Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Centro Cultural RealizArte

Project #
College of the Atlantic
  • Rebecca Haydu

Centro Cultural RealizArte

Rebecca’s project partner was Centro Cultural RealizArte, an arts and cultural center in the rural Mayan community of Yaxkukul, Yucatan, Mexico, whose mission is to promote and value indigenous culture via arts and literacy. Rebecca’s motivation was to serve a community where creative and educational opportunities are limited and where globalization threatens local traditions.

Rebecca benefited from months of local preparation from her partner before she arrived: hiring teachers, planning the schedule, and promoting the summer workshops that she would help to conduct. Workshops were open to the entire community and attracted a wide range of ages. The most popular workshops were photography and music as well as theater and Mayan culture. In addition to the workshops, Rebecca and her team started a library in the cultural center by rescuing forgotten books found in storage and creating activities to promote literacy and engagement with literature.

Rebecca had earlier lived in Yucatan for six months, which helped to remove any major cultural or language barriers. She benefited as well by staying again with her previous host family who became partners in her project. For Rebecca, the project was a lesson in the world of nonprofits, including their often precarious struggle for survival.

“To me, this project is valuable because the community members themselves have shown they treasure and appreciate its presence and have taken full advantage of what the center offers. My summer in Yaxkukul with Centro Cultural RealizArte taught me that arts and culture have a place in promoting world peace, and that a group of like-minded, hardworking individuals can accomplish great things by working together.”
—Rebecca Haydu, College of the Atlantic