Festival Abierto is a colorful and art-filled festival centered around protecting the environment and fostering eco-friendly lifestyles through culture, science, and education. Non-profits and ONGs are the backbone of Festival Abierto, presenting and expressing what they are doing to participants through creative, physical, and artistic activities. This huge outdoor 2-day event took place in Parque Omar, with lots of music, activities, and tons of incredible energy. Cambio Creativo was able to participate this year for the third time in a row with great success.
Saturday, March 22, we set up our booth at Parque Omar at 9 am, completely unaware that the day would be filled with so many new opportunities and future connections. Other participating ONGs had incredible set-ups and engaging activities, which to be honest, was slightly intimidating because we were more modest in comparison, but this did not hold us back at all….the people were all so drawn to WHO we are, WHAT we are doing, and HOW they could help. Our story, our history, and what we have accomplished holds more weight than any activity or display. And it was incredible to see how evident this was to those around us and the impact it has.
In particular, festival goers were drawn to our Alphabet Song, a project in which students chose words to represent each letter, photographed a visual representation of these words, and then wrote and recorded an accompanying song. People from all ages and backgrounds stopped to take pictures of it, ask how it was made, and were in awe that the children of Coco Solo MADE it!
Pose, smile, snap!
The children painted a canvas picture frame to be displayed for passerbys to take “selfies” in. Another success! So many people wanted to take pictures: “¿Puedo tomarme una foto?”
“¡Sí! ¡Claro que sí!”
Some even chose to wear the masks the student created in a taller last year.
Sunday, March 23, on the final day of the festival, we were approached by TVN Channel 2 news for an interview! As the day proceeded, more festival goers stopped by to spend time with us. Some of the Cambio Creativo students also came, and they had a blast! They interacted with almost every single they came into contact with, opening their eyes to new opportunities and drawing more people in to work with us.
Through our participation at Festival Abierto it was evident that we are making a difference: one small step at a time, and in a way that is fun, touching, and will have a long term effect on these children’s lives through interactive and creative exchanges.
By the end of the weekend, we had a list of folks who are interested in volunteering with Cambio Creativo through workshops! What a wonderful weekend. I can’t wait for all the new volunteers and fun to come. Here we go, Cambio Creativo!