her loving family endured its first hardship when Isabel’s younger sister, Margarita, died in a car accident at the age of 27. Her mother, faced with devastating news gained the strength to be the rock in the family and show them that life goes on.

Isabel has been involved in teaching and in the arts since a young age and has continued to do so, specifically painting. She’s had several expos both in Guatemala and abroad.

A few years after her sister’s death, Isabel gave birth to her fourth child at the age of 40. An event that inspired her and her family, along with some friends, to create a foundation with a mission to provide a space for growth and development for children and adults with special needs. Isabel had given birth to a daughter with Down Syndrome. Even though, like any other mother in that situation, Isabel was heartbroken and sad at first, she soon realized that all it meant was that she was given a child who would bring extra love to everyone who would be involved in her life.

Fundación Margarita Tejada was born to cater the needs of children and adults with Down Syndrome. At first, it was a space for parents with workshops and activities so they could learn on ways to help their children navigate a “normal” world. Through the years, the foundation has become an institution that’s helped more than 5,000 families. Today they welcome around 480 individuals as young as 15 days, children, young adults and adults, and from all walks of life. 98% of their members are from low-income families so they function from donations.

Isabel, through her work with the foundation and with the help of her daughter Isabella, has been shifting paradigms in people’s minds. She has proved everyone that “special needs” does not equal “not normal”. She’s created several programs and workshops to better the life of people with Down Syndrome, for them to be included in society and for them to get jobs and be self-sufficient.

Isabel’s look at life is from a positive and thankful-for-being-alive point of view. And it shows, when in recent years she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. She calls herself a survivor and has more willpower, and strength, to continue her mission of giving the opportunity to all humans born with extra love to thrive in life.

Isabel is the sublime example of the strength and drive a human has when given a challenge to shift what’s called “normal”. We are honored to name Isabel our QUEEN SHEVA of this Wednesday.