There's a special energy one feels in an Alternatives to Violence Project workshop when a facilitation team is in synch and the participants connect with every activity. Such experiences are rare in a Training for Facilitator's workshop because new facilitators are usually challenged just to handle the basic mechanics.
The fourth practice group in our workshop, however, blew our minds in their session on Cooperation. They presented their exercises with clarity, led them with positive energy, and ended them with graceful transitions to the next activity. They corrected one misstep in midstream without participants even noticing. Much credit for this group's success was due to the confident leadership from Marianela - a young artisan from Amazonas who recently joined our team.
In Cooperative Construction, three groups used some paper, colored markers and tape to make a large tucunare (peacock bass), peccary, and a pair of feather headdresses using traditional Bora and Huitoto figures.
Other highlights of the day were the Affirmation thumb and namaste session closings.
Marianela leads "I messages" exercise in AVP Facilitator Training session
Small group cooperative construction exercise at AVP workshop
Bora and Huitoto native design headdresses made in AVP Facilitator training
"While concepts like punctuality, mutual respect, no put downs of self or others, and listening when someone else is speaking may seem like obvious guidelines to form a positive community, a commitment to actually practice and hold each other accountable to observe these agreements is profound in a culture where showing up late, malicious gossip, and interrupting a speaker are painfully common."
"Artisan facilitators should of course share what they know, but beginning and experienced artisans all benefit by remaining humble, enthusiastic about learning, and committed to encourage and affirm their fellow artisans. So many artisans said that the thing they most wanted to bring back to their communities was this spirit of working in a mutually supportive environment."
"Both men and women wore garb made with bleached llanchama tree bark painted with graphic figures from Bora clans. Several wore headdresses made with the feathers from macaws and parrots. They discussed the importance of nature and craft-making in their culture and then launched into a lively dance where the men chanted and pounded sticks into the ground to the rhythm of moving around in a circle. Visitors joined the undulating lines to share the vibrant energy."