There is a tradition in Central American villages for local people to paint lampposts with colourful designs – often of local birds, flowers and scenes. They really brighten up street corners, give a sense of identity and an interesting aesthetic to an area. Below are some I found in Juayua, El Salvador, but other good ones can be found in Santiago, by Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Before she left El Paredon, Carla (co-founder of La Choza Chula) had the idea to do the same in our village. I promised that we would make her idea happen. The project aimed to show off local creative talent in a public place and display positive environmental messages in the community, which would influence local people
THE FINISHED LAMPPOSTS
HOW WE DID IT
Firstly, we held a drawing competition and the most enthusiastic and talented young artists were carefully selected to paint one of six lamp posts along the main street. We talked to the local representative of CONAP, the governmental environmental agency in Guatemala, who gave us six key messages they thought most important to promote. We asked the Mayor and the town committee for permission. We then worked on different lampposts with different artists when the sun was at its lowest – getting them to respond first on paper then on the post to the message we wanted to convey. Each post is unique.
We hope to paint more posts in the future and are interested in working with other communities to replicate the project in other areas. Get in touch if you are interested or if you would like to donate towards paint and facilitation for more posts! Write to email@example.com
Facilitators – Frances Alderson and Julia Harriman – La Choza Chula
Concept – Carla Thomas – La Choza Chula
Artists – Dani, Elicio, Irma, Julio, Marvin, Frances, Julia, Delia
Thanks to our supporters – www.paredonsurf.com for funding the project, Paco Blanco, Mayor of La Gomera, Rafa from www.surf-guatemala.com, Santos from the town committee and all the kids who helped out.