How to Make Recycled Paper (in Managua)

Here is a photo story of my recycled paper-making project with the kids and adolescents in the barrio Dimitrov of Managua, Nicaragua. I go twice a week to work with the two groups, along with one of the Center staff members, Yahoska. It is a five-year project of gender-based violence prevention in Dimitrov, especially using the arts in the process.

Most of this past year we worked with paints, chalk pastels, and pencil drawings. Often, we led short reflection-spaces with the kids and then they drew or painted what they imagined from the reflection. I wanted to practice making recycled paper and thought the kids would enjoy something different. I’m hoping this next year to think of other projects that incorporate aspects of recycling and reusing.

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The process isn’t terribly complicated but a little tricky to get the hang of. Fifteen boys arrived one Thursday and were OVERLY excited (still a little inexperienced at taking turns). The older kids did a better job at waiting and staying concentrated. Everyone was eager to point out the piece of paper they specifically made.

Next week, we’ll continue making some more paper (colored and white), but the kids will also start sketching for what they will paint/draw on their paper. The idea is to have an exhibition of paintings that reflect the gender-based violence prevention themes we’ve covered this year. I’m sure the kids will be proud to display their work!

-Andrea

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