San Juan Cultural Center

The San Juan Cultural Center is located in the Jose Felix Ribas, barrio in western Barquisimeto, Lara State. The center was founded in 1991 by a local youth group, who faced the possibility of having to drop out of school because of lack of textbooks.  Finding an abandoned piece of land in the barrio, they claimed it for a future library, then worked for 3 years to clear the land, raise funds and build a tiny room that served as community library. Over the years the building grew along with its activities, with a special emphasis on teaching traditional Venezuelan music and dance, especially tambor, cuatro and tamunangue. Today over 200 children and youth from the surrounding barrios and countryside participate in the various cultural groups. Each person who learns a skill then is asked to teach this to a younger group. With the help of Evergreen students, two new activities were added, a mural project and a small roof garden. The center also houses the Latin America office for School of Americas Watch.

Find out more at their website:  http://centrocultural.squarespace.com/

Also, our classmates are making a video about the center that will soon be posted on this site under “Videos”. Make sure to check it out!

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