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The Festival of Arts Water and Earth

8Promoting a festival as an educational strategy, it may be an unusual idea, but also a great opportunity to help transform the lives of children, youth and women and rural communities.

Something is not right in a country like Colombia with an emerging economy, the fourth in Latin America, ironically, is one of the countries with the greatest social inequality in the world, over 50 years of armed violence (between legal groups, guerrillas, paramilitaries and criminal gangs) in recent years has aggravated the urban and domestic violence with all its disastrous consequences, where the most affected are children and women; official statistics say that about 45% of the population lives in poverty and extreme poverty, this means, difficult access to health services, education, sanitation and drinking water; in the department of Boyacá one of the best in food production, about 50% of families have problems of food insecurity and two in each thousand children born alive die among others, because of chronic malnutrition. Since 1991 with the implementation of free trade policies began to import food produced in the region, so as wheat, barley, and other grains were disappearing. In the last year peasant communities have begun to raise their voices in protest against the grave problems of poverty, social exclusion and indebtedness of small farmers to lose their farms to pay the production costs of their same farms.

Environmentally, Boyacá department has the largest expanse of moorland country, Colombia is the most mega diverse country in the world, owns 44% of the moors of Latin America, albeit with policies called “locomotive mining and investor confidence” have been present serious problems of pollution and environmental degradation in rivers and moors. What has created major conflicts over water and land due to the exploitation of gold, coal and oil.

 

For a festival as a teaching strategy?

The Festival of Arts Water and Earth, born as an initiative that focuses on empowering children, youth, women and rural3 communities that stimulates and Promove education for social inclusion, education that provides meaning to the lives of people using the various art forms (dance, theater, photography, food, crafts) and the sharing of experiences in relation to a reality that affects us in the social but not disclaims environmental, political, educational . The festival, takes us to see a reality and re-meet as active beings, as citizens and inhabitants of a territory, equipped with skills and intelligence. The Festival of Arts – Water and Earth is a strategy of liberating education, part of human potentialities, promotes a dialogue of knowledge and expertise among peers, between generations and between institutions. Unlike bank education that prevails in the current education system, which tests PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) samples results, Colombia ranks last in the tests and statistics on dropout and illiteracy are worrisome . Of every 100 children who enter primary education even finish a university less than 20.

The EcoHumano Foundation is a nonprofit organization legally constituted based in the city of Sogamoso Boyacá Colombia, founded by a woman born and raised in a humble peasant family boyacense that during the last 15 years has been part processes and community in peasant’s rights to food and water security as a fundamental rights organization has also participated and promoted projects in defense of the rights of children and women in Boyacá; through EcoHumano Foundation promotes alternatives that lead to social transformation using art as tools and pedagogy with victims of social discrimination social bases. Promoting education for liberation and human development.

During the last year the first festival in the town of Mongua Boyacá, thanks to the impact on the community, the initiative has been welcomed for development in the municipalities of Nobsa, Corrales, Tópaga, Sogamoso and Mongua, in such a way that serves as stage to promote and disseminate sustainable alternatives in the region. The festival promotes the organization of artistic activities – cultural and educational with grassroots groups: children, youth, women and rural communities as agents of their own development, linking institutions of basic and higher education, as well as government institutions.

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Many of our young men and women with great skills to the art such as sculpture, painting and music was his destiny to join the ranks of the arms race of the legal and illegal armies or developing different activities to their interests and talents as mineral development to the detriment of their health, culture environmental degradation and social equity.

The Festival of Arts – Water and Earth is designed as an educational cultural space, and ecotourism, which allows re-visualize and understand the ecological potential and create imaginary from art as a means of expression which may strengthen an economic culture socially and environmentally sustainable.

yo bio

Yolanda Fonseca Álvarez is a Colombian citizen, born and raised in the bosom of a peasant family Boyacense,  for 15 years has been associated to processes of rural and community organization in the region. She has a training in Social and Psychology and Pedagogyand their work has focused on the defense of the rights of children, women and rural communities. She is Foundress of the Colombian Foundation for Human Development and Sustainable – EcoHumano. – Non-profit organization with which have developed these projects.

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