“The members of Apapachoa believe art can heal many wounds and help create new realities”
Located on 2,300 acres of natural reserve, the eco-cultural community centre Apapachoa brings hope to the community of Santa Julia in Nicaragua promoting arts, music and fitness, as well as, organic bio-intensive agriculture and permaculture. Sustainability is a necessity in a place like Nicaragua where the impact of climate change and deforestation is causing mass devastation on its agriculture and landscape. Nicaragua is affected by natural phenomena such as hurricanes and floods further adding to the devastation, such as, washing away the depleted topsoil in deforested areas affecting food production and assisting climate change.
“Apapachoa is a beacon of light for those in the dark, literally. At times, the residents have no water or light and unemployment is a common reality. A feeling of optimism and self-worth diminishes their daily struggles”
This community project is ran by a cooperative of 7 people who include my cousin Ernesto Carlos Lopez-Cuadra and his wife Margaux D’Altena. The centre holds courses for residents of El Crucero, Santa Julia located just half an hour outside the capital Managua. Self-improvement courses include Yoga, Capoeira, Music, English, Ecologically focused workshops and various other activities and courses that embrace creativity and self-sufficiency.
Nicaragua is a country that has endured war, natural disasters and socio-economic struggles that affect its communities on a deeper level, so projects like the Apapachoa centre not only gives locals the tools to be self-sufficient, it also encourage members to reach deep within themselves and embrace their imagination and express themselves creatively .
Apapachoa is a beacon of light for those in the dark, literally. At times the residents have no water or light and unemployment is a common reality. A feeling of optimism and self-worth diminishes their daily struggles.
“This year they are putting out a plea for help to raise $4,000 (American dollars) and raise funds so that they may bring in their first resident artist from Nigeria. Jelili Atiku will be teaching healing through art”
This year they are putting out a plea for help to raise $4,000 (American dollars) and raise funds so that they may bring in their first resident artist from Nigeria. Jelili Atiku will be teaching healing through art. He is an international artist who has received much praise for his work inspiring many displaced by war and social problems in his country. The funds raised will pay for his flight, food and accommodation as well the materials for his inspiring workshops.
The members of Apapachoa believe art can heal many wounds and help create new realities. Jelili explains the impact he wishes to have on peoples lives through his work:
“I have put my art at service of the prevailing concerns of our times; especially those issues threatening our collective existence and the sustenance of our universe. Therefore, the contents of these concerns ranging from psychosocial and emotional effects of traumatic events: violence, war, poverty, corruption, climate change, etc., that are associated with our warring world dominate my artistic forms.
Doing drawing, installation sculpture, video and performance art – I strive to help viewers understand the world and expand their understanding and experiences, so that they can activate and renew their lives and environments.”
A wonderful video where Jelili talks about his experiences in Africa and what he wishes to accomplish in Nicaragua with Apapachoa.
To help make Jelili’s journey a reality make a donation via this link. Thank you!
COVER PHOTO: American Artist SHRINE ON known for his impressive towering installations that are part of the Coachella Festival experience and made completely out of trash and reclaim materials, was invited by the Apapachoa team to paint their community centre. His style is vibrant and the building in itself is now an installation that stands majestically at the top of a mountain surrounded by the jungle canopy breathing new life and hope into its community.
All images taken from the Apapachoa Facebook Page