WEEK #52 HOW ARE WE DOING? a day with Vientos Culturales

IMG_4295We were driving behind the Vientos Culturales truck; the neighborhood we were going to doesn’t have a street name and doesn’t show up on the map. 20 minutes after leaving Vientos Culturales Headquarters we arrived at the colonia. Bumpy, unpaved roads made us park the van a couple of blocks away from the destination; a patio on a house that was still being built. Concrete and cement surrounds us. A family was already living there though, behind metal sheets.
Children were waiting for the truck, which was filled with heavy tables, benches, used and recycled materials; todays materials for the workshop.

Twelve children between the ages 3 and 10 were divided into teams. The teams introduced themselves and have their own and shout out. Motivation and a little competitiveness  nothing wrong with that. The rules of Vientos Culturales are read out loud, the visitors are welcomed and we start the workshop.
Today we learn about the earth, climate change, the effects of CO2  and how to reduce waist. Things we really find important and are happy to see are being discussed.
After this important part of the class the children have to make a tree from used and recycled materials, newspapers and plastic bottles found on the streets. When the tree is done it will be painted, but that’s something for next week, the children get distracted by each other, run around and have fun. Before we know it time is up and we have to pack up the materials and tables and head off.IMG_4381

Vientos Culturales (V.C.) is a social-cultural project that provides art and theater workshops to children and youth from marginalised zones in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. They make sure children receive extra education and allow themselves to develop through art and creativity.

The lesson plans for the Vientos Culturales workshops are made each month. There’s a different plan for each of the colonias they visit. Next to the taller at the headquarters in the north of Tuxtla Gutierrez, there are three more located in different neighbourhoods in the state of Chiapas. Each year V.C. decides which colonia will receive the workshops, based on several criteria and needs. They also need to find a spot to be able to give the workshops. Not an easy task…

At the HQ of Vientos Culturales there is a small studio where an educational TV program is made. The same content is used in the program as in the workshops; current issues are discussed and children (and adults!) who watch the program are educated. A large amount of people is reached this way.
The government of Chiapas broadcasts the TV program; this ensures a somewhat steady financial cash flow towards the project and workshops. However, V.C. is always looking for extra help, there isn’t that much to work with and a lot of things need to be replaced. We noticed some things during our visit and discussed this with Elke, one of the two project owners, and decided to take action.

The current tables being used for the workshops are old, heavy and are falling apart. After ten years they need replacing, but where do you find new tables that fit our criteria? Tables are expensive and good quality is hard to find. Check out our video and see what happens…

Vientos Culturales is going to receive new tables. Lightweight, durable and strong enough to last another ten years of being loaded in and out of the truck, children learning, painting, sitting, dancing and writing on them. A worthy investment for the next couple of years!

We’ve had a really good time at Vientos Culturales, a project that we are happy to support. Thanks to your donation we were able to help in our own way. With baby steps we are all making a difference.
If you are ever in Tuxtla Gutierrez and want to visit the project, please do, you won’t regret it. Or if you know somebody that would like to do volunteer work abroad for a few months, please check out their website to learn more.

From Tuxtla Gutierrez,

Dirk Spits

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2 Thoughts on “WEEK #52 HOW ARE WE DOING? a day with Vientos Culturales

  1. Janneke de Kaste on June 10, 2014 at 10:03 PM said:

    Soort van eigen huis en tuin aflevering in Mexico daar…

    • Dirk Spits on June 12, 2014 at 6:57 AM said:

      Hahaha, uiteindelijk maar goed dat we niet van een buitenlands bedrijf plastic tafels hebben aangeschaft. Nu komen er oerdegelijke houten tafels met een frame van aluminium; licht, sterk en door lokale timmermannen gemaakt!

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