It is the middle of summer break for Peruvian school kids. It is hot and humid and most kids (and adults…) will do anything to head to a beach or pool, or get their hands on an helado or cremolada. Many kids are looking for summer fun to fill their (school) homework-less days. Especially in rural areas, mothers are working more than they normally do; many children are also working long days planting rice, alongside their parents, which is quite the community effort and makes me appreciate every single grain on my plate. Other families are off en la sierra (mountainous regions), or in Lima, visiting relatives after long bus rides, made possible by a whole year of saving up for the chance to see their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Two weeks ago I began two art workshop series. The promotoras (Project Chiclayo educators) contacted the families of kids they thought would be interested. Drawing sessions are from 9am-12pm on Tuesdays and painting sessions are at the same time on Wednesdays. Several promotoras contact the families who have kids participating each week and update me on if anyone will be missing due to illness or family or work commitments. Each workshop series includes four sessions, plus a final exhibition day to celebrate the creations with family and friends. The Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano (ICPNA, or Peruvian-American Cultural Institute) is graciously lending us their auditorium free of charge, as they did in September-October for similar workshops. It is wonderful to bring together participants from all seven districts where Project Chiclayo operates, plus four girls from another Centro Esperanza program site. Access to a safely accessible large room in the city centre, electricity, running water in the bathrooms, toilets, projector, sound system, carpeted floors to sit on, and even intermittent air conditioning (plus plastic tables owned by Centro Esperanza that we can easily set up and store behind the stage) = incredibly useful and the type of learning environment many of these kids rarely experience.
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Here are some photos of what we have been busy with, two weeks in…
‘Wavy lines’, a warm-up drawing activity. Thanks to Once Upon a Family for the idea!
Each drawing is very unique and participants of all ages (6-17) had a lot of fun with it!
Making collages with reused scraps of wrapping paper and other paper, and then drawing them!
This was ideal drawing and colouring practice–the kids did their best to mix different
pencil crayons together to match the colours in their collages. All I did was show them a five-min demo of how to make a collage with scissors and glue, and then I invited them to draw it on a paper of the same size as they finished their collages at their respective paces.
Drawing from photographs. This 8-year-old girl participates in another
Centro Esperanza program in a rural area. She is an amazing little artist!
Older students began planning their large watercolour pencil crayon pieces,
to be started this morning.
In the first painting session, students first painted a background to cover their page. Then they learned how to draw 3-D letters. In the second session, they painted a value that they chose individually (friendship, love, respect, etc.) in 3-D or bubble letters on top of the dry background.
This lovely Project Chiclayo participant (above) has a full scholarship for two years’ of English study at the ICPNA. She decided to paint several English words (update: this artist completed a technical degree in tourism, and another participant who was in this same art workshop earned her own ICPNA scholarship some years later). Community partnerships with other local and international NGOs are critical.
Well, mis amig@s, it is time to head to this week’s drawing workshop.
Best wishes for a fun week. 😀 ¡Hasta pronto!