(This week's - ok, fine, last week's because I forgot to post it - Guest Blog comes from Mr. Erik Swanson. Erik is involved in running both the Teen Center and the Small Business Microfinance Program... as well as being in co-in charge of the Summer Volunteer Program and the brand new cooking class with yours truly. He's also known for being in a long-term relationship with rugby, and for having descended from the Nordics. Here's Erik's account of the first TC paseo of the year... Disfrute!)
"This weekend, the Teen Center will be having its first trip of the year. It will be the first of many trips with the goal of connecting local professionals and artists to the Teen Center. The hope is that we can expose the youth in the area to both their opportunities in life beyond Rumiloma as well as try to open up new avenues for creative expression.
For those of you who are daily readers to our blog, you are already acquainted for my love for a small beach town called Ayampe. It is in Ayampe, by blind luck, that I met the professional that is now helping us this weekend. Her name is Fernanda Ponce. She is an artist in Cumbaya, the valley to the north of our own, and has her own studio in which she gives classes as well as does a good amount of her work. She happened to be in Ayampe doing an art exposition with a friend, also from the Quito area, and invited me to come check it out.
Upon arrival at her studio, we began planning activities and exercises for the kids that would make the trip to Cumbaya. First, Fer will begin by explaining her point of view on exactly what art is: a method of communication. Secondly, she will guide the kids through the steps of how she creates her works from inspiration to finishing. Lastly, we will create a work of art as a group. This work will be a cardboard tree, freestanding, and will include three leaves from each child, each of which will depict a different thing in their life that affects them.
We are greatly looking forward to having a series of trips like this one in the future, and will be trying to make sure that at least one per month occurs.