Este año tuvimos el honor de volver a participar en el Festival Abierto. Fue un exito total! Nos encanto conocer a tanta gente interesada en nuestro trabajo y formar nuevas relaciones para intercambios de todo tipo. Jovenes de Coco Solo vinieron a participar y estaban muy orgullosos de ver el interes y entusiasmo que el publico tenia del arte, musica, y fotografias que ellos han creado. Espero que podamos seguir trabajando en conjunto para crear una verdadera plataforma de cambio!
As part of the Cambio Creativo summer program, Estudio Nuboso offered a bookbinding workshop to compliment a writing class. We made a simple japanese binding to initiate them in the art of making your own books.
In this workshop, fine skills and interest were revealed by a number of the students. The possibility of learning to make fanzines and other bindings which will allow them to tell their stories and self-publish is alive and well. We hope to make this happen in the next months.
During this workshop, staff members from Global Brigades-Panama
organized a workshop with Cambio Creativo teachers and students to
discuss ‘what makes a community,’ and how we can collectively build
healthier social and ecological relationships at home. Global Brigades
is currently the world’s largest student-led health and development
organization, working on rural community development projects in
Panamá, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Ghana.
Team members from GB coordinated with Cambio Creativo teachers
to lead a general discussion, followed by a creative mapping exercise
to define and understand “community.” What elements do you think make
up a healthy community? Students and teachers designed and sketched
their own visions, and shared ideas. Many students, for example, drew
schools, houses, churches, parks, in addition to rivers and lakes to
swim and fish in.
The workshop allowed team members and students from both
organizations to come together and discuss community mobilization
methods used both in urban and rural settings. The question was
raised: ‘how now do we build the community that you’ve just drawn?’
There was an overwhelming feeling of mutual collaboration between Coco
Solo youth and Global Brigades members. The guiding principles in all
community mobilization projects are education and participatory
This was the first activity, in what will hopefully be a long relationship,
between Global Brigades and Cambio Creativo. Next week, Coco Solo
teacher and mentor Jesus David Blanco, for example, will be a Visiting
Fellow on one of Global Brigade’s programs in the Darien region.
During the week, Jesus David will follow GB activities and report back
to Cambio Creativo team members about what he learned about community
-Allen Gula, Solomiya Teterichko, and Abbey Rich
Este año Cambio Creativo está haciendo un gran esfuerzo por promover la alfabetización en Coco Solo. Aparte de participar en talleres sobre la escritura creativa y la lectura, los jovenes crearon su propia cancion del abecedario! Y hicieron fotos que ilustran cada letra para complementar el proyecto! Tambien hemos expandido la biblioteca juvenil y creado un club de lectura.
Entre todo estos esfuerzos, Eduardo Arenas notaba que muchos niños todavia no saben leer y no tienen a nadie quien les lea. De ahi le surgio una grandisima idea: por que no creamos nuestros propios libros de audio?!? De esta forma, los jovenes pueden practicar o aprender a leer solos, ya que ver las letras y escuchar los sonidos es lo primordial a la hora de aprender a leer.
Fue un proceso lindo en el cual 10 participantes entre 8-15 años colaboraron para desarrollar la historia. Luego la ilustraban mientras unos narraban el cuentro y otros graban los efectos de sonido. Los jovenes estaban muy emocionados y orgullosos que su cuento sea publicado. Ademas de herramienta educativa, “El Sapo y el Caiman” es una manifestacion de creatividad, talento y pasion — todos estamos muy orgullosos!
We arrived to Coco Solo on November 25th, a year and a half after our
last visit, back in 2011. It was exciting to be working with the kids
again, and to see how much they had grown. It was also impressive to
see the new space of Cambio Creativo. The educational center now has a
second additional classroom, plus a walk-in closet to store Cambio’s
supplies. We spent two weeks in Coco Solo, running a literacy and
storytelling workshop. We brought with us, from the United States,
fifty new children books in Spanish – to add to the growing library.
The kids were enthralled with the books. We, along with the help of
Jesus David and Yamilka Savage, divided the children into small groups
by age, and read each group a selection of the new books. It was a
challenge with the amount of students and the breadth of their ages,
but we all worked together to engage the students.
During our second week, we conducted a special Bibliobandido workshop,
inspired by a program by the same name in Honduras. See,
http://vimeo.com/43641161 Pastor Michael Brown was a great help to us,
as he dressed up as the mysterious book bandit and told the kids a
fantastic story about his ravenous desire for children’s stories. “Soy
El Bibliobandido. Tengo ganas a comer los cuentos. Los cuentos son mi
alimentacíon. Los que no me cuentan. Ten cuidado!!!” He asked the
children to write books for him to eat. The moment he left, the
children quickly got to creating their books. They each used one of
the new books from the library to influence their stories. It was a
really fun experience.
A few weeks after the Bibliobandido workshop, we visited Coco Solo for
one last day, on what was the U.S. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
We worked with the students, discussing the story of Martin Luther
King Jr.’s life’s work battling discrimination against black people.
The kids really identified with the struggles of African Americans,
and it made them think of their own identities as people of African
descent. At the end of the workshop, each student wrote a short “I
Have a Dream” speech, with their own vision for the future. They had
in common a dream that one day they would be able to escape poverty.
-Wendy & Blake
Music by youth of Coco Solo
Mixing by Eduardo Arenas
Animation by Lorena Endara
“The Gospel states that God blesses a happy giver and we have received every detail big or small with all our hearts and love. We do not possess gold or silver but in appreciation you will always be present in our blessings. And in this upcoming year, may you be full of blessings with every step you take.”
- Pastor Mikey & the community of Coco Solo
A group of university students from the Universidad Especializada de las Americas (UDELAS) began volunteering at Coco Solo. They facilitate study hall sessions twice a week to the youth that visit the community center. It is a true blessing to have them present and see them establishing caring relationships with the youth. They mutually exchange smiles, share stories, and learn together.