Palma Sola- Masks of Change

Masks of Change in Santa Cruz Bolivia

Masks of Change is a project that began in 2006, working with the Palma Sola women’s prison in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Catholic Church runs a rehabilitation program in the prison, teaching handcrafts and hair styling. Sister Alexandra gave permission for us to work with the women at the program and so the 5 teachers and all 41 of their students attended 6 sessions of 2.5hrs each . The group drew about their lives and processed their feelings and hopes. They worked with clay to create a mask that they then covered in papier mache, painted, decorated and wore in a process designed to help people look at their lives and start to see ways to make inner changes. Sister Alexandra said in all her 16 years she had not ever seen the women so happy, and she hopes that this process can be done again. They had a very meaningful experience. The process of mask making is simple and now the teachers and the women know how and can make more, perhaps to sell as art pieces or for special events.