Mural project at technical high school. I fractured my foot, so I was a little incapacitated.
A view of the marvelous finished product.
A fellow Peace Corps volunteer organized dental hygeine workshops for 1200 kindergardeners in my municipality using USAID funding and her trained youth facilitators (girl shown). This photo is of the kindergardeners practicing brushing, many for the first time, at my community center.
This is a large 10 foot x 10 foot mural that I did on the community center wall in November 2002. It is not yet completed -- the lettering is quite sloppy. However, villagers are already raving about its beauty, including the priest! You have to imagine that before we had a big, blank pink wall, and now people are greeted with 'Welcome to Hortelao' (our village name) every time they arrive. I mainly painted it to create awareness to tourists of our actual name, since many guide books do not even acknowledge our existence.
On my birthday this year (December), I decided to spend the morning leading art classes in the village kindergarden, located in the community center. These are some of the kids posing in front of my mural. I also painted the stairs, which I think has made the place more cheerful (especially during our dry season).
On my birthday, I also brought a large bucket of sidewalk chalk, and the kids had a great time tracing themselves on my mammoth, chalk Christmas tree on the community center floor. This is the kindergarden teachter tracing one student (with her own baby on her back).
Believe it or not, this was the first time these 30 kindergardeners had used crayons in their life (note: not all kids are pictured). Afterwards, I hung their pictures on colorful clothes lines in the room, suspended way above their heads to be admired by all who visit. One of my best birthdays ever!
In November 2002, I organized a live music jam session at the village community center with over 10 musicians in attendance and 100 community members. The musicians are friends of a fellow volunteer, and when I invited them to come play for the villagers, they were thrilled to share their talents.
At one point, two four-year-old girls were coaxed into dancing the 'batuque' (traditional African dance) for the most senior musician to show gratitude on behalf of all of the villagers in attendance.
After six hours of them playing traditional 'morna' and 'batuque' songs, we had a party with lots of food.
Before they left, the musicians serenaded me on the front steps of the community center in appreciation for being invited to our village. One particular guitarist reminded me of the 'Marlboro Man', and it ends up that his nickname is 'Mexicano' because he dresses like a cowboy.