How can people change the world using art? Just ask Estrella Gonzalez and Rafael Luna.
Estrella and Rafael began their journey toward becoming agents of change when Escénica, a part of the One Drop Project executed by Oxfam Quebec with, came to their region in El Salvador. While taking part in the youth artistic workshops hosted by Escénica, they became inspired and motivated to help their own communities overcome their socio-economic challenges using social art.
The talented Estrella and Rafael quickly became young leaders with a strong sense of responsibility and teamwork. They did not wait to put their learning to good use. They combined their leadership abilities with their recently acquired social art skills to become positive influences in their communities.
As part of the Proyecto Agua (Water Project), Estrella and Rafael took part in a number of community activities ‒ workshops, fairs, and other social art initiatives that allowed enabled them to educate others about the importance of clean water, proper sanitation, and good hygiene habits.
Social Art, Social Change
“As a shy girl, I never imagined I would be on stage in front of hundreds of people, or that I would be traveling to other countries, but I feel very comfortable when I perform,” says Estrella, reflecting on the impact social art has had on her life.
Rafael’s life was also profoundly impacted by social art. Growing up in an area of the country identified as extremely impoverished, he left school after 9th grade. Rafael is now part of the Ecologic School, where community leaders are trained to mobilize people toward environmental protection and to enshrine the human right to water.
Both Rafael and Estrella have become community leaders through their social art. All across the region, multiple groups created and coached by Estrella and Rafael now perform social art at public meetings, cultural events, festivities, and parties.
“By sharing what we have learned, we can help others” says Rafael. “That is the only way we can achieve real change.”