Paint for Progress
The youth in Guanacaste, Costa Rica face multiple problems, such as teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, drug abuse, unemployment, and lack of counseling, prevention and health promotion. Furthermore, there is limited access to cultural and recreational activities for young people as schools are poorly equipped and have minimal staffing.
“Paint for progress” is a region wide initiative that promotes youth development in adolescent women in five different communities. For a month, youth will participate in workshops that focus on communication, team work, self-esteem, health and nutrition, drugs, gender, sexuality, goals, decision making, and the environment. The month long class will conclude with a mural painting project that promotes self-expression and the lessons learned during the workshops. The main goal of the project is to provide an alternative outlet for at-risk youths and to empower them to become self-confident leaders in their communities.
Six communities have participated in workshops focusing on topics such as youth development, anti-bullying, Costa Rican culture, environment, and self-esteem. After the workshops, the communities painted unique murals, such as a world map, a portrait of the local landscape, and artwork to pay homage to indigenous cultures. Two more communities will participate in workshops and paint murals to commemorate what they have learned.
"The students are engaged in the workshops and the mural project is a great confidence building exercise." - Victor, Peace Corps Volunteer
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