Thursday, March 02, 2006


I am teaching nine art workshops a week with about 180 students in total, 60 of whom are kids. My week starts on Tuesday when I travel to Linda Vista, named “pretty view” because it overlooks Tacaná and the Tacaná volcano. After at least 2-1/2 hours of travel, my day begins with four teachers in the school, a workshop I’m really excited about because I know that what I teach them will get passed on to their students, making it immediately sustainable. We are currently working with a map theme, and we’re developing ideas for murals with the hope of having the families of the students participate. After the teachers, I have time with about 30 kids, ages 6-13. The first time I gave them paper and crayons and told them to draw, they looked at me widly and pretended not to understand. Everything here regarding art is concrete and exact. The teacher shows everyone how to draw an ideal flower, and they all churn it out as if they’re factory workers. It's always the same mountain setting with the same houses, trees, and animals. This past week we read from the Mayan bible, the Popol Vuh, and I had them each try to draw the images they had in their heads while listening to the stories about human beings made of mud and wood. Later, in the afternoon, I work with teenagers, and while we’re learning about drawing and painting principles, we’ve begun some really important projects. In all of my communities we’re working on community books regarding Hurricane Stan. I’ve distributed pages to everyone in my workshops in the hopes that they will fill them with drawings and text about their experiences and also talk to those around them to record their thoughts. All the pages that have so far been returned are fuerte, and I’m really learning a lot. Recently someone handed in a poem they had written about a little boy talking to his mother, telling her about his excitement regarding how the hurricane had left behind rainbows. In these more formal workshops with the youth we’re also developing ideas for murals about Stan and the messages they want to communicate with their communities. They range from no longer believing in God to wanting to plant more trees in order to avoid erosion. Tuesday nights Ian comes to Linda Vista to teach an English class and keep me company (this is the only night during the week that we sleep away from San Pablo), and then in the morning he travels home while I move on to the next community of Cunlaj.


At 9:26 AM, Blogger bostezo said...

Que bello lo que estas haciendo con esos niños.

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,
We think of you often and in those thoughts we regard, with honor, the work you are now doing.

What you bring, Brooke, is that breath we all require. Seeing anew. Fearing a bit less that which we see as new. Taking our fear and making it our desire.

Your old teacher is very, very proud of you. Kisses. Hugs. Back rubs.

Be well.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger bostezo said...

Sorry Brooke, I ment to send you something about El día internacional de la mujer. But I completely forgot about it, until last night when someone mentioned. Anyway, have a nice day!!


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