The wonderful connection between a father and his children in Talleres de Marquesina
Alex Martínez, Yulliane’s husband and father of Ian (12), Lucas (10), and twins Elías and Lia Stella (5) is originally from Jayuya, Puerto Rico. He is a geologist, teacher, maker, and a fan of learning new things. Currently, Alex is the computer teacher at Academia Cristiana Catacumba in Añasco. In 2017, he established Talleres de Marquesina in his garage in Añasco. Let’s meet Alex!
Have you always been passionate about creating things?
I have always loved science, inventing, and using tools to either make things or take them apart.
How did Talleres de Marquesina come about?
Prior to 2017, I was working on creative technology projects with Makerspace Puerto Rico and on the creative parenting project Inventos de Papá. However, these were halted in 2017 and we started Talleres de Marquesina at home as a creative space, in which I, as a father, invest time with my children to further develop our father-children relationship. My wife fully supports daddy investing time with the kids. We talk, learn, and create things together, either with our hands or with tools. Most of our tools were donated, repaired, or bought second hand. I teach the kids how to use the tools, their dangers, and the necessary precautions to avoid damage. And, although the garage is our creative space, we sometimes explore other environments and people to expose the kids to different ways of working. For example, wood can be worked digitally or by hand, I like them to see both.
Where do project ideas come from?
We work on diverse projects that require different types of materials and techniques. Some of the projects are purchased kits, others come from our imagination, and others are requests from my wife. Sometimes we also offer formal workshops which we open to other dads and their children.
Why is Talleres de Marquesina on social media?
We are on facebook and instagram as Talleres de Marquesina to motivate other dads to create with their children, talk to them, and take their father-children relationship to another level.
How did you become a computer teacher?
Although I studied geological sciences, I learned computer programming basics in college and then continued to learn on my own. My wife and I presented a proposal and obtained computers for our children’s school’s computer laboratory. I envisioned that laboratory as a non-traditional, interactive, creative space. Since I was unemployed at the time and had the knowledge, the school hired me to make that vision a reality.
How did you get into robotics?
My curiosity led me to search, read and learn about robotics. In 2016, I got certified as a Raspberry Pi teacher (programming, robot, and electronics). Last year we put together a team of homeschoolers, including my two eldest children, to participate in Pi Wars, a UK-based, global robotics competition that uses a Raspberry Pi computer as a controller. Last year we obtained second place in the novice category. We are currently preparing for this year’s competition.
How did sewing get to Talleres de Marquesina?
As with robotics, one day I decided to learn how to sew. I bought a machine, I watched tutorials, I found Tommie Hernández’s Sirena Patterns facebook lives, and enrolled in her course “Aprende a coser”. We have done bags, face masks, puppets, bow ties, and a dress for my girl. In addition, I have 3D-printed bias tape makers, magnetic pin holders, and buttons.
What do you like the most about Talleres de Marquesina and what legacy do you want to leave behind?
I like being a dad and leaving memories; that my children remember the things we did together and the time we shared. The main legacy is that it is possible to “create family by doing things”. Second, that the model gets replicated by other dads seeking to have experiences with their children and thus help to rescue the dad-children relationship. Third, formalize Talleres de Marquesina as a non-profit educational organization to expand its reach in society.
What other message would you like to share with our readers?
Don’t limit yourselves to what you know. Explore other topics, you will learn concepts you did not know and, suddenly, you will discover a new world full of alternatives and applications, as has been my experience with sewing.
Thanks to Alex for his time and for sharing Talleres de Marquesina with us. Surely, his children will value and cherish their relationship and experiences forever. Please support Talleres de Marquesina by visiting and sharing their social media with other dads. I hope other dads are inspired to elevate their relationship while creating with their children!
Article written by
María Enid Rosa