Organization by Amanda Alvarez
Together for Peace. Together for Juárez.
Q&A with Amanda Alvarez, Co-Chair at Project Paz
Web page: www.projectpaz.org
“Project Paz is a non-profit organization created in 2010 by a group of friends living in NYC who wanted to help promote peace in our hometown of Cd. Juárez. All the funds we raise in our events support community development programs geared towards promoting peace in the region, one project at a time,” Amanda Alvarez.
What is the main purpose of Project Paz?
To help established nonprofit organizations in Cd. Juárez raise funds to support projects that promote peace and to create awareness in an international audience, not only of the events taking place in Juárez, but also the positive initiatives happening in the community.
What drove you to start participating?
The need to help the city that has given me everything.
How do you help?
At the moment, our past event held in November supported ADN – Ampliando el Desarrollo de los Niños (Spanish for expanding children’s development), a program by the Fundación del Empresariado Chihuahuense, A.C. (FECHAC), an independent, autonomous, non-partisan and non-profit organization formed by Chihuahua state entrepreneurs. ADN helps keep Juarez’s most unprivileged children off the street by providing them with a safe environment to expand their academic skills. Throughout the school year, ADN’s children participate in extracurricular activities such as reading, karate, soccer and music lessons that help develop their cognitive and physical abilities. Most importantly, ADN provides children with strength and hope for a better future.
How can we get involved?
You can donate by visiting our webpage www.projectpaz.org, and you can also help by attending our events! Not only do we do an annual art auction, but also we work with many different collaborators such as Honor, Yigal Azrouel, L-Atitude, Spenglish, DKNY, and Cabinet of Curiosities among others.
What’s a project you want to share with us?
Pictures for Paz is a photography program for children founded as a joint collaboration between Project Paz and the Duggal Big Picture Foundation (Duggal Visual Solution’s 501(c)3 philanthropic arm). The initial pilot program launched in the summer of 2013, with a curriculum developed by renowned Mexican photographer, Monica Lozano, digital cameras generously sponsored by B&H Photo of New York, and overseen by photography instructor Luis Arenas. The children were taught the basics of photography; including how cameras work, the history of the discipline, composition and light, capturing landscapes and portraiture, and how to develop a personal photographic narrative. At the moment, two more courses are being taught simultaneously by Luis Arenas in a community center in Riveras del Bravo, one of the poorest areas of Juárez.
Pictures for Paz serves as an opportunity to prepare the children of Juarez, who are exposed to poverty and violence, for the growing need of computer-literate workers and professionals by expanding their abilities at an early age and allowing them to express themselves creatively. By guiding Juarez’s future community members, Pictures for Paz offers the city a ray of hope and renewal with connections outside of Mexico through art and culture. The combined efforts of Project Paz and the Duggal Big Picture Foundation are a solution to violence and are an investment in social development that will allow Juarez’s children to rise above their circumstances.