|AVP and Trauma Healing Workshops in las Americas|
|Written by Val Liveoak|
|Thursday, 08 July 2010 01:16|
June was a very full month of work. During the second week, I returned to San Pedro Sula to co-facilitate a Training for Facilitators (T4F) workshop with 10 members of the Women’s Dreamweavers group. They have already had 3 previous AVP workshops. Her co-facilitator was Lilian Vega who is currently in the US speaking about AVP work in Central America.
Following the workshop in San Pedro, two Colombian AVP facilitators, Wilfredo Benitez and Felipe Negrete, arrived to co-lead (with me) the first Central American Community Based Trauma Healing workshop, which was immediately followed by a T4F for Trauma Healing facilitators. 11 people finished the first workshop, and 7 finished the second. Participants came from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, the US and Costa Rica. (While PLA doesn’t have a program in Costa Rica, I had presented a mini-session on it last year while passing through the country.) Since one of the people living in Guatemala is a citizen of New Zealand, and there were two Colombians at the workshop, eight countries were represented.
Later, 5 facilitators who had been at the workshop were joined by me and 3 other local facilitators for a local meeting of AVP facilitators and the next day, a 1 day workshop in physical techniques that are used by an organization, Capacitar, for work with trauma victims, in approximately 18 countries. Capacitar has been active in El Salvador for over 11 years. (The 2 Capacitar staffers who gave the workshop are also AVP facilitators.) The Colombians and I then considered how to incorporate some of these techniques into the program of the trauma healing workshop. A followup trauma healing workshop with new apprentice facilitators is planned for October in Guatemala, and others in Honduras and perhaps Costa Rica are likely to follow.
The Colombians shared updates of the AVP and Community Based Trauma Healing work in their country. Strong AVP groups centered in Medellin and Cali are active, and along with AVPers in the central Bogota region, are anxious to be trained in trauma healing. In the Northern coastal region, one trauma healing workshop took place early in the year in a very conflictive community called Tierra Alta, where contesting paramilitary groups are battling to control the territory. The battles are so fierce that the second scheduled workshop could not be held after many residents fled from the community, joining Colombia’s large percentage of displaced people.
In Monteria, the capital of the Department (State) of Cordoba, inflows of displaced people have added to the disruption of daily life along with the “usual” background violence of gangs, criminal and drug violence and domestic abuse. The sub-Director of the Carcel Nacional Las Mercedes, a Federal prison in Monteria, is anxious to develop a model program for her institution, and have it become a “Peace Prison”—she wants AVP to be offered to all 1000+ prisoners and guards. The AVP group in Monteria has done one Basic AVP workshop in the women’s section, and looks forward to doing more, including the trauma healing workshop.
During June, Margaret Lechner returned to El Salvador and has just finished a series of 6 evening sessions to complete a Basic AVP workshop in a village near Suchitoto. 22 youth and adults attended, nd 3 apprentice facilitators from the Suchitoto area were on the team. These community workshops are challenging because of several factors: a schedule of 3 evenings a week for 2 weeks risks variable attendance more than a 3-day intensive workshop;
Margaret had to spend nights after the workshop in the village (she actually stayed out there 7 nights), something she enjoyed but that might not be something everyone would; and because a meal was served each evening, the costs for the workshop were higher than usual. But she believes it was worthwhile, not only considering the participants, but also for giving the apprentice facilitators experience with AVP.
Above: Participants show their Cooperative Construction project.
Below: Working hard to solve the Broken Squares Puzzle.
After the departure of the Colombians, I, an AVP facilitator who lives in Guatemala, and a Salvadoran AVP apprentice traveled to Gracias, Lempira, Honduras to do the first of a projected series of AVP workshops. The Basic workshop had 11 attenders, including the US nuns who work in Gracias (one with a strong prison ministry) and a US lay worker from Santa Rosa, Copan, a city about an hour away, where another series of AVP workshops are also planned. The biggest challenges for these series of workshops is finding dates to hold them, but the nuns and lay worker who are responsible for organizing them are very committed to bring AVP to their communities.
So far, July is less busily scheduled, with 2 meetings with youth leaders of the Friends Church in San Salvador as the only confirmed date on the calendar.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 08 July 2010 01:54|