The summer camp "Vacacion+arte" is a wonderful experience where the participants show off their achievements and children display with joy that they can do incredible things: they become protagonists of their own development.
It is true that in Villa El Salvador there are many organizations that develop cultural activities in the summer months but many are not at hand to the poorest families in the neighbourhood. In this sense, the Guadix Cultural Center, of IT in Peru, is dedicated to children and young people with limited resources and few opportunities even within Villa, but that is not a reason to offer them less quality, but all the contrary.
The processes are important and for that reason during two months, they work hard, taking care of the details, talking about what they are preparing but also about what is yet to be ready. At the end, on the day of the closing, mothers and fathers can not believe what they see but they do not stop smiling proudly of their little ones. The result of what they have learned is a surprise even for their teachers.
A supportive staff
The “Guadix Cultural Center”, opens its doors every summer to welcome families who bring their children to participate in a dignified space where, in addition to, develop their skills, strengthen their self-esteem and establish healthy links, they learn and develop numerous skills through dance, music, plastic and circus arts, chess, taekwondo and cooking, becoming mini-chefs. In the same way, we give support to those children who have difficulties in reading and writing with the help of a teacher trained in the Lesmes method.
We have a privileged group of teachers from Villa el Salvador, young people who have been trained with much effort and who welcome the proposal to work for a better world, understanding that they are there to share with their “neighbours” what they received one day. Today they are our allies: social actors who bet on culture and art as a means to social transformation. For example, we found Delmira without knowing that she had trained at the Fe y Alegría school, where the Association was present for years.
In the spirit of the socio-educational program, Vacation+Art, the formation in values and the centrality of the person are priority; in this sense, educators assume the challenge of making their spaces places to share, in a playful way, to dialogue establishing their own rules of coexistence that start from the respect of every person, making learning a friendly and supportive experience. In this way, teachers and students become people who learn and grow together for the good of themselves and their community.
In search of equality
Every summer, the program assumes a central theme that goes through the whole experience of the workshops and, this year has not been the exception. We placed as a cross-cutting issue the theme: "in search of equality", assuming the challenge of promoting a culture of peace, where women's rights were especially promoted, while at the same time making visible the problems that afflict us today: a sexism so ingrained that is killing thousands of women in a society that does not recognize the equality of rights between men and women, where asymmetric relations prevail with clear advantage of men over women. They are considered as an object by a hegemonic masculinity that shows its superiority in a perverse way.
The Guadix Cultural Center is “a worthy and pleasant space” (so it was called by one of the new teachers on the day of evaluation) that every person deserves and the presence of the Teresian Association represents for all, a real hope and credible… we need to multiply hope!
Text and photographs: Eli Guerrero, Villa El Salvador.