This month has reminded me that it’s never too late to do what you love!
~ By Manny
In the states, I’m both a freelance artist and a teacher to kiddos. When the VQ summer program started, I focused my course on art and protecting ocean life. The theme of the mural was to bring awareness to the community of the endangered marine life species native to the island, such as the whale sharks and mantra rays.
The students were connected to the ocean, they lived on island their whole lives. Most have swam with whale sharks, others had family members working as captains and whale shark guides. I was impressed to see how my sixth graders were knowledgeable and passionate for the ocean. I knew this mural project was not only going to impact them, but also the community. These kids are our future to protecting and keeping our oceans clean.
A few days before we started the mural, I contacted PangeaSeed Foundation. This is an international nonprofit organization that empowers individuals and communities to create meaningful environmental change for oceans through ARTivism, education, and science. They have collaborated with over 300 international artists from over 30 countries to give 1 voice to the ocean. I met with the founder, Tre Packard and he wanted to collaborate with my sixth grade students to create a “Junior Seawalls Project”. I couldn’t stop smiling – this is one of my favorite organization and they wanted to collaborate with my students!
The process of creating a mural with sixth graders in Mexico was hot, messy, and beautiful. The kiddos were covered in sweat and paint, but they didn’t give up. It was a beautiful experience witnessing how they were passionate and proud of their work. As a teacher, I only want my students to be motivated to learn more, to be the change they wish to see, and reach all their potential.
“Together we can help save our seas!”