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Indigenous Peruvian Students Travel to Vermont for Cultural Exchange

This summer, MADRE is worked with the Carving Studio Sculpture Center in Vermont and our Peruvian partner, CHIRAPAQ, to facilitate the second half of the Sixth Stone Carving Workshop for adolescents from Indigenous communities in Ayacucho. In January of this year, a group of Indigenous youths participated in a carving workshop where they developed their skills and knowledge of carving techniques. In July, two of the students traveled from Ayacucho, Peru to Rutland, Vermont in order to further develop the skills they had learned as part of a summer exchange program.

The exchange program gave the students the opportunity share their knowledge and experiences with young people in Vermont, while exploring a new culture and country. The Carving Studio Sculpture Center reported that their Stone Bench Project went extremely well, with local teens working alongside two Peruvian students. The students designed a functional public art sculpture that will ultimately serve as a bench for a park in Rutland, Vermont.

More about the stone carving sculpture workshops:

For six years, CHIRAPAQ has offered stone carving sculpture workshops to Indigenous youths, developing their skills and knowledge in different techniques of carving while strengthening their self-esteem and self-identity.

The Sixth Stone Carving Workshop was held at the College of Fine Arts in Ayacucho this past January. The workshop included visits to museums, including the National Institute of Culture, group excursions, including a trip to the archeological city of Wari, and an exhibition of the art the students created during the workshop. 

One participant, Evelyn Tineo Bellido, describes her experience with the workshop as positive and beautiful:

"The time we spent in the workshop was very beautiful. I learned to share ideas and relate to others; we made friends and also learned a lot about the techniques of stone carving. It was my first experience with stone carving. At first I thought it was difficult, but things changed as time went on and now I think I will continue."