Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Art that Scratches More than the Surface

As my time in Guatemala is coming to an end, we have officially entered the rainy season and the students are currently taking their quarterly exams. Because of exams, Nutrition, my original program, was cancelled. I didn’t learn this until I arrived at school bright and early this morning. Don’t fret, though. Manna was also running two art classes, so I had the opportunity to help out with that instead.

I am definitely lacking in creativity and artistic prowess, so I was a little apprehensive about leading the art class, but today’s project was scratch art and I figured I could handle it. We taught two classes, one second grade class and one third grade class. Especially during this week of exams, the students were so grateful for this creative outlet. It is truly humbling to bring them such simple crafts and watch them flourish.

Even in schools back home, the arts are often the first thing cut from the budget. So, imagine here, where the schools do not even have running water, how little is spent on the fine arts. Before today, I did not realize the impact of these simple art lessons. I thought that our time would be better spent teaching English or building the bottle school. But, now, after sitting in on an art class, I realized the true influence that we are having on this community. My time in Guatemala has taught me to value the little things. I envy the students for their attention to detail and their fascination with life in general. I have never felt more fulfilled than I do walking into Cooperativa only to be mauled by 12 kids who want to include me in their game of ‘ring around the rosie,’ or show me where they hung last week’s art projects.

I am flying home this Thursday, and I know that I will always remember the lessons I learned in my month here. I would not have made it through the month without my fellow interns, and I can say that we all have learned so much that will impact our lives as we return to the States.


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