Antorcha - Art Therapy
One very special program under the umbrella of Redefining Community Development is a community response to how violence and criminal acts impact residents of local communities. This program facilitates the transformation of these lives in a way that the affected families can create new and productive futures for themselves. This program is named ANTORCHA, a lighted torch that illuminates the immense possibilities of a future beyond violence and criminality.
The participants, who are all victims of violence and criminal behaviors, find hope in P.E.C.E.S., Inc.'s program ANTORCHA in which they are offered the knowledge, skills, and experiences to triumph over adversity and to fulfill new goals in their lives. They receive the direct services of social workers, individual and group counseling, support systems, and are provided a vast offering of supplementary services that empower the participants to regain the direction of their lives and reach new goals for themselves and their familes. Legal assistance is, also, provided to all the participating families according to their specific needs.
Over the past semester 38 families confronting acute problems of victimization received 142 direct services and 195 psychological and legal services. Twelve families participated in specialized group ;therapy and supportive services. The participants came from five municipalities in southeastern Puerto Rico.The program, also, works with 13 schools in the 5 municipalities offering orientations and workshops to prevent violence and criminal behavior as well as to create awareness of how to reach out for help should such a situation occur. Twelve teachers were offered specialized training in how to identify and respond to situations of violence or criminal activity.
One special aspect of the program that helped entire families during the past semester was our art therapy initiative. Family members of all ages participated in art therapy directed towards positively handling our emotions. It was a great success.
Redefining community development means empowering communities to confront and overcome the impact of violence and criminal behavior. Each of the 38 families have been profoundly impacted by violence. ANTORCHA has empowered these families to become lights within their communities and productive citizens breaking the cycle of violence.
Antorcha 3 Art Therapy
Antorcha Teacher Training