Valentine’s day was very special this year for two artists who work at Special Families in Matagalpa Nicaragua. Valentine’s day or Friendship Day in Matagalpa is also the anniversary of the founding of the city. There is usually a lot of activities during this week. So the artists were busy creating cards and other materials to sell during the week of friendship. Then their boss came in and said “Hey what do you think there is an art contest as part of the celebration this year but we only have one day to prepare.” They were up to the challenge and all of the art department got together and started reflecting. Literally reflecting as they used some recycled mirrors as the base for their entry. Two of the artists worked together to create large hearts with flowers out of recycled cardboard. These hearts won first place in the city recycle friendships contest. But they didn’t stop there the contest on Valentine’s Day moved to national competition and their hearts continued to win first place in Managua the capitol.
“Wow this is the kind of job I have always dreamed of where we can work together to win contests on a moments notice. “ The artists are a part of special family’s environmental program. Both men are deaf and when they won they were greeted by the hand waving which is part of their sign language for clapping.
The artists won baskets full of basic grains and staples and they were nationally recognized. Other artists entered their creations and special families also won second and third place locally and nationally. These are the rewards of keeping the discipline of a full time job painting and creating with whatever can be recycled and reused again and again. These young men are grateful for being able to work at something they enjoy and know that they are appreciated and that their art reflects the joy they feel working together all year long.
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