Carleton Storytelling Workshops in Cotzal, Guatemala

Hola amigos, 

COVID 19 has changed our lives and priorities. Before the pandemic, students in Canada had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to work on different projects and to experience what the life of our Guatemaltecos youth is like. This year, following international and national restrictions, to avoid the spread of Covid 19  we decided to host virtual workshops

In April, SOS received very positive testimonials about the Carleton Storytelling Workshops, continued hosting virtual sessions between students from Guatemala and Canada, and started coordinating our very new program called “Global Ambassadors”. 

We have seen that Virtual exchange programs are helping participants to practice creativity, confidence, and respect when sharing their ideas. Additionally, it provides a space to develop critical 21st-century skills of cross-cultural communication and conflict resolution.

In the blog Flip the Script Exchanges Jensen shares in detail about our time together with students from Carleton and youth mentors in San Felipe Chenla and Ojo de Agua. 

Today I want to share with you about the coordination and the impacts these activities have in our communities of Guatemala. 

Storytelling Workshops in San Felipe & Ojo de Agua 

SOS developed proposals for two community-engaged learning “micro-courses”  offered to Carleton students from November 2020 to February 2021. 

We integrated videos in Rumie to support students on the basic knowledge and usage of Power Director, Adobe Photoshop Express, Wave Editor, Medium, Powtoon, Slack, and Zoom. Last but not least, a reflection guided by me on the Sustainable Development goals through the art of storytelling. 

Students worked in small teams using a co-creation, design thinking framework to produce tangible assets in response to the specific sustainable development goal chosen (gender equality, no poverty & quality education) while also developing technical skills in photography, podcast, and video. 

Youth mentors from Cotzal (San Felipe & Ojo de Agua) shared with us how these sessions and virtual experiences are changing and impacting positively their lives. 

“During the Storytelling workshops, students from Carleton taught me how to conduct interviews. It is the first time that I have the opportunity to interview teachers and parents in my community. During the interview with two teachers, we asked what quality education meant to them, we got insightful information about education in Cotzal. At the beginning of the workshops, I was afraid to talk to the students from Canada, but after a few days, I got used to it and had confidence in talking to them. From the Canadian volunteers, I also learned that we must help each other so we can learn together. Now, I am applying this very important lesson in my learning circles,” Feliciana Belinda, Ojo de Agua. 

“I learned how to interview people and to record these interviews. I also learned to combine videos through the applications that we have on our Tablet. What I liked the most was learning another language. I learned the numbers from 1 to 10,  colors, and greetings in English. I would like to have the classes again with the same volunteers and learn more about Health and Wellbeing, which is part of the Sustainable Development Goals. I want to learn more on my own about Health and Well-being, as it will be for my good and that of my family ”Margarita Seymin Chiroy, Ojo de Agua. 

“Hello! My name is Adonias and during the week of the virtual workshop with the Carleton students, I learned new skills such as: creating and editing digital audios with background music through applications that were very new to me. If  I ever get an assignment at the institute about digital audio or videos, I will be able to work on it, improve it, and share my knowledge with my classmates” Adonias, San Felipe Chenla.

“My Name is Juana Estela,  during the storytelling workshop I learned new skills and knowledge about managing my fears in manipulating new tools on the Tablet to edit videos. I also liked the exercise of interviewing a mother in front of cameras for the first time, which made me face and overcome my fears to speak in front of it, at the same time I corrected ways to express myself and to convey messages with confidence” Juana Estela, San Felipe.

Guate Groundswell is made possible in part through support from the Fund for Innovation and Transformation and its partners: The InterCouncil Network, the Manitoba Council for International Co-operation, and the Government of Canada.

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