Music Builds Community

Last week we entertained long-term friends, Rick and Karin, in Bucaramanga. They came to learn more about our programs in Colombia and to meet the people involved. So, we took them to Fandic and to Asodispie where they were entertained by dancers. We took a trip to a rural school where the students sang a song about caring for the environment. And we took them to see a water filter where Karin had an impromptu jam session.

Rick and Karin pose with teacher of five grades in a one-classroom school.

Our visitors had a particular knack of interacting with people through music. Karin, who borrowed a violin from here, used it to full advantage. Not only were they entertained, but they returned the favor!

Karen encouraged children to play notes on the violin while she played the rest of the piece. The kids were thrilled.


Real Cool! Fandic youth express themselves through dance.
Dance builds community. They felt so good about their performance that they gave themselves a group hug.

Those wanting to see a short video of Fandic’s dance performance in a mall, click on this link:

Asodispie also treated us to a dance performance. Here again, Karin used the violin to interact with the youth in their program.

These youth attend an afternoon program in Asodispie.

Our visit to a rural school called Las Llanadas, entailed a drive up to a plateau that was anything but flat.


The Chicamoacha River.. We passed this outstanding scenery on the way to the rural school.

Here we met with students and parents in the Green Light Education Assistance Program. Music was a connector here as well: Karin led the students in music-based activities and they reciprocated by singing a song about caring for the environment.

The song was sung by memory and the verses were sung as solos.

The parents related how the Green Light program had brought about change in their school through its emphasis on parent participation. One father, who was a student at that school, now had his own children attending. He told us that initially, the school was in the same condition as when he left in grade five. But now, since the Green Light program, parents have painted the walls and planted flowering bushes. They were very proud of these improvements. This school is located in a semi-desert environment and is one of the poorer schools in the program.

Green Light also builds community. The wall says, “without music, life for me would be a mistake….”

Finally, we went to the house of the music teacher, Oscar. It is an anomaly to find a music teacher in a country school but there he was! He is actually hired by a private organization to build environmental values in children through music.  His house had a filter supplied by a local Rotary Club, which we saw before getting back to the subject of music.

Karin jams with music teacher, Oscar.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual visit to our programs in Santander.