The Colima Project is an art and development project
in Colima, El Salvador, supported by
San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley,
Contra Costa College, and the town of Colima.
From 2003-2008, I worked with project founder Julia Marshall, chair
of the Art Education Department at SFSU, and many other instructors
to teach the program's spring and summer courses
through SFSU's College of Extended Learning,
contributing to over a decade
of development work in Colima through annual collaborations
with students and professional artists.
In 2012, the Colima Project was supported by Dr. Mayra Padilla
and the Contra Costa College HSI STEM Grant.
Over the course of a year (2010-2011), students in Richmond, CA
and Colima, El Salvador created a series of texts
on building resilience in the face of violence, gang involvement,
and prevalence of drug and alcohol use in both communities.
I worked with students to laser-etch these texts on ten wooden doors,
which are now installed in Colima houses facing the Pan-American
Highway as it runs through Colima on its way from San Salvador to
Honduras, a major thoroughfare for human, gang, and drug trafficking.
These doors now stand as a visible component of a regional resistance
to violence, human trafficking, and substance abuse, maintained
primarily by citizens coordinating local efforts to maintain public safety.