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Jun 21, 2017

Vacation Courses were a Success, thanks to you!

In the beginning of April, our vacation courses at Clara Luna came to an end and kids went back to school. Over the summer vaction (February and March) Clara Luna held a total of six different clubs that youth could participate in; mural painting, guitar, environmental advocacy, journalism, dance, and a recycled art club. We had over 50 youth participating in our summer vacation courses. 

In mural paiting, the youth worked on expressing emotion through art and the final project was to paint a mural in Puerto Lopez right next to the local high school. A mural that they designed and painted on their own! 

In guitar, the students learned the basics and chords. By the end of the two months, they were each able to play a song on their own from memory. 

In our environmental advocacy club the students learned about an animal each week that was native to our community Puerto Lopez and how that animal was being affected in its environment by humans, garbage, pollution, over-fishing, etc. At the conclusion of our vacation courses, they performed a play about turtle conservation something very important on the coast of Ecuador. 

In journalism club the students learned what it takes to make a great article. They learned how to interview, write articles, take great photographs, and create a final article in the form of a blog. Each student choose one topic to write about and came up with a final article. 

In our dance club, mainly girls (but a couple of boys once in a while) learned how to move their bodies to all different types of music. After a couple of weeks, the club decided to primarily focus on contemporary music. At the end of the summer vacation, they held a dance preformance with all they had learned. 

And finally our recycled art club was busy all summer using their hands to make beautiful art out of primarily recycled materials. They made bracelets, candle holders, a bookshelf for Clara Luna, lamp shades and much more. Thanks to our very talented teacher, we have a lot of great recycled art! 

The summer vacation courses were an absoute success for our first year. They achieved our goal of making sure youth were occupied during the summer break from school and they each learned something new, something they are not given a chance to learn during school. We can't wait to put on our vacation summer courses next year, bigger and better! 

Apr 5, 2017

Mobile Libraries in Action!

Working in Chone!
Working in Chone!
Since the Earthquake last April, Clara Luna has been involved in relief and recovery of the affected areas. We have focused our attention primarily on children, because that is our specialty. For months and months, we worked in shelters providing children's programs to the kids. Many of them were not attending school because their schools had been destroyed. If they were attending school, they had no extracurricular activities outside of school in the shelters. A majority of people were living in shelters until August, today nearly a year after, some people are still in shelters. After many people moved out of the shelter there was still a dire need to provide childrens programs in the area since many of these programs no longer existed. 

Clara Luna developed a way to continue providing children's programs in the affected areas with its mobile libraries. Throughout our work in the shelters, we were able to identify key community members who would be able to lead the mobile libraries. Because there is no physical space to work, working with key community leaders was essential. These people would then be responsible for holding children's activities and free reading time for the kids in their community, while Clara Luna could not be present. For example, this person would bring books and materials to the park every Tuesday at 4pm to work with a group of children. 

In February, we had all the details finalized of the project and held a two day training for the community members who would be in charge of our mobile libraries or what we call "Cuentos en la Plaza". Members from six communities of the affected areas from the earthquake participated in the workshop where they learned better techniques to work with children, how children cope with trauma (the earthquake), why reading and art is important for children, the how to's of "cuentos en la plaza", and how to evaluate the project and it's success. At the completion of the training each community member received a donation from Clara Luna of 106 books and some materials for the crafts. Now, these leaders are working in their communities weekly with the children affected by the earthquake. 

We would not have been able to find these community leaders, do this training, or give these donations to deserving communities if it wasn't for your support. Thank you for believing in Clara Luna and it's mission to provide children's programs to them most deserving of children in Ecuador. 
The community group in Tabuchilla
The community group in Tabuchilla
Getting to our communities in whatever way we can
Getting to our communities in whatever way we can
Arts and Crafts
Arts and Crafts
Apr 5, 2017

Halfway through Vacation Courses!

Before starting the mural
Before starting the mural

We are currently in our fifth week of vacation courses at Clara Luna with the youth of Puerto Lopez. Each day during the week, we have a different club ranging from music, dance, eco-club, journalism, mural painting, recycled art, and more. 

In this report we will do a feature on two clubs, Journalism and Mural Painting. 
Teaching journalism club is Valeria Saenz, a former journalist in Ecuador. At the end of eight weeks, the students will have put together a blog each with their own piece complete with photos to share with the community of Puerto Lopez. This past week, we had a special guest in journalism club, Daniel Zapata who is a professional photographer. He brought his equipment to teach the students how to take photos for their articles. The students were thrilled to use professional cameras and take stupendous photos for their final blog posts. 
Mural painting club is taught by Sheyla Cobos. She has painted murals around nearly all of Puerto Lopez and was the perfect teacher for this class. In the first couple weeks, the students learned about murals and what they consist of. Then they came up with personal ideas of what they would like to put in a mural in Puerto Lopez. We then combined a majority of these ideas into one mural. We then had the task to go find the perfect wall to paint in Puerto Lopez and that was right outside one of the high schools. Two weeks ago, the students started painting the mural and are still working on the finishing touches. 
These vacation courses are serving their purpose by giving youth in Puerto Lopez activities to do during their vacation and keeping them involved. These courses would have been impossible without your help. So thank you, and know you are making a difference in many youth of Puerto Lopez. 
Planning the mural
Planning the mural
Journalism Club
Journalism Club
Practicing with the cameras
Practicing with the cameras
 
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