El Salvador: Culture empowers change

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El Salvador is living a very delicate part of his history facing a social challenge where young people are exposed to violence and death on a daily basis.

It is remarkable that people maintain a joyful mood and a welcoming attitude even if in their heart there is so much fear and despair.

As the problem seems insurmountable, in the most inexplicable way solutions are sprouting and a new consciousness is raising.

In Panchimalco, not far from the capital San Salvador lives Miguel Angel Ramirez who has devoted his life to art and has transformed the small town through his painting, sculptures and art landscapes.

Miguel Angel Ramirez in a memorial sanctuary.

Miguel Angel Ramirez in a memorial sanctuary.

Visiting him on the day of his birthday it was both auspicious and delightful. The new project he is working to is the transformation of a farm in an ecological art place where young people can learn and express themselves in total communion with nature.

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His students are from all ages and they participate to his workshops free of charge. The results are remarkable as we can witness in the works of a 15 years old and 20 years old student.

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But Miguel Angel and Panchimalco are not the only example of the power of art and culture in transforming the social environment. In Suchitoto following the legacy of the know filmmaker Alejandro Cotto recently deceased, a number of artists are leading the change by creating cultural spaces through theater, sculpture, painting and history presented in a visual form. The result is remarkable which can be seen by visiting several projects and centers among which the major one is the Art for Peace project.

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In the capital of San Salvador in the center near the Cathedral is located Maktub Cultural Cafe’ which is a place open to young people who gather in collectives and create a way to make a living through art.

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Hector Bigit has made the dream of his life with Maktub. He has welcomed Ananda Marga and the meditation classes offered by Acarya Vimaleshananda Avadhuta free of charge which have resulted in increasing the consciousness of young people in San Salvador about their role in society.

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Meditation and Ananda Marga are a proposal for El Salvador which may harbor a more balanced society and way of living. It is a proposal inline with the cultural renaissance that is already going on. The interview recorded at El Mundo Newspaper leave a message of hope that human life is made for happiness and not for sorrow and despair. It is worth remembering the words of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti – founder and preceptor of Ananda Marga: “Life is an ideological flow” and on a more personal tone “You are never alone of helpless, the force that guides the stars guides you too.