Recording invite for another environmental group
Camping Field Trip
We just got back from camping in the reserve where an endemic hummingbird is being protected. The youth had a fantastic time. We explored our surroundings and mixed different colors to match what we saw and where we live. We forgot the generic ways of drawing and looked at the nature that exists in the valley and captured it on paper with paint.
Horse Hair Paintbrushes Workshop
Magu, the ArtCorps Artist that was present in this valley last year and the force behind the youth group in Chorrera, has left a great legacy of skills and knowledge. Building on this, I invited youth from Chorrera to come teach our youth group how to make paintbrushes with horse hair and recycled materials. After the workshop we had some successful samples, as well as some bald and crooked paintbrushes. We will try them out soon!
The mountains have blushed green from the rains, our seedlings bloom alongside all other vegetation, and the battle against weeds has intensified in our nursery. AJAASSPIB’s environmental youth group has been taking care of these baby trees since early April. Each participant has a week assigned where they learn how to take care of the nursery.
We have become proud parents to these plants. We prepared their beds, and decorated their temporary homes. We clean after them and make sure they never go thirsty. The group has worried about plagues, night thieves, weeds, droughts, cows, pigs and donkeys that threaten the seedlings. We’ve also planted them into plots of land along the creek that serve as permanent homes. Now, our work, efforts and the connection we have with the little baby trees will be recorded in a mural painting. Ironically, the rain that has made our trees stronger is also slowing down the pace at which we paint.
Murals are complete! Watch video: http://artcorp.org/enews/GlobalGivingChallengeLaunchEmail090110.htm
On an impromptu night we scurried through the local high school with a projector. The light shone on drawings that have been prepared by the youth during our camping experience and throughout the last few meetings. Shadows and highlights were seen more clearly as the night advanced. We painted quickly in black and white, slightly frightened by stories of hauntings at the school and the prospect of nightly rains that might compromise our work on the outside wall. Strange noises were heard from the forests at the back of the school. The kids assured me it was a coyote. The next day we came back and put color to the black and white skeleton from the night before. We worked in the rain, but the kids were excited about the advances and some even stayed longer, saying it was better than doing homework.
The work continued the next week in the neighboring town and both murals were finished.
Recently we invited the president of the local water board to our small inauguration of the murals. He hadn't seen the mural and was very impressed. In it, the youth painted part of the nursery they have all worked on, and many of the local flora and fauna of the "very dry tropical forest" in the valley where we live. He was very impressed and spoke a few words about how he admired the work done by our group, and thought that the more these youth were involved the healthier the community would be.
There are almost no sources of information for youth about their local water resources or proper environmental practices. In my group we have discussed some of the urgent concerns with water and they do see that there is a need for conservation now, and they feel involved since we have actively been working in reforestation and taking care of the nursery these months. Our mural themes relate directly to these necessities and new knowledge that they are developing, and the need to inform the rest of the community not through lectures but through communicative visuals.
Girls pose with handmade horsehair paintbrushes