Guatemala II: El Tejar Music Program
And now the updates about the actual work…
On Tuesday we met up with John Van Keppel in Antigua and headed to the pueblo of El Tejar, where the CEDIN school has a music program that PEG funded in cooperation with LEAF International. John works for an organization called Child Aid, which supports this school. I know that’s lots of organizations to keep track of, but hang with me. It’s good to recognize everybody who is doing this work.
What we’re doing there: PEG bought a bunch of instruments last year about this time and pays the salaries for a teacher and an assistant teacher to teach music to middle school aged kids. We also bought some instruments for the elementary aged kids who are in a Montessori-style program, and this year, we’re paying for a couple of field trips to Guatemala City so that the students in the band program can visit the conservatory there and be mentored by professional musicians. LEAF and PEG have split all of these costs right down the middle.
All of the children at CEDIN are poor and are able to attend school only because of scholarships.
Update: Folks at the CEDIN school are feeling particularly proud right now because a graduate of the music program recently won first place in a regional music contest in Chimaltenango, where she’s now going to school.
On our visit Tuesday we were entertained with a wonderful concert in which children from each grade level performed, even the littlest ones.
I played a song, too, showing the kids how guitars can also be used as drums (yes, I explained the rule: you’re only allowed to play drums on a guitar if it’s YOUR guitar).
One expects these kids’ concerts to be cute, but it’s always an amazing surprise when they’re not only cute, but GOOD!
One other bit of exciting news regarding this program is that the parents of students in the music program have gotten so excited about it that they’ve been bringing in donated building supplies as they can and have gotten pretty far toward building a music room on the second floor of the school. This picture is the result of a year’s worth of donated materials. It’s always good to see people taking ownership and partnerships being exactly that.
Stay tuned for more trip news…