Wayúu Tayá Visits 3 Communities in the Mara Municipality

Wayuu Taya Foundation - Tuesday, 25 May 2010 06:01

On May 15th of 2010, The Wayúu Tayá Foundation team visited “El Mogú”, Tepichi Talashi and “Los Lechosos” schools.Visitors included members of the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, press and friends, took a trip to 3 schools in the Wayúu community (municipality of Mara, state of Zulia), to share and look at the progress of each of the initiatives undertaken by the Foundation for the education and development of indigenous children. The 3 schools included in the visit were the “El Mogú”, the “Tepichi Talacsi” and the “Jesus Redentor – Los Lechosos” School.

The visit at the “El Mogú” School had the presence of different celebrities which gave a sense of happiness to the children, the school Director (Milzida Mendez), the teachers and the community overall.

The President of the foundation, Patricia Velásquez, expressed her gratitude to all attendees and emphasized on the importance of teamwork and how working together is key to making a positive change and contributing to the formation of many well-prepared individuals. She also thanked the teachers for their great work and contribution, and encouraged the community to participate, as all of the projects are for them.

The team then visited the entire school’s construction site and then handed out the recognition medal to Leilani Johnson, attending the event in representation of Mr. Stewart Rahr. Lastly the team planted a mango tree, which represents the community, and fosters the protection and care of nature and the environment.

The team’s second visit, to the Nerio Emiro Semprun, “Tepichi Talashi” School, was equally satisfying. The school principal, Mariela Fernandez and the children gave the team a very warm and happy welcome full of expressions of gratitude. There was a presentation of “Yonna” the local folkloric dance that characterizes the essence of the Wayúu culture. There was an overall sense of happiness in every parent, representative and the entire community in general.

Patricia Velázquez gave a speech to all the attendees thanking them for all their work as well as thanking those volunteering which have been essential for the social work that is being done. She asked to think of the work as a “Team Effort” and highlighted the importance of thinking of the foundation’s teamwork and not as a personal effort by her alone. Also an announcement was made about the signing of an agreement with the Venezuela Youth Symphony Orchestra, for the creation of the first Wayúu  Children’s Orchestra where youngsters will learn to play musical instruments and develop their talent for musical education and appreciation. This visit also marked the beginning of the construction of a Creative Art Center, which will work as an exclusive space to foster the integral social development for community children at the school.

Among the attendees, there were plastic artists from the Zulia region, who contributed with the execution of the plastic arts activity held on April 18, 2010 where they worked on clay vases and pots with all children. Among these artists was sculptor Amarilis Villalobos -who has a 20 year track in the arts-. Amarilis handed Patricia Velázquez the first stone for the Wayúu Tayáa Creative Art Center. Patricia proceeded with setting the first stone to represent the consolidation of this important program.

Sculptor Amarilis presented an exhibit where her work was presented on stone and wood cravings with different symbolism.

The most outstanding work from the stone exhibit were:

“Stone of the Eye” (stone with many holes all over it), Sandstone Stone, Pale quartz stone and White quartz stone. All of these stones are representative samples of the different stones found in each sector of the Guajira sub-region. These works of art represent an allegory to the pre-Hispanic and primitive culture of the region’s ancestors.

The wood exhibit had 7 wood columns, which represent the 7 branches of the arts with hieroglyphic engravings that represent different American pre-Hispanic cultures. The stone in the center is the symbol that identifies the Wayúu Tayá foundation; it has a hieroglyphic from the Cachiri area that has the form of a spiral with no beginning and no end representing infinity. (The Cachiri area is on the Mara municipality and is an antique culture of the Wayúu group).

At the end of this visit, all attendees enjoyed the appearance of the Puertos de Altagracia Orchestra followed by the presentation of gifts to children in the community.

The last visit was at the Lechosos community, where they visited the Jesus Redentor School. The team was warmly welcomed by School Principal, Jose Luis Molero, the students, parents and the community overall.

The team opened a new classroom thanks to the contribution of Veconinter – Wayúu Tayá Foundation, with the participation of Evelyn Brea. The children at the school were glad that they now had a big classroom in great conditions with desks, chairs, blackboards, and all the material for their good academic development.

The blend of different cultures was one of the key elements throughout the entire journey, as all the attendees and special guests interacted with the Wayúu people, getting to know their language, their art and typical cuisine. This last visit was also ended with a sense of happiness from everyone as gifts were presented to the children in the community.

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