The Touch A Life Art Healing team chose Mamas en Catacamas for our first Creative Partner Project. In the heart of Honduras, Mamas en Catacamas works with mothers and young people to provide with a safe place during the day, as well as creative space for artisans and job training. Kim Lewis, from Kim Lewis Designs, traveled to Catacamas this month to transform the multipurpose space into a creative gathering space and coffee shop.
Kim and the Mamas en Catacamas team made the choice to name this creative center the Alas Café because “alas” means wings in Spanish. “Wings symbolize the freedom to be, to create, to not only survive the streets of Honduras, but to thrive,” said Kim. This space will serve as a coffee shop for people in the community to congregate, play games and support each other.
The mamas of Mamas en Catacamas are already making coffee and baked goods to be sold to the public. The cafe also serves as a space for young budding artists to make works for sale like paintings, handmade guitars, and jewelry, which are displayed in a gallery area. Kim told us that one young artist named Jairo was commissioned by a local man to paint his bamboo musical instrument before the cafe was even open, paying Jairo the equivalent of two days wages.
Each area of the cafe showcases a type of creativity through art, music, cooking, reading, gardening, and wood shop. As you walk through the back door, Kim designed a garden and worked with the Mamas en Catacamas team to build a 12-foot long working table for outdoor festivities and activities. The wood shop is located in the corrugated metal building out back.
We are so thankful to the teenagers involved in Mamas en Catacamas for helping Kim finish the space. Every day they showed up and put in the hard work. Kim said, “This cafe was truly built BY them, FOR them.” Elmer Sevilla was also a huge help during the design and build of this Creative Partner project. He served as a leader, teacher, translator, and mentor.