Kithara Project in Yuguelito
The community of Yuguelito is located in the heart of the Mexico City district of Iztapalapa on a site that had previously been used as the repository of rubble from Mexico's 1985 earthquake.
In 2008 the site was settled. 1000 families now live in the community, although the exact number of inhabitants is unknown. Like many communities in the eastern part of Mexico city, Yuguelito is informal -- autonomous -- and for that reason it is in many respects self-governing, taking internal responsibility for virtually all services.
In a 2013 survey conducted through the School of Social Work at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, residents were asked to identify the initiative they would most like to see in Yuguelito, and a majority chose music. Music, many argued, would be a powerful to confront the many challenges – particularly for young people – endemic to life in Yuguelito. It bears repeating: amidst such economic duress, the residents of Yuguelito chose music.
2. Program Summary
Kithara Project operates a year round, immersive music program (with special emphasis on the classical guitar) in Yuguelito. Since 2015, students have attended workshops, lessons, chorus, and theory classes. In addition to training young guitarists, Kithara Project encourages civic and community mindedness.
Mexican students also correspond with their peers in our Boston program via video messaging and social media. In the future, students from Mexico (and their peers in New Mexico) will travel to Boston to form the core of an international children's guitar orchestra. In time, this will serve as a template for programs in other US and Mexico communities that regard music education as a way of confronting the interlinked challenges of poverty, inequality, and social marginalization.