I agree that “Sustainable Development Conference” sounds far beyond the possibilities of a 22 year old college student and his friends… BUT the truth is we can technically use this name because we successfully organized a 2 day event where a group of 30 people gathered and learned about Environmental issues, starting up a business, organic farming methods, hydroponics, and pursuing dreams and visions. Throughout the event art and creativity were fundamental aspects of our presentations and performance. The purpose of this conference was to educate and empower them with practical knowledge and resources.
Since the idea of organizing such event came to my mind, I knew our presentations ought to provide them with immediate and practical knowledge they could use in their daily lives. So when a team of speakers was finally assembled, I insisted that we needed to focus on the listeners, having this question always in mind: ” what piece of information can I give them that would make their lives better?” Thank God, people with a lot of knowledge and experience were so excited to be a part of this project and sacrifice some of their time and comfort to travel one and a half hours to Tasajera.
Through knowledge comes empowerment. If we believe there is a bright future for Tasajera, we must work according to a vision by following a plan. This is why Sustainable Development Conference – Tasajera 2012 was engineered to be the first of many events that aim to bring awareness to a comunity. Awareness of many things that they are deprived from, knowledge that for us may be considered “common”.
These were the presentations given by the guest speakers:
- Starting a Green Business – Julio Cabrera (business manager)
- Environmental Awareness – Daniel Teodoro (environmental science student)
- Creative Consciousness – Claudio Kriegel & Carlos Escalante (psychology students)
- Organic Farming Methods – Javier Miranda (agro-industrial engineering student)
- Hydroponics – Javier Miranda (agro-industrial engineering student)
- Having Visions and Following Dreams – Mary Castillo (Economist)
- Practical Marketing Techniques – Jose Mario Castillo (graphic designer)
We, the people of HUMEN believe empowerment also comes through art. By encouraging people to fearlessly explore their artistic abilities, they empower themselves with confidence and awareness of their own creative capacities. We are certain that the exposure to art is very important in the overall well being of a person. This is why during the conference we had several artistic performances including music, visual animations, poems, and a special ballet dance by Katherine Barton.
The event culminated with our team and the youth that attended coming together and painting a wall. The only rule of participation was to “paint whatever comes to mind, and do it freely with no inhibitions”. The result was a genuine masterpiece and people uncovering their creative talents. It was so rewarding to see some people I knew getting really excited while they were painting, some even wondered why they had never gottten together to do such an endevour before.
Aftermath. There are still many things yet to be processed, things that mostly lie inside each one of us that participated. Personally, this has been a life changing experience, and I know as I move forward the big picture will become clearer. The effects that this event, and the project so far, has had on the community of Tasajera are still to be discovered. But we feel very confident that our work there has been aligned with good intentions, compasion, integrity, friendship, service, truth, and love.
As for our team in the island (Francisco Funes, Jeremias Carmona, and Cristian Corvera), they are committed to this project. They are very hopeful to see a real change in their community, a change they have longed for years, and finally they can see a dim light at the end of the tunnel.. this is why we have committed our full support to this cause and we will not stop until we see the expected results.
I am thankful for all the people who have supported this effort, and I hope we continue working together with people that are willing to make a difference.