Is the First Impression the One That Really Counts?

On Wednesday 14th, 50 students from the Centro Escolar Terry Allan Fedorchuk,  a CAFRED sponsored school in San Vicente, El Salvador, had their first field trip of the year. They visited the Art Museum MARTE in San Salvador.

The children arrived at 10:00 A.M. To receive instructions before all the fun began. The museum docents started out by inviting them to a sandwich and juice box at the “Plaza de los Artistas”.

When the kids had finished their meal, the facilitator,  Saul Castillo,  explained to them how they can reuse material like cardboard, disposable plates and many other materials that are around us every day. The children were divided into two groups of 25 children each. One group started with a painting workshop, where they learned about two different techniques that they can use –  one was the use of acrylic paint like aquarelle to apply layers before they get the exact color or details they want – and the other technique was using acrylic paint like ink, so they can have more fun with unexpected shapes on the paper.

“It is really important that you use your own creativity. Art is a way to express your emotions, ideas and interests, and it help us to introduce ourselves to society”, explained Saul Castillo.

Inside the building,  they were exposed to several Salvadoran artistic movements, represented by such artists as Noé Canjura, Rosa Mena Valenzuela, Valero Lecha and Salvador Arrue. Each of these artists is extremely important in our national art history.

“When was the last time we took at least a minute and started to think about moral values? When was the last time we knew that we are going in the right direction? How much do we really know about a topic? How often are we tolerating the type of violence that may occur in our own house?” An installation by Walterio Iraheta makes us question these topics by using simple objects like a bottle of water or a toy that looks like a horse, using the tonal scale from white to black.

The expressions and emotions from the students ran the gamut. Some of the children were impressed by the scale.  Others were totally captivated by the colors and the movement of the paintings, installations and video. It is really important to expose  children to art because art is a different world, where possibilities are only limited by one’s creativity and spirit.

We must continue giving them the tools necessary to develop their minds because we never know if the child that we have next to us can be the next artist of the century, a diplomatic leader of our country, or the next CEO of a big company.

At 12:00 pm the children had to go back to school, and they were invited to visit the museum free of charge whenever they wish. They then received lunches from Salvadoran donor Peggy Caceres. For the bus trip home, she provided the children with 58 gourmet lunches of turkey and Monterrey jack sandwiches, potato salad and cookies from Kreef Deli. The children were more than happy and thankful for the opportunity that they had and we know they learned a lot and had a wonderful time at the museum.


by Saúl Maravilla

Coordinator, CAFRED Support Committee,
San Salvador, El Salvador


One thought on “Is the First Impression the One That Really Counts?

  1. This is such an insightful description of your field trip. I almost felt as if I was there. Saul, I love the depth of your perspective and how you encouraged the children to do deep inside their minds as well as outwardly express their spirit. What a wonderful experience for them!

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