Here, I continue to tell the story of my experience at the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association Regional Conference in Antigua, Guatemala.
We attended a lunch presentation at a developing residential program for children who have terminal illnesses and their families. The complex of traditional rustic buildings was situated in a rural setting.. The architectural style of the buildings complemented the natural setting and decorations reflected regional craft traditions. I also found examples of ways people creatively “repurpose” used objects to create adornments for outdoor spaces. While in residence at the center, families with receive healing therapies and a time and space to live together as a family at this time in their lives.
Our final program of the day took place in the rural farming community of Mayan people. There, in their library/community center we participated in Expressive Arts group activities with members of the community. We began in the late afternoon and women children, teens, and men who had finished their day’s farm work joined with us. We were led in this work by Dra. Graciela Bottini of Argentina.
We began by lighting candles and making a silent intention for our work together. We explored creating sound with our voices and then moved about the room greeting each other, our eyes meeting as we met as we crossed the floor. We created with balls of clay that we were given. We got learned more about each other as we recited the names of our family generations on maternal and paternal sides. Using long strands of yarn, we wove our clay creations together, tangling ourselves together into an intimate, playful mass. We concluded by writing an intention related to what we had experienced together and then sharing spoken reflections with each other before we left the community center.