The Friendship Tree

It’s a tree that bears fruit, or a tree with monkeys, or a tree with people and without leaves. It means teamwork, a union that creates a growing force, and nature that gives life to human beings. More than one child said it was a tree of friendship because there are so many happy people together.

ArtCorps fellow Isabel Carrió, left, with students.

ArtCorps fellow Isabel Carrió, left, with students.

What is it? In January, ArtCorps Fellow Isabel Carrió met with a group of 42 students at a high school in Xolsacmalja, Guatemala, and showed them the EcoLogic logo. Without telling the young people what it was, Isabel asked them what it meant. After everyone shared their first impressions, Isabel then split the students into two groups. One group joined Josué Reyes, a Totonicapan artist and dancer, and they created body sculptures and movement pieces to interpret the “friendship tree.” The other group used paints and art supplies to create their own artworks based on the logo.

GT_UK_20130325Afterwards, Isabel and Josué shared some brochures about EcoLogic and explained that the tree was our logo—and they spent a little time explaining what a logo is! As Isabel noted, “Consensus was that the logo sent a good message about people and nature needing each other. The kids really liked learning about EcoLogic in this way, and it provided a good opportunity for them to think about how we care for the natural world and vice versa.”

EcoLogic works in Totonicapan helping the Kiche’ people protect the Kachelaj Forest and their natural resources.

Since 2009, ArtCorps fellows have served at select EcoLogic project sites, using art and personal expression activities to engage people of all ages in environmental and social justice initiatives.