(EFTC) School of Hope Mural / Stumptown ‘Flower of Flowers’ film
The making of this mural is very well documented in the Stumptown film ‘Flower of Flowers’. Flower of Flowers (2018) was produced by Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Farm League, and was directed by Greg Hunt. I remain in complete awe and gratitude to have been invited to go to Antigua, Guatemala on this trip along with beloved humans/ skateboard legends Ray Barbee and Rick McCrank, and coffee expert Jim Kelso. We had the privilege of visiting two farms that Stumptown works with and meeting the farmers. One farm is operated by Luis Pedro Zelaya, a fourth generation coffee producer and the other farm is operated by his cousin, Ricardo Zelaya. Ricardo’s farm has been in operation for over 100 years. They taught us about how climate change is affecting their farms and the challenges they face both now and in the future due to a rapidly changing climate. They generously gave us so much of their time and shared their vast knowledge and experience with us. We met so many incredible people on this trip from those involved with coffee production, local musicians, local skateboarders, members of a traditional Mayan band, local filmmakers, and the educators and volunteers at the School of Hope. I was invited to paint a mural at Escuela Proyecto ‘La Esperanza’ in Jocotenango. This school is operated by an NGO called Education For The Children. Their mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education and empowerment. From their website: Food, healthcare, counseling and career guidance at the school remove obstacles to education and enable our students to realise their potential. You can learn more about this organization and school and support their mission with a donation by visiting their website: https://www.eftc.org.uk/en/get-involved
You can also follow them on Instagram here: @eftcfoundation
And check out the Instagram for their permaculture garden ‘Garden of Hope’, where the kids and teachers work together to grow food and flowers, and even coffee! @gardenofhope
The mural design was meant to celebrate the dramatic Guatemalan landscape and feature a few vignettes based on our experiences on the trip. I created the framework for an ornamental border and we invited students from different classes at the school to join in and add to the mural. It was so fun to see what they chose to add within the parameters of “flores, animales, y animalitos”. The kids found my stash of colors and rattled me out of my very limited palette to a much greater outcome! I wish we had been able to have more time together to make more paintings. Big thanks to all of the teachers that released their students from their regular schedules to paint this mural with me.
You can view the Stumptown film ‘Flower of Flowers’ below.