"Dreams are like the paints of a great artist. Your dreams are your paints, the world is your canvas. Believing is the brush that converts your dreams into a masterpiece of reality."
When I do assembly presentations in New Jersey about children in Guatemala, I ask kids to think about what it would be like to grow up and never dream about the future; to grow up with only one dream -- survival.
First, I ask all the kids to stand up. Education in Guatemala is only free through grade 6. So I have 1/2 of them sit down to represent kids who don't go middle and high school because they can't afford the tuition. Then I explain that children in primary school still have to pay for their own uniforms, transportation, school supplies, pencils, books, paper, erasers, etc. This costs on average $25 a month per child -- well beyond the means of most poor families in a country where the average annual income of an indigenous worker is $1600 a year. Only 30% of the children who begin primary school in Guatemala actually continue through grade 6. So I ask 2/3 of the children who are still standing sit down. Finally, I tell them that many poor families need the sons to go to work in the coffee plantations with the fathers (to augment the $2 a day that the father makes), and the girls to stay home with the mothers and watch the younger children. So I have 1/2 of the remaining children sit down.
Now there are only a few kids standing. Only a handful of kids in the poor communities can dream of doing anything except having babies, cooking over a fire, and washing clothes by hand if they are girls, or picking coffee beans or doing unskilled labor if they are boys. Unlike American children, the children we see in Guatemala don't dream of becoming teachers or doctors or lawyers. Dreams are luxuries.
In the musical South Pacific, the character Bloody Mary sings a song called "Happy Talk." The lyrics are: "You've got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true."
On Tuesday, we are going back to Guatemala for the week, to see our families and the beautiful children in the two schools, and try to do just a little bit to help these children dare to dream, and believe that their dreams can come true.
The process: I mixed mica powder and glass bead gel to make a textured paste to scrape through my border's stencil to create the metallic texture on the right and left of the canvas. The words and heart are made with polymer clay, thanks to Judy Shea's amazing Buttons n'Bellishments class. Her curls are made with twine, and embellished with fluid acrylic Iridescent Gold paint.
Linking to challenges at Paper Issues (twine), Simon Says Stamp & Show (metallic); Frilly & Funkie (layers and words).
She is also my face # 16. Here are faces 17 -21!
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See you at Paint Party Friday and Art Journal Every Day!