May 17, 2012
We, Sofía Dávila and Marcela Govea, ESL teachers, worked with 6th grade elementary students reading extraordinary people biographies and how courage and imagination can be linked to actually do something about the world we live in.
Nowadays Mexico, and specially the city we live in, Monterrey, is suffering of a lot of violence and we at Mater Sagrado Corazón, as part of the Sacred Heart Society, are concerned about working toward justice and peace in the world. We seek for Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) in every way of our lives, understanding the reality in the world today with sensitivity and compassion, leading us to make choices in our attitudes, lifestyles and the way we relate to ourselves, to the others and to the entire creation. Therefore, we have decided to empower our students to build peace from their/our own trenches, every single day, with our classmates, with our teachers and in our families, so that’s why our Kid’s Guernica pretends to be a puzzle with only one white piece that stands for an invitation to complete PEACE, starting with a self peaceful, but not passive, attitude.
The canvas was made in 108 sections, so all Elementary Class 2006-2012 had his/her own piece where to express his/her own idea of peace, we also had a piece for each teacher, principal and secretary that have been in touch with these students during this school year, to show the compromise we all made to live practicing peace everyday in every moment of our life.
Even though every single piece is different, they all represent our own concept of peace, we talked about situations in our life that require a peaceful attitude from us, what we can do to help promote peace (even students are only 11 or 12 years old), and also about how the courageous act of living the peace in our daily life can help others, how imagination can be used to create improvement.
We used only crayons to paint, so it was really simple and accessible, finally we ironed the canvas to make it easier to transport or move, we even came up with extraordinary ideas from the Sacred Heart Society, so probably this work will be traveling around the world to invite more people to join and complete our puzzle.
We did the big opening of the art piece last May 17th, 2012 during a mass we at Mater usually celebrate, “life mass” in which students give thanks to their parents for the great gift of life.
The parents were fascinated with the final mural, they took lots of pictures of it, the students were so proud of themselves and of course we are extremely proud of them, their potential and their self confidence on how they are an important part of the change they want to experience.
We all loved what the students themselves decided to say on the big opening:
“We, the students from 6th grade would like to show you a mural, a mural we been working very hard, a mural we put our heart into, a mural that means more than just canvases for us.
This mural is about one thing: peace.
Probably for you I might be just a simple girl, but I believe Peace is more than just a word, for me peace means action, that’s what peace is about, that a single person can make a change, if one person can make a change, imagine what billions of people could do.
If we all got together nothing could stop us.
So I invite you to be part of the change, to make something important, to help, and make peace.”
“This mural means a lot for me, and I think for most of us too. The effort we put in it, including teachers, coordinators, the principal, and everyone who supported us, is an effort that you should appreciate, because we want to express our ideas in this mural. Actually, we live in a situation of violence, the citizens from Monterrey should cooperate to make peace, we, the students of 6th grade cooperated a little bit, we need to do more. What will you do?”
-Mariana Montes de Oca
When we read what this mural meant for the students we knew it was definitely worth it.
This is our invitation to build peace and act peacefully in every single life situation.
Sofía Dávila and Marcela Govea