Results & Impact:
This is an example of a fairly quick project that has lasting effects.
One outcome of the project was that youth now feel satisfied and confident about the many hours they spend in the nurseries. The project gave the youth an exciting opportunity for the youth to name their tree nursery, to discuss the purposes of the project, to express why they were personally involved and to brainstorm on ways to communicate these ideas to their neighbors.
Community members and tree nursery workers in la JEM were really proud to promote their beliefs and hard work. The signs communicated the mission of the projects to the community and promoted the organizations supporting the project.
There was enough time to create these signs in both Cua and Linda Vista. Unfortunately, due to all the other projects I was working on, I didn't get a chance to see the sign go up in Cua. It would also have been great to create signs for the other nurseries, but time was short. On the other hand, the project was pretty straight forward and is easily replicable.
On the day I was going to start the project in Linda Vista, I arrived in the middle of a community meeting. This was a perfect opportunity to encourage community participation. Many community members at the meeting had suggestions about the use of the signage and gave their input on what it should say. Throughout the day adults came to oversee the teenagers' work, and later they helped find posts and raise the sign. We gave the sign double purpose: it was both a way to mark the entrance to the community and a way to call attention to the youth’s nearby tree nursery. The wood was cut into the silhouette of Volcano Tacaná, mimicking the same view seen from Linda Vista. In the image you can see the difference between the community’s original sign and the one we made with the materials from ArtCorps. The sign reads, Welcome, Center of Integral Formation, Linda Vista and Forest Nursery, Jóvenes en la Misión, Nature—to be dominated—should be obeyed.
For Cuá I designed a sign made up of two trees that would hang over the narrow entrance to the tree nursery, which you would walk underneath. The youth decided to not place the sign in this location, but in a more visible area near the street. Unfortunately my busy schedule at the end of my residency didn’t allow time for me to return to see it hung up. The kids painted in the large colorful trees, and after brainstorming they voted on what they wanted it to say. It reads, Youth Tree Nursery, Jóvenes en la Misión strengthening our mountains with more trees and Cuá, the place of water, Let’s Conserve It!