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La Masica, Atlantida
CARE, PASOS III
Visual Arts- Drawing, painting, sculpture, murals
The goal of this collaboration is to increase knowledge about and concern for the protection of natural resources amongst the older youth of La Masica. Currently, the supply of quality water is not adequate and is in danger of disappearing altogether if steps are not taken to ensure its protection.
To cultivate youth leaders who will continue to be environmental stewards and promote healthy behaviors after the project comes to a close.
Through bi-weekly workshops with one group of 15 youth on the Social Promotion career track, ages 16-19, we will use exercises utilizing drawing, painting, sculpture, creative games, and discussion. Through these arts-based activities, we will focus on developing qualities of self-confidence and self-esteem, which are necessary for one to assume leadership responsibility and to practice teamwork and creative thinking. Alongside these broader values, we will learn about the eco-system, the importance of trees and water in their communities, and learn to cultivate an appreciation for the natural riches that they have all around them through nature-based arts activities. The workshops will culminate in a final mural painted and designed by the students for their school that will be a celebration of what they have learned, as well as an expression of their feelings, hopes, and messages for their community in the future to come.
The students will also host a community art event showcasing creative artworks utilizing recycled materials. This group of students in the social promotion career track were chosen precisely because they have an interest in community development work and will be the ones eventually educating others. Therefore, it is important to expose them not only to the importance of the conservation of natural resources but also to techniques utilizing creativity and art as tools for social change. The group will consist of 10 students from the first year, 5 students from the second year, and 5 students from the third year. Both the 1st and 2nd year students will stay in the group for the duration of the school year. The third year students will participate in the first month or two until they leave for the community of Tarritos where they will be living and practicing their practicums working with the community for the last 3 months of their school year. At this point, they will assist the artist in workshops with the 5th and 6th graders at the school in Tarritos. The 2nd year students will begin their practicums in July in the elementary schools of Masica. They will continue to participate in the group but will also work individually with the artist to develop their practicums working with the children in Masica using techniques of creative faciliation around themes of environmental conservation.
The goal of CARE PASOS III is to assist communities in the self management of their water systems and watersheds. This includes protecting the natural environment around the watersheds and the rivers, providing the infrastructure for the water systems, educating the community about the functioning of these natural systems, as well as developing leadership capacity amongst community members. For the continued sustainability of this work for years and generations to come, it is important that all members of the community are educated about these issues, particularly the youth who are the future leaders of their communities.
The community of La Masica was identified by CARE, PASOS III as a partner community that would benefit from further eductional outreach and participation amongst the community in the local water councils. CARE, PASOS III has educational projects specifically aimed at children and youth but that are lacking in depth and consistency. Collaborating with ArtCorps, CARE PASOS III would like to use art as an educational tool to engage the younger generation in their work for water conservation. CARE PASOS III has identified the school with which they would like to establish the collaboration and the teachers at the school have agreed to assist the artist in the formation of the group, the facilitation of space, and the integration with the larger school and parent community. The local water council, the local municipality, the regional municipality, MAMUCA, and the representatives of CARE PASOS III will be involved in the collaboration. The local water council and CARE PASOS III will be invited to help with certain workshops and share their roles with the youth.
This project was developed by the organization in collaboration with the artist. It addresses a need of the local water council for more education of their peer community members in understanding the importance and fragility of their water systems. Also, the project addresses a desire for increased community participation in the water system management and an interest in providing other learning opportunities and outlets for the youth in the community that will encourage new skills and the development of community service values.