With no workshops to lead or vision clinics to run on a glorious Saturday summer day in Chimbote, our large group delighted in a morning spent learning about and supporting our WGC partner Pushaq Warmi’s fiber arts project. The women, who have been working with WGC and UIW Business faculty and students on how to market and brand their business, set up an outdoor bazaar at the local cultural arts center just for us. The market featured Peruvian dolls, embroidered greeting cards, holiday ornaments, and more. Christmas shopping…DONE!
We were also honored to spend time today learning about Chimbote’s struggle to publicly embrace art. The center’s own artist-in-residence Richard Castaneda told us the histories of The beautiful and culturally significant murals he has created all around the sweeping outdoor walls surrounding the building, as well as others he has painted around Chimbote. But his passion for his art form has only recently begun to be shared rather than shunned.
Richard has been an artist (he is most known for his street art, pencil portraits and tattoo artistry) in Chimbote for about 15 years. He remembers days when he would be creating intricate chalk murals on city sidewalks and people would pass and shout, “Get a job!” The arts scene has slightly improved since then, but Richard laments that most residents still would rather spend weekends at discotecas instead of music recitals or art shows.
We left wondering how to keep supporting Richard’s vision of Chimbote as a thriving Peruvian arts center. Now, he teaches art to students and travels the region educating many. A favorite quote of his? “The enemy of art is ignorance.”
Our afternoon was marked by beach play, shopping and a stop at a bingo fundraiser for the hospice program associated with the Verbo Encarnado health system here.