Art is a way to express feelings, and it also helps us to better understand our environment. Besides being an exercise for the soul and a way to develop talent, it has proven to be a powerful teaching tool. CasaSito Association´s students again had the opportunity to participate in various workshops, programs, and activities to learn, grow, and strengthen themselves through art.
On Sunday December 6, they presented all they learned at CasaSito´s first annual cultural morning. It was exciting for all our young people, team, parents, Board of Directors, donors, and guests. This was because it gave us a beautiful example of the results of the artists’ efforts and gave them the opportunity to share their work with us and let us admire them. The musical performances, graphic arts, unique clothing designs and accessories, culinary presentations, art were uplifting.
The presentation of the theater of the oppressed group was particularly impressive. This year was unique because for the first time the theater group was formed only by women. Therefore, it was not surprising that they explored a topic that was relevant to their lives: the opposition to women’s education. Wow, the girls grew so much! While on stage, eight of the nine young women said echoed, “I joined because I wanted to lose my timidity” It is remarkable! They no longer shy away instead they respond with ease, poise, and self-confidence.
Our cultural morning was a great and positive experience and the result of building partnerships and networks. In almost all areas of life, being open to sharing and collaborating with other individuals and groups builds networks that strength and enrich different aspects of our lives. We make new relationships and more is accomplished through teamwork. Thank you to Marybel Irriondo who taught the young people Art history and techniques and the great work of Sonidos para La Vida y Música de las Aldeas who have taught some of our young scholars and who through music, leave a mark on our community.
This tremendous morning left us all feeling empowered. I think it was the attitude we saw in the young people. The confidence and quality of the masters of ceremony, artists and actors. The rap CasaSito inherited from a scholarship student and the confidence he felt when he rapped in front of his family was very special. Even some of the scholarship students mothers were empowered to perform a dance!
Undoubtedly, and as naturally as the students and parents said it:
“At CasaSito, we are a family!”
Happy holidays to All of you! Thank you for all the steadfast support you have given our youth! Without you, CasaSito could not reach its mission.
Together, we ALMOST raised enough funds to support 8 youth in attaining a well-rounded education in 2016!
We are very excited, not only because we are close to reaching our goal, but because we started to welcome new individuals into our family. Becoming a participant at CasaSito is a rigorous process that begins with an application. We start our search for well-deserving young people by visiting different communities and schools in Sacatepéquez, Alta Verapaz, and El Quiché. We also announce over the radio! Once a student shows interest, they fill out a 4 page document, write an essay, receive a home visit, and - finally - are interviewed by the scholarship committee. The scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, youth’s motivation to get an education and succeed in life, parental support, and financial need. The scholars that meet or exceed CasaSito’s requirements are able to renew their scholarship.
We also just finished our debate club for 2015! This club is designed so that participants learn to build, defend, break down arguments and speak in public. They go through an intense 12 week preparation with one of the best lawyers in Antigua. This year’s debate club just ended! We are inspired! We saw our participants become open minded individuals who respect and aren’t afraid of other points of views. One of the hardest challenges they faced was debating for a stance that went against their own beliefs, and during the debate finals, everyone gave their best performance. The topics were: “Money is the way to measure success" and "Would it be worth it to kill a person who lives an indifferent and mediocre life if, for doing so, you would earn US$10,000,000 to invest in education, health, housing, and nutrition projects in the poorest communities of your country?" Each debate team had to prepare for four debates as they did not know if they would debate for or against the topics, until the day of the final. The rigorous debates proved Leonel Vásquez and José Portillo the winners of the Shelley Cup. Each one was awarded a brand new laptop! The finalist defended their assigned stance with passion backed up by analysis and research.
We are very proud of our young people! They are examples of perseverance and determination. Please keep tuned in as we tell you more about our activities and progress.
Thank you so much to our generous donors! We have now reached our funding goal for our 2011 Scholarship Program! We are able to give 82 students scholarships throughout the school year.
This year has been a very exciting year so far. We started a debate club for our high school and university scholarship students. The scholars have debated how to manage population control in Guatemala, how to diminish political corruption, and how to redesign Guatemala's educational system. They are learning research, budgeting, and public speaking skills. They students will participate in an elimination round on May 18th and a final round on June 1st.
We have also started organizing workshops on relevant social themes. In April, the students participated in a workshop called "How to Achieve Success". They discussed the importance of defining their goals and training themselves to achieve them. They also learned the importance of collaboration and how to solve problems in teams. Most importantly, they learned how to analyze their values so that they can make the right choices for themselves.
We hope that you continue checking in on this program and donate again later in the year to support our scholarship program for 2012! Thank you so much again for your support of and belief in our programs!
If you would like to donate again on Global Giving, please see our new project listing at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/fight-malnutrition-in-guatemala/.