Project COLOR - Celebrate Our Lives, Our Rights -
develops understanding for other cultures and the needs of other
people, particularly children, through art. Art provides a way to unite
people on behalf of a common goal while fostering a greater
appreciation for life and sensitivity to the needs of others. Through
the generous sharing of their talents, VIDA Project COLOR volunteers
have helped brightened many children's lives.
Project COLOR began in 1993 when a group of
artists from Georgia generously shared their talents with the people of
Guatemala. The artists and a team of VIDA volunteers traveled to
eastern Guatemala, where they worked to help improve the local
hospital. The work team of VIDA volunteers and were joined by community
members. The first job was to repaint the hospital walls, changing the
color from an institutional green to a pretty light blue. So many
helping hands made the work go quickly, and the friendships that were
formed and the laughter that was shared made the hard work enjoyable.
Once the walls were prepared, the artists began
their work. They painted murals of significant landmarks and native
animals on the newly painted hospital walls. The art brighten the
environment for the children and adults using the hospital. It was
marvelous to see the adults smile at the beautiful pictures on the
wall, and the children's faces shine at the wonderful animals and
pictures of children that decorated the hospital corridors and wards.
The paintings uplifted the staff morale, and the
staff also became involved in improving their working conditions. The
staff painted their offices, and added other touches that brightened
their work space and brought beauty into a once bleak environment.
In 1994, Project COLOR volunteers from the United
States traveled to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. There in
conjunction with our EcoHealth Project , they worked to restore a
natural history museum. Murals of the wildlife of the Galapagos were
painted on the museum's walls. Murals were also painted for the walls
of the island's small hospital, the Department of Public Health, and
the church. It was amazing to see what could be accomplished in only 5
days! And, while the artists were painting, other volunteers worked to
rehabilitate the habitat of Pepe, a giant Galapagos tortoise, who lives
at the museum.
Project COLOR in 1995 brought VIDA to Guatemala.
VIDA's Making a House more a Home Project focused on improving the
living conditions and quality of life for 57 children at an orphanage
or Hogar in Guatemala. The VIDA work team and community volunteers
repainted the courtyard of the Hogar. A group of artists from the
community enthusiastically shared their time and talents to brighten
the entrance way of the home and make it warm and inviting. Wonderful
pictures of Guatemalan children in their native costumes playing amidst
the lush countryside and beautiful native flowers now grace the
entranceway of the Hogar.