March 26, 2007

Painting the World

At the end of last year, I had an idea to do some impromptu art classes with the youth group. There are no art programs in the school, yet many of the kids have an interest in exploring this area. I was pleased to discover that several of them have some untapped talent as well. We started out with a few drawing classes, but I decided we needed to tackle a big project in order to keep the interest up, as well as keep my own energy going. We decided on a mural for the community to enjoy. The end result is a giant world map on the wall of the elementary school. The project was a chance for the kids to learn how to draw, paint and study geography all at once.
It wasn't too difficult to find kids that were willing to help me with this project. After many breaks, crew changes, hiatuses and running out of materials, we finally finished the map. Throughout the process there were constantly people around that were curious about what we were doing. For some of them, this was the first time they had seen a world map. We had many of the same discussions over and over and a typical one would always start with, ¨Where's Guatemala?¨, followed by, ¨Where's the United States¨, with the inevitable statement...¨Wow, Mexico is a long country to cross¨. Most people here think in terms of how they can get to the U.S. to work. Usually that idea doesn't involve getting on a plane, but rather hopping on the back of a truck or walking. The realization that Mexico is quite big, was a bit of a downer for some. We also talked about things that were geographically important to the kids-like, where Shakira was from. Most decided that Columbia isn't all that far from Guatemala and they might have a chance of running into her some day. All were amazed at how small Guatemala is in comparison to the rest of the world and everyone wanted to know where exactly the mythical land of Canada was. More than anything it gave the kids a chance to create a conversation around Salacuim that was more than what the weather is like, or how their corn is. They helped open the world to the rest of the community and made everyone realize that they are all part of a much bigger thing than just Salacuim.

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our blank canvas

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beginning the drawing process

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all the countries were drawn out in about 4 hours

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starting to paint

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coming to life

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working on the water

final touches

mapa del mundo complete


Colleen said...

Nice work! I'm glad you took pictures of the progress. I can't believe it only took four hours to sketch.

JulieJ said...

Kari! It looks great!!! Sounds like you generated lots of good conversation and learning about el mundo. Didn't you feel like you were in your element again?! Take care.

Prairie Pastor said...


The map is great. And what a wonderful way to get people talking and thinking. Way to go!

We'll be celebrating the work you and Corby are doing during our worship this month at Grace and hopefully raising some funds for your scholarship program.

You two remain in our weekly corporate prayers and in my family's personal prayers.

Peace and light! Sharron in Sheyenne