Recognizing a Masterpiece

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” ~ Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Every child is a masterpiece. Yet every child’s origin story may or may not include opportunities to explore and grow their creativity, scholarship, athleticism, and voice. Some were born into circumstances that preclude anything but thoughts of survival. My intention over the last twenty-two years has been to find ways to provide children within my sphere of influence with the resource they need to develop into the masterpiece God designed them to be.

Most recently, I have had the opportunity to partner with a small group of friends and colleagues to develop the Environmental Awareness Academy. Our intention is to build a youth development model that can be replicated around the world. We have begun our quest in Cantarranas, Honduras.

Honduras is the poorest country in Central America, with a poverty rate of over 66 percent. In rural areas, where most indigenous people are concentrated, one of every five Hondurans lives below the poverty line on around $1.90 per day. With shrinking opportunities for already limited land use to develop healthy food, chronic malnutrition was at nearly 50% pre-COVID and has increased by 50% post-COVID. The World Food Program (WFP) has assisted 28,000 families per month with food, only a small percentage of those in need.  According to the WFP, three million Hondurans face food insecurity. In 2011, there were 87 per 100,000 people.

Since March 2021, we have partnered with local educators, pastors, and community leaders to identify our first cohort of twenty-five Environmental Awareness Academy students. These students have received school supplies, school clothes, nutritional support, as well as medical care, as needed. They have also received a home visit to assess their families’ overall needs. Each one of these students has an EAA sponsor who has generously provided the funds for them to participate in this first cohort.

We have also been able to gather a group of Honduran entreprenuers, artists, and businesses to support the work of EAA. One of those artists is the internationally recognized Honduran artist Santos Arzú Quioto. His paintings have been exhibited in Central America, South America, North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. He has taught and encouraged young artists around the world to embrace their creativity. Santos has graciously donated two of his paintings to the Environmental Awareness Academy to auction at our upcoming fundraiser scheduled for October 21, 2021 at MUCE in Miami, Florida from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It’s going to be a beautiful evening in MUCE’s inspiring gallery space. We hope to raise additional funding and sponsors for the Environmental Awareness Academy that evening.

In addition to the art work of Santos Arzú Quioto, we are also pleased to be able to include the work of Honduran artist Kelly Maldonado in our EAA Masterpiece Fundraiser auction. Born in 2007, Kelly is a mixed media painter who became acquainted at an early age with Santo Arzu Quioto through her parents are Carlos Rene Maldonado and Jacqueline Avila Buck. Santos provided this assessment of Kelly’s artistic promise:

“I have followed the trail of promising young Honduran artist Kelly Maldonado Avila in various art exhibitions. In addition, with her family (Carlos Maldonado and Jackie Avila), we have forged a solid friendship for many years. As a visual artist one develops the “eye” to perceive the talent in children and young people and I have been able to observe this restless creativity in Kelly from a very young age. She is particularly sensitive to chiaroscuro drawing but she is also a very interesting designer, we can see it in the portfolio collections that she has developed. She lately she is exploring bolder and bolder mixed media paintings and textures. Kelly Maldonado has all the conditions to establish herself and stand out as a talented artist.” ~ Santos Arzu Quioto

Kelly created a set of nature themed paintings on natural leather that were crafted into one-of-a-kind, women’s handbags by the leather goods business, Arte Piel, located in Valles de Angeles, Honduras (IG: @artepiel_valledeangeles). Here is one of the paintings she entitled “Nature” which we will include in our silent auction.

Kelly created a set of nature themed paintings on natural leather that were crafted into one-of-a-kind, women’s handbags by the leather goods business, Arte Piel, from Valles de Angeles, Honduras. Here is one of her paintings on a completed leather handbag she entitled “Nature” which we will include in our silent auction.

In addition to the silent auction of Santos Arzú Quioto and Kelly Maldonado’s art pieces, the EAA Masterpiece Fundraiser will feature products for sale from the iconic Honduran coffee company Galeano (IG: @galeanocoffee) and other products. The Environmental Awareness Academy is honored to have Galeano as an official corporate sponsor.

Would you like to participate in the transformation of a child’s life in Canterranas, Honduras? Become an Environmental Awareness Academy Donor by following this link: BECOME AN EAA SPONSOR

Register to participate in the October 21, 2021 EAA Masterpiece Fundraiser, in person or remotely, by clicking the following link. The Silent Auction opens for bids and sales on October 7, 2021: MASTERPIECE FUNDRAISER

About Linda Freeman

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Linda Pulley Freeman combines her specialized training in environmental and chemical engineering with her deep ministerial commitment as she serves mission fields at home and abroad.

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