Malambo, Panama VIEW GALLERY
The first project began just outside of Panama City at Malambo, Latin America's largest Orphanages and home to about 120 children. During the project's initial phase in March 2007, “Aurelius for the Arts” volunteers taught a series of 90-minute art workshops for over four weeks with all 120 kids participating. The positive responses were dramatic, and Aurelius is continued to sponsor an art teacher to hold classes at Malambo 3 times a week for another year following the initial program.
Dominican Republic VIEW GALLERY
After the successful completion of the first project in Panama, Aurelius had the experience and knowledge to take advantage of an opportunity; 2 orphanages in one trip! In the spring of 2008 the Foundation made a lasting impression at The Dominica School as well as Dona Chucha.
Dona Chucha, which serves 88 girls between the ages of six and fifteen in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic. The program included craft lessons where the girls learned to make wearable objects such as carnival masks, hair ornaments, shadow boxes and designed original patternmaking on T-shirts. Dominica Orphanage, which provides and coordinates housing and schooling for abandoned and orphaned children while also catering to the larger outside community children.
The Dominica School provides meals and clothing to all its students, and is currently serving 310 children from pre-kindergarten through seventh grade. The school is ranked among the top five schools in the Dominican Republic and has a growing waiting list.
MedEllín, Colombia VIEW GALLERY
The third program took place in Medellín, Colombia. The primary work took place in four different orphanages. The first orphanage, named Hogares Infantiles San Jose, is the home and school to 330 girls, ages 5-18 and we had two small groups of a couple age groups. The projects completed at this locale included pinhole cameras, self portraits and, sun art prints. The second orphanage was Tallercíto de San Jose Los Niños which has twenty-seven girls/boys ages 3-4. We made colorful noodle necklaces with the girls, self portraits, hand drawings and did face painting on each of the children. At Angelito de me Guarda, there are 18 girls, 4-14 they did self portraits of themselves in the present and 10 years in the future. La Casita de Nicolás is home to 47 children ages 0-14, we did hand printing, face painting and portraiture.
These projects led us to hiring a wonderful art teacher named, Zoraida Alzate Restrepo who hails from the children's community of Medellin. She is currently continuing the programs in three out of four schools and is continuing to expand the syllabus exponentially.
LIMA, PERU VIEW GALLERY
The fifth project culminated in Lima, Peru and thus far has been the most sustainable project yet. We started working there in August 2014 doing intensive art-making classes, working with all 120 kids in differing capacities. Thus far, we have been able to send volunteers back to this location every few months to check in on the girls and just completed a huge mural project in January 2016. The mural was painted on a large water tower located on the orphanages property but able to be seen by the surrounding community because of its height and scale.
There are plans in the works to create a student driven artist residency program there, it will be the first of its kind and from there, we hope to grow similar initiatives in our other project sites.