Youth Workers and the Creative Arts on the Outskirts of Bogotá: An Alternative Intervention in Soacha, Colombia
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This thesis explores the role of youth workers who utilize the arts in Soacha, Colombia. Through a historical and anthropological lens the findings reveal the objectives of the workers and the impact the work has as an intervention with the children. Through the case study of nine youth workers and two administrators of the local NGO, La Fundación Proyecto de Vida, I show how a comprehensive approach strengthens youth's social and personal capacities. This Colombian model of intervention includes workshops that cover areas such as music, visual arts, movement, physical health, and the environment. In addition to the workshops the organization provides psychological resources through family counseling, art and psychodynamic therapy, along with onsite cafeteria service. Ultimately I illustrate how this comprehensive, arts-based approach to support the youth can break the cycle of violence that is otherwise perpetuated by the lack of governmental social programs.