The Fundación de Apoyo al Arte Creador Infantil – Foundation to Support Children’s Creational Art (FUNARTE) is a not-for-profit civil organisation that was founded by the Boanerges Cerrato collective in the year 1989 in Estelí, Nicaragua. Within the framework of the Foundation, a multidisciplinary team of professionals promotes and facilitates participative processes with the goal of providing integral development for children by promoting their creational capacity. The chosen vehicle is muralism, a medium through which one can achieve a new approach to the construction and transformation of a fairer world without violence, without discrimination, where art is recognised as a tool for social transformation and where anyone can feel proud of his or her own history and culture.
Through a participative methodology and using psycho-affective processes, the initiative is a pedagogical proposal that promotes children’s artistic expression and helps them to understand their rights, their history and their culture whilst exercising their citizenship through critical proposals. The project, which also involves the families and the community, seeks to respond to the lack of spaces in which to develop these abilities and to improve the levels of social valuing of children and teenagers, transforming them into the protagonists of change.
At present the Muralism Workshops project, which has been going on uninterruptedly for nineteen years, focuses its attention on the children from the different districts, communities and markets of the city of Estelí and other municipalities in Nicaragua. A total of over seven hundred boys and girls participate weekly, as well as mothers, fathers and community leaders from the different sectors in which the initiative takes place. During this time over a hundred murals have been painted that are not only displayed in public buildings, schools or health centres, but are also demanded by people from other districts as well as by different institutions and organisations. Through their creations, the boys and girls of Estelí have managed to make themselves more highly valued by adults; they have won prizes in painting competitions at municipal and national level, have produced a mobile mural that was shown in the city of New York during the second session in favour of childhood at the UN and, in the year 2004, the Municipal Government declared Estelí the City of Muralism.
Thanks to the repercussion of the public art produced by the children who participate in the project, it can be stated today that Estelí has a greater awareness of the role that art can play and of what its true potentiality can be.