Foundation Delegation and First Lady of Philadelphia Mrs. Lisa Nutter visit San Mateo Ozolco, Mexico and Meet with First Lady of Mexico Mrs. Margarita Zavala

Siembra Azul Foundation and Philadelphia representative take a trip to San Mateo Ozolco and Mexico City to meet with local communities members. The trip would focus on the three areas believed to be where the Mexican community in Philadelphia is the most vulnerable: health, education and community arts. Together with a PUENTES de Salud team member, Philadelphia Academies Inc. director, and a representative from “El Viaje” project the Philadelphia delegation was complete. In one day, the group traveled from Mexico City to San Mateo Ozolco to meet with local mayor and family members. The group was greeted with incredible interest and affection, given a honorable introduction ceremony and a complete tour of the towns education system; including the elementary, middle and high-schools. In the afternoon, the Philadelphia team was able to meet with Mexican government members for a late lunch, and a small intimate conversation regarding the Mexican community in Philadelphia.The Foundation, as well as the delegation formed for the trip, feels the Mexican community in Philadelphia is a very young and enthusiastic community with a lot of energy and desire to learn and grow. This community is part of a very important workforce in Philadelphia, and form part of the economic development of this vibrant city. We hope to be able to continue our work here for a long time and be able to share the goals and accomplishments of the community members in Philadelphia with community members in Mexico.

Previously, Siembra Azul Foundation has begun to work supporting Michelle Angela Ortiz & Nora Hiriart Litz: with their year-long project “El Viaje” in Philadelphia. They have invited immigrant Mexican families living in Philadelphia to participate in a series of art workshops, creating paintings and a video documentary to represent the realities of their struggles coming to USA. “El Viaje” project serves as an example of how to engage immigrants in a safe space for sharing and building a sense of community through the arts. It allows Mexican immigrants to speak up and communicate their experiences to create awareness both in Philadelphia and their communities in Mexico.

There is a second phase to the “El Viaje” project proposed: a pilot program entitled “El Viaje Sigue”. This project will continue to explore the stories of Mexican immigrants living in Philadelphia through art to share their thoughts with their communities in Mexico specifically in the most common regions immigrants originate from- Veracruz, Puebla, and Oaxaca. Through visual and theater workshops our goal is to create a large traveling mural created by Mexican immigrants in Philadelphia and community members from Veracruz, Puebla and Oaxaca. The goal includes, the completed mural to be shown in a public event in Philadelphia and Mexico City, Mexico followed by revealing a public visible wall in Philadelphia and Mexico City where the mural will permanently be installed.

This program is part of the high-school arts exchange program with the students from San Mateo Ozolco the Philadelphia delegation met last week during their trip. It was a wonderful opportunity for everyone involved.

Read More about this project on Puentes Website: http://www.puentesdesalud.org/news/inaugural-trip-san-mateo-ozoloco

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