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2013 +
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Colectivo T.A.N. 473 is growing artist and community activist-based initiative to bring creative, educational experiences to groups of youth and families throughout the city of Guanajuato. The workshops and experiences are based in the Reggio Emilia pedagogy that utilizes an artisan or expert to lead a project that requires both individual participation and self-expression as well as creates new paths of interaction and communication in an existing group of people. We like to say that art is a wonderful vehicle for both individual development and for strengthening positive group dynamics. Why this is needed:

At this stage we are focusing on working with four distinct communities. Two of which are homes for children, two of which are marginalized neighborhoods that deal with violence, drug-addiction, alcoholism and all of the emotional and societal challenges that accompany these situations. The common thread is that these families or institutions are barely able to provide the basics and they children are growing up without positive outlets, role-models and any alternatives to relationships and group dynamics that don't involve violence, alcohol or drugs. Creating a safe space that offers constructive, fun, creative and dynamic activities is for us, very much like planting the seed. We also have come to the conclusion that community development cannot be a goal before we make family our priority. So we are focusing on experiences and activities that offer parent and child time spent in a creative and constructive manner. Both in their homes, and together in workshops and projects.

We of course hope for big changes in these spaces, however we believe that from little things big things grow. And we cannot be this change, we can only be a service, an inspiration and a support system to those that can create this change, the children and their families.

2013 for Colectivo TAN 473 is about two main programs, CamionArte and the Back Pack Project. These two developments are part of the same mission, to connect and provide curriculum to ALL of our kids and their families! CamionArte, is our classroom on wheels that will allow us to run workshops ( ie. Photography, Cooking, Building/Mechanics, Mural Painting, Fine Arts, Literacy and more) in the urban spaces where we connect with our communities. The moving classroom is not just about transporting equipment and supplies, but also about creating a safe and magical space for learning and interacting. Our volunteers will be able to lead amazing workshops and activities with the classroom/library/kitchen space that will be with us us wherever we go.

The Back Pack Project is the physical "ticket" if you will for the individual's participation in the CamionArte. Every member of Colectivo T.A.N. 473 will receive a back pack that contains an activity book and all the necessary supplies to create each "project/task". They will also receive a membership card with a space that recognizes each time they complete a task and participate in a workshop. This program will allow eager children/families to get more out of the program, the more they do, the more activity books and art supplies they will receive in return, as well as special workshop and fieldtrip opportunities. The CamionArte will provide an afternoon of activity in each community every month. As each community proceeds to participate, we can gage participation and enthusiasm and look for ways to reward these engaged families in further programming.


Colectivo TAN 473 started three years ago in January 2010 with a series of workshops for the residents of the Buen Pastor, a home for girls ranging in age from 4-16 years. The intention of the workshops was to give this community of girls a creative outlet, through activities that encouraged self-expression and eventually develop different relationships and ways to connect in the existing group. 2010 was spent exclusively working with the girls, in 2011 we offered our first summer camp experience which involved volunteers from around the world whom worked collaboratively to develop the curriculum. We focused on creative activities using recycled materials, performance, yoga and environmental education. In the fall of 2011 we were very excited to expand out from the grounds of the Buen Pastor and to begin working in communities throughout the city of Guanajuato. 2012 was a year of tremendous growth for this effort. We collaborated with other community developers to run workshops in two more communities, continued our regular programming for the girls at the Buen Pastor, forged a partnership with TAN a workshop for children whose families have the economic ability to pay for art classes and value the importance of developing their child's imagination and creativity. Last but not least we ended the year working on the development of relationships and a year long commitment to programming with a boys home in a nearby city, Irapuato. In this year we have worked with just under 100 children across multiple disciplines, including Theater, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Literature, Graffiti and Mural-Making and much more.

Within three years, a series of 4 worships for roughly 25 girls has grown into a collective of local artists/educators/activists/community leaders, we have worked with roughly 80 volunteers both local and visiting, and have given workshops to roughly 150 children. At this stage in our development we are looking to go back to the basics, those four original workshops…along with some other supreme projects and develop a specific curriculum that will help us to engage, connect and inspire small groups of children and parents in four communities to dedicate their time and energy to participating in activities and workshops with us (and the CamionArte) in 2013. This curriculum and the classroom on wheels together will hopefully be the connecting piece for all of our youth members of Colectivo TAN 473.


