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Jul 27, 2015

Culture of Peace Exhibit Launches Next Week

Part of the Culture of Peace Program, taking place this week, involves an exhibit with various forms of expression. The exhibit was installed today and will be launched on Tuesday at the Belisle Gallery at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The Organization of American States believes that the program will bring together communities within the adjacency zone. Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Promoting a Culture of Peace, a visual art exhibit put together by the Organization of American States, is an initiative to unite residents of Benque Viejo and Melchor de Mencos through painting, sculpting and basketry.  The project saw the participation of young talents from both neighboring communities.

 

Magdalena Talamas

Magdalena Talamas, Chief of Peace Fund, O.A.S.

“The confidence building measures contemplates the responsibility of the office in terms of promoting community to community development. About four years ago, we decided that we needed to focus more on youth, on the children and youth that inhabited the Adjacency Zone and therefore we started this Culture of Peace Program which includes not only art and paint workshops but also musical workshops.  The children learned how to play the piano and how to sing.  We also offer language training, English and Spanish lessons and here we have today just one part of this larger program which is the exhibit of the paintings that the children have made under the Culture of Peace Program.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“This is a collaborative that seemingly has taken a while to put together in terms of getting the works underway and bringing them for display.  Talk to us a bit out that process, in terms of either getting these young artists to either begin their work and collating all their pieces.”

 

Sergio Benitez

Sergio Benitez, Director, Office of O.A.S., Adjacency Zone

“Well an important thing is that all the art you’re going to see here and the children that are going to sing here started a couple of months ago.  They are the seeds of the communities.  They started the process in May and after this month they started to create things.  It’s very interesting but all this is from non-professional students.  We hire professionals, professional teachers, professional painters, professional musicians and they give the instructions and the classes but all the [pieces of] art you’re going to see here are made by the students.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What has this done to build a sense of unity or solidarity amongst Belizeans and Guatemalans; namely, Benquenos and residents of Melchor?

 

Sergio Benitez

“Well an important thing is that in the area there exists a very good relationship with the people.  What we’re doing today is to be the platform to show what is in the place, you know.  Sadly, the negative part is what is highlighted in the news but in reality, I can say pretty clearly, ninety-eight percent of the things in the area is positive and what we’re doing today is showing that part.  It’s not seen in the news and in the media, only the negative, you know, and what we explain today, this does not reflect what is the big picture.  We’re showing today the children’s dreams and their reality, art, knowledge and the opportunity to show that people in Belize City what they’re doing in the village.”

 

Magdalena Talamas

“The objective of this program is not only for youth of Guatemala and Belize to perfect and artistic or a musical skill but rather that they sit down side by side over the years and create these long lasting friendships based on the universal values of peace and harmony and tolerance and good neighborliness.”

 

The art exhibit at the Belisle Art Gallery will be officially launched on Tuesday. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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