Students of Taller de Paz Win Project Pericles Award

Mariam Zakhary '13

Students of Taller de Paz
Win Project Pericles Award

by Mariam Zakhary '13
2/11/2011

Taller de Paz
From left, Taller de Paz co-founders Alex Frye '11, Deivid Rojas '11, Andrés Freire '11, and (front row center) Camila Leiva '09, with program facilitators from La Universidad Javeriana: Katherin Lopez, Angelica Barrera, Camila Diazgranados, Diana Diazgranados, and Sandra Bermudez.

Taller de Paz members Alexander Frye '11, Andrés Freire '11, Jovanna Hernandez '13, Deivid Rojas '11, and Haydil Henriquez '14 have been named award winners of the Project Pericles Fund. Taller de Paz started with the collaboration of students from Swarthmore and Bogotá, Colombia. The goal is to help displaced youth in Colombia through workshops that promote active participation to help foster a new generation of leaders.

"I realized that Taller de Paz stands for more than just the summer workshops with the children, but for the effect implemented on the youth through those workshops," says Haydil Hentiquez '14 from Bronx, N.Y. "With the Pericles grant, Taller de Paz is able to provide the resources that are unavailable for the youth in Colombia and consequently create more effective workshops."

The relationship with the community of Suba began two years ago when Taller de Paz started a summer workshop pilot. "After participating in The Swarthmore Bosnia Project my freshman year, I was inspired to work with the internally displaced youth in my hometown of Bogotá, Colombia," says Rojas'11, a history major. "After developing the vision, Andrés, Alex, and Camila helped me implement it."

Taller de Paz's summer program consists of four workshops, each with a different theme. In the past, the workshops have included art, technology/photography, social justice, English, story telling, and leadership.

"The Project Pericles award has made the sustainability of the program a concrete
reality and provides the necessary financial and structural support for the time and material investment that is required of us," says Frye, an honors political science major with minors in Latin American studies and Spanish from Bourbonnais, Ill.  "We hope to create a community center with the help of our participants, families, and organizational partners that will serve both as a site for future workshops and also as a space for community organizing and action that has the capacity to confront some of the more difficult problems facing the neighborhoods."

Eugene M. Lang '38 and the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College created the Swarthmore Project Pericles Fund in 2005. The purpose of the Fund is to support groups of Swarthmore students who propose and implement social and civic action projects whose scope and sustainability will advance solutions for the issues in question and also promote recognition of students' motivation and capability to address such major issues effectively.

The Pericles Fund is managed by the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility at Swarthmore College. Swarthmore College is one of the founding institutions of Project Pericles, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their educational programs, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community.