The children in the Love146 safe homes recently took a field trip to a very unique art gallery. Framed pictures lined every square inch of wall space — animals, landscapes, famous tourist sites.
But here’s the coolest thing: Every picture you see above is actually a jigsaw puzzle. The gallery, which is called The Puzzle Mansion, was built to house Georgina Gil Lacuna’s record-breaking collection of the jigsaw puzzles she has made — well over 1,000. It’s also home to the biggest puzzle in the world, which has 32,000 pieces.
Inspired by the collection, the kids decided to have a puzzle-making competition. They browsed the gift shop and chose two puzzles of the same size: a bustling cityscape for the White Home, and a bright circus scene for the Round Home.
The girls got started on theirs right away. People of all ages spent hours flipping over all the pieces, arranging them by approximate location, and putting them together.
In the White Home, things started off smoothly. James and Hugo finished the edge of the puzzle, and the rest joined in. It turned out the inside was a lot harder. But things got close to impossible when they realized one of the pieces was missing. Oops!
It was a victory for the Round Home! But everyone who worked on either puzzle had a great time helping, and it was a very inclusive experience. “It’s true that no task is impossible if we all help each other,” said Mae. Mimi commented on the way the puzzle itself resembled a diverse community like the Love146 safe homes. “Like puzzle pieces, people are different shapes, sizes and colors but what makes them similar is that they are all important. Even though I am different from other children because of my disability, I still believe that I am beautiful.”
“The Round Home is as beautiful as the puzzle that we did. I am one of the pieces that complete the Round Home.”
For some kids, the process of making a puzzle was a powerful experience in and of itself. Everything started out in a big mess, and then slowly, some parts of it started to make sense to them. But even when they were confused, they had to just keep making things a little better, a little at a time. “Just like the puzzle, I am building my life, piece by piece,” said Sonya. “Despite everything that happened to me, I believe that there is a wonderful plan for me. I am determined to unravel the future waiting for me.”
Claudia echoed this, bringing wisdom in her own words to the puzzle table.