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The Arts and Crafts Education Pilot Project
for Children in Guatemala

Read my 2005 Annual Letter - Progress of the Pro Arte Maya Project

"A primary goal of Pro Arte Maya is to help give Maya children the opportunity learn about and practice their traditional arts and crafts that are a central part of their cultural heritage. We feel that the experience of working with their hands and with natural materials from their environment allows them to experience a connection with nature, and a reverence for the gifts of Mother Earth. These aspects of the Maya ethos can be learned through children working with traditional crafts."

From: Some questions you may have about Mayan arts and crafts
and the educational role of Pro Arte Maya...

( back to Coloring Book)

Project Mission: We are devoted to maintaining cultural, linguistic and biological diversity in the world, and believe that people everywhere have the right to to their own unique heritage.

Pro Arte Maya is a small pilot educational project in Guatemala City. The project promotes the appreciation and practice by Mayan and other Guatemalan children of their rich and varied arts and crafts tradition. We seek to encourage the continuation these traditions as living arts now and in the future. We have developed, printed and distribute a multilingual Spanish/Mayan coloring book, Artes y Artesanías Mayas de Guatemala (Maya Arts and Crafts in Guatemala).

The coloring book addresses issues such as tradition, creativity, self sufficiency, and ecology. By including captions in eight Mayan languages, we honor those languages and encourage their use. We began our work, in January, 2001 in the bilingual schools of the Consejo Maya Jun Apju Ixb’alamke, an innovative network of bilingual schools. Teachers use the coloring book and an accompanying guide in their classrooms.

Image from Pro Arte Coloring Book byMaryln Anderson. Click on photo for enlargement.

The coloring book is given without charge to children of limited income families. Additional schools in Guatemala have also received the coloring books free of charge and include them in their programs.

We hope to expand the scope of Pro Arte Maya to develop still more publications and to promote more hands on teaching of traditional crafts in schools.

US Project Director Marilyn Anderson, works to further Pro Arte Maya in solidarity with Maya colleagues Juan Zapil and Virginia Ajxup. Volunteering her time and efforts from Rochester, NY, with periodic visits to Guatemala. Marilyn created the drawings and text for Artes y Artesanías Mayas de Guatemala, works to develop additional educational materials as well as to obtain further funding for the project.

Guatemala Project Directors, Juan Zapil and Virginia Ajxup, of the Consejo Maya Jun Apju Ixb’alamke network of bilingual schools, live and work in Guatemala City.

They work to formulate and implement plans to further the aims and objectives of Pro Arte Maya. Together with Anderson, they collaborated on development of the coloring book and the accompanying teachers guide and have organized the pilot project distribution of coloring books and teachers guides to nine schools. They facilitate distribution of books in other settings and answer inquiries.

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All work Copyright © 2001-2006 by Marilyn Anderson.