The communities that we are working with are drastically individual in some aspects of their collective personality and location etc. but what they share is their challenges. These challenges are what we have continuously been shown in each space, with many different children and parents. We have learned a lot about what these communities are up against this year. We have also learned that there is tremendous joy and potential in the same spaces that we find the despair, drug addiction and violence. Our challenge has been to evaluate our experiences and understand what it is that we have to offer, what leverage can we have in these communities that will create the most positive and thoughtful change?

Our focus is first and foremost to create positive, creative and educational experiences for the younger members of these communities (outside of the group homes, where we will create varied experiences for all ages). By utilizing our classroom on wheels and the Back Pack Project, we hope to encourage a sense of ownership and commitment to the project. This commitment will be on behalf of the child and a parent. The back pack, is the physical connection to the moving classroom. It will provide each family a series of activities to work on independently and often times, together as parent and child to complete. The back pack will also contain the necessary art supplies to complete each "task". Through this part of the project we look to create new opportunities for parent and child to spend time together, to work together and to ultimately create something collectively. Other activities will be specifically for the child to create independently. The Back Pack component will help us to reach these goals:

1. Encourage Parent Child positive and thoughtful interaction outside of the group 2. Create opportunities for self-directed learning and creation 3. Create a physical connection to the moving classroom (so that there is a connection to the once a month experience that continues in the day to day life). 4. By completing the activities each family will receive more supplies and new activities. We hope that this will stimulate the families to engage, and will fight against the current trend of isolation and apathy slowly and on an individual pace for each family. 5. By creating the gentle expectation (as well as giving these families the tools to interact in positive and purposeful manners) we hope to develop new, natural bonds between the families through the sharing process. 6. The Classroom on Wheels: CamionArte, we hope to be a magical afternoon for each community every time we arrive. We will offer various workshops, activities and performances for the families to engage in together. Everyone will be welcome each visit, but we will have special activities for the families that are participating in the back pack project and have done their "homework" so that slowly these families that are engaging in the lives of their children begin to form bonds and find the support that they otherwise would not find. 7. The experiences that each community will have with the CamionArte will share many aspects with those of the other communities, we hope to have an event at the end of the year that would allow for all of these children and families from different colonies to come together and feel a sense of belonging to a larger network of families, and youth that have been a part of similar experiences throughout the year.

Team Credentials


  • CamionArte was featured in Conscious Magazine! [font=OpenSansRegular, arial, sans-serif][img]/images/user/4949_14445451776855746493.png[/img][/font][font=OpenSansRegular, arial, sans-serif][img]/images/user/4949_11307965409216771790.png[/img][/font][font=OpenSansRegular, arial, sans-serif][img]/images/user/4949_8165642860472708409.png[/img][/font][font=OpenSansRegular, arial, sans-serif][img]/images/user/4949_803784506070711471.png[/img][/font]
  • A Big Update on Classroom on Wheels - Part 2 (Irapuato)

    [b]Irapuato[/b] [img]/images/user/4949_8848776847089784425.jpg[/img] TAN 473 also works with Irapuato Albergue Infantil - A home for boys. Through the existence of CamionArte, a mobile classroom and now library, we have succeeded in bringing weekly art programing to the boys, have started a weekly literacy program as well and have completed two murals with the boys and local artists. We used graffiti as a mode to interest the younger boys in reading and writing. Each boy learned to write his name and practiced it in multiple classes, the final result was the graffiti version of their name on a wall in their shared home. This semester we are starting a vegetable garden and nature/environmental ed workshop with the boys as well.
  • A Big Update on Classroom on Wheels - Part 1 (La Venada)

    Wow...Through this project so far we have accessed 70+ children and the families. Offering enrichment programs and community-based art projects in low-income neighborhoods. Here's a bit more on each community and project: [img]/images/user/4949_12457353964619869358.jpg[/img] [b]La Venada [/b] We work on a weekly basis with the children of La Venada, a community of 100 families living in tin houses, without even the basics of access to water, electricity etc. The children have participated in workshops spanning jewelry making, recycled sculpture and ceramics. In addition to these visual arts based programs, the youth are also participating in Egyptian Dance and Jung Fu classes! This semester we hope to involve the families to create a tiled mural on the community well. Check out our Ceramics Workshop: