I was awarded the Sis Grenald Women’s Leadership Fellowship. I traveled to Huaycan, a shantytown located outside of the city of Lima, Peru, on a two-month art education internship with the Light and Leadership Initiative. My goal was to improve the current art curriculum for children and provide a structure for future volunteers.
I taught art classes for children and workshops for women. In addition, I served as an assistant teacher for English, math, dance and other subjects.
The trip to Peru also gave me the chance to rediscover my roots and visit extended family. It feels like returning home, whether two, three, or ten years have gone by without seeing my family.
The town of Huaycan-Lima is divided into zones, up and down large dirt mountains or ceros (hills), as they are known. My daily journey involved a rickety bus ride and hiking up steep hills.
The kids would wait at the top of the stairs [leading up to the classroom] and would run down to help me with my bags and supplies, sometimes barefoot, in the cold. It was one of the few things they had to look forward to.
This was such a rewarding experience – one that would not have been possible without Moore and the fellowships I received.
I plan to return to Peru this summer to continue my work with women and children. I also hope to travel to other countries. There is still so much to explore and so many wonderful parents and children I have yet to meet and create art with.