Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Marvelous Murals in the Mountains

Nice write-up in Qué Pasa Magazine!!!!

“Near the imposing volcano of Acatenango, amongst the rolling hills and sprawling green fields, lies the village of Chimachoy, a small indigenous aldea of only 700 habitants. It is one of several villages dotted across the countryside of the San Andrés Itzapa region where the Kaqchiquel-speaking residents maintain and celebrate their Mayan roots and traditions. Many community members support their families through agriculture.

In Chimachoy, the two small community schools provide a standard education to local children according to the Guatemalan National Curriculum and try to foster creativity, critical-thinking and social consciousness in their students through extracurricular, sporting and cultural activities. As part of an initiative by the organization MuralArte Guate, the school Director – Laura Esperanza Vasquez de Back – and the staff of both schools are currently implementing an art program to help the children celebrate their roots and visualize the intriguing combination of tradition and modernity within their community.

This fascinating project – run by the Dutch artist Carin Steen, who has painted dozens of community murals across Central America and Europe – involves painting murals and running art workshops in different public spaces, communities and schools across Guatemala. The project is aimed not just at beautifying public spaces – but also using art to provoke dialogue and to transmit positive, constructive messages that benefit and honor the local community.
In Chimachoy, MuralArte is painting a giant mural in collaboration with the school kids and the community as a whole that will depict the culture and history of the community and the vision that its habitants have for their future.

The aim of this fantastic project is to bring the local community together to create a valuable collective work of art and to raise awareness of the importance of celebrating cultural heritage and fostering collective projects to strengthen communities.”