By: Patricia Ann Talley, Editor and Representative for Peace Pals International™
Every year, Peace Pals International™ conducts an art contest for kids and youth. Peace Pals is an international not-for-profit charity that promotes peace activities for communities and youth. The goal of the annual contest is to teach kids life lessons through art. Youth 5-16 from around the world can enter the contest that continues until July 31.
For 2017, the theme of the art contest is, “Nature for All ~ Loving the Earth.” This theme is intended to inspire a new generation of thinkers and doers to connect with nature and take action to support its conservation.
Club Rotary of Zihuatanejo donated paper and colored pencils for our local kids to participate in the art contest. So, as a volunteer representative for Peace Pals, I’ve been busy working with various youth groups, schools, the activity centers, Eco-Tiangius Organic Market, etc., to include as many kids as possible.
Of course, the SCOUTS of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo were eager to participate! After all, the local troop has a program entitled, “I want to be a SCOUT – A Messenger of Peace.” The troop has about 40 boys and girls.
The Ixtapa Zihuatanejo SCOUT troop meets every week and has about 40 boys and girls ages 6-23.
My little niece Donaji Sofia is a SCOUT! She is the daughter of my academic collaborator Professor Donaji Mendez Tello, who is head of Afromexican studies at the tourism university (Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero) in Zihuatanejo. Donaji Sofia is 8 years old.
Donaji Sofia Mendez Hernandez of Zihuatanejo is a dedicated SCOUT!
I spent time with Donaji Sofia and the other SCOUTS to explain the theme of this year’s art contest – “Nature for All ~ Loving the Earth.” I asked them to think about these things:
- What do you do to make the earth more beautiful?
- What is your favorite element in Nature?
- Why is it important to take care of animals?
- Why do we need to take care of the ocean and its creatures?
Most of the kids drew pictures of whales, birds, trees, etc., so I was surprised to see Donaji Sofia’s entry that shows two little girls holding hands, one white, and the other brown. I asked Donaji Sofia to explain her artwork to me.
Donaji Sofia’s drawing shows two little girls of different races holding hands.
“Well, Aunt Paty,” Donaji Sofia explained. “You told me to draw about nature and what makes the world beautiful. It’s simple. These girls are friends; they go to school together; they play together; they do everything together! It doesn’t matter what color they are. Isn’t that natural?”
Okay! Out of the mouth of babes! I just looked at her mother and said, “That is your child!”
To learn more about the Peace Pals International Art Contest, go to: http://wppspeacepals.org/. The deadline for entry is July 30,
For more information about the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area, see: