Foundation Receives Wellesley International Grant
November 8, 2004
Contexto Foundation’s students and staff workers including Wellesley College
students Roshni Sampath, class of 2004, and Bogota’s Analucia Martinez,
class of 2007, standing in the far right back row.
Mass. -- Contexto Foundation, a non-profit
organization based in an underprivileged neighborhood called El Pueblito
in Guatemala City, has been named this year’s recipient of
the Wellesley College International Grant. The purpose of the grant
is to provide funding to organizations with demonstrated need that
have hosted Wellesley students or alumnae for internships or other
learning experiences outside of the United States.
In the summer
of 2004, Wellesley College’s
Analucia Martinez, class of 2007, and two members of the Class
of 2004, Jimena Leiva-Roesch
of Guatemala and Roshni Sampath of Lincoln, Neb., worked with Contexto
Foundation and its 40 children between the ages of 8 and 13. On
behalf of the organization, the Wellesley students jointly applied
for the grant in order to help Contexto defray the costs of building
a Center of Culture and Arts in El Pueblito.
sophomore Martinez, who comes from Bogota, Colombia, is considering
a double major in Latin
American studies and economics.
She earned First Year Distinction and serves as president of Alianza,
a Latin American-oriented student organization, and as a resident
advisor in Wellesley’s Shafer residence hall. She is also
a member of Yanvalou, a Haitian-Brazilian drum-and-dance ensemble.
operates out of the director’s house,
located in a private gated community three kilometers from El Pueblito,
a location that keeps Contexto both physically and culturally removed
from El Pueblito as well as presenting a multitude of security
issues. For instance, children walk 40 minutes to get to Contexto
along the side of a busy highway with blind curves. In addition
to the possibility of being hit by a car, some children have been
approached by taxis offering them a “ride,” which may
lead to kidnapping and child prostitution.
Having a center in the community will eliminate the security issues
that currently plague Contexto, ensuring the future stability of
the organization and the well-being of its participants.
started in 2002 with the goal of getting children off the streets
and preventing them from joining
gangs. It provides
weekly art workshops to three rotating groups of approximately
16 children. Guatemala’s most renowned artists and psychologists
donate their time to teach courses in sculpture, dancing, theater,
drawing, oil painting, literature and more. In addition, Contexto
organizes three to four field trips annually to local museums,
galleries and cultural events. The children are thus exposed to
politics, art and history, subjects they could not access otherwise.
Through these classes and field trips, Contexto encourages children
to think for themselves and to see the world from different perspectives.
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