Music: Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding
I flew to Granada, Nicaragua with a group of Art Therapists from my alma mater, Notre Dame de Namur in Janurary 2013. This trip shook up my whole world! When we got there we met with an organization named Viva Nicaragua! founded by an amazing woman named Carrie McCracken. We were there to provide Art Therapy for about 2 weeks in a poverty area in Solidaridad, Nicaragua. Our team of Art Therapists got split up and I got to work with a group of girls (ages 3-13) experiencing poverty, domestic violence, abandonment, and/or neglect. I will never forget this experience. I am so glad to have finally finished this little video of some clips and pictures I took through out my time there.

Part 1 of the video shows glimpses of the Art Therapy work with faces and identities of the girls protected/not shown. Our team created a community art show displaying the artwork everyone made: children and elderly that participated in the Art Therapy groups. Anyone was welcome. It was amazing. I remember tears rolling down my cheeks during the art show and when we walked around their village with masks on, the girls were screaming our group name "The Strong Girls!" I remember feeling the power and strength of their voices.

I also got to help facilitate a mural at a school in a different part of Nicaragua that was also an underprivileged area. There were students from another college that were there to do a mural and I happen to LOVE murals so they kindly invited me to help because this had been their first mural experience. I was thrilled and I still can't believe how everything fell into place. I remember looking through the sketch book I brought and how we decided on painting a tree in reference to something I drew during my time there. The end of this video shows glimpses of the mural painting process. We also painted in spanish, several rights of children as the students wanted to address social justice issues. Children naturally came up to the mural while in painting process and wanted to help. The children helped pick out stencils and colors when I was spray painting the border. They put their hand prints on the tree, too! It brought everyone together and I remember feeling so alive! This is the kind of work I dream of!

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