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testimonials

You say JUNTOS, but pronounce it love and friendship. JUNTOS is not about what has already been created, but about what we are doing and will do to change the world to return to peace and sincere humanity.

“Beyond dance, I’ve learned the power that humanity has to confront all problems with unity and integrity. JUNTOS had demonstrated to us that the value of a human is incomparable, and that together we can face the fears that we are pressured by. Sometimes, we put ourselves in a box that we don’t think we can escape and JUNTOS, through dance, shows us that we are people of value, people of power, people that can make our own decisions, and that we can do anything we put our minds to.

JUNTOS is the perfect demonstration of unity and beauty, serving and fighting for each and every one of us so we can be free and worthy of belonging to this wonderful world. JUNTOS is art, humanity, and above all things a wonderful family.”
– Erick Zamora, Guatemalan 4-year participant with JUNTOS (2014)

“There it was… Humans from different parts of the globe, TOGETHER (JUNTOS) in every way that they could be, experiencing something, telling their story together, fearlessly, and letting me witness the beauty that we all are. And when nothing else in the world makes sense, I will know that life can be this beautiful, and that is enough for me.”
– Holly Wilder, Boston Conservatory student (2013)

I think that dance is really democratic, it’s open and inclusive and this kind of sharing and experience reminds us that […] we are humans that want to give and share. Thank you so much.
– Jenia Pesiakova, Mexico 1st time participant (2014)

I am always so grateful to be in the presence of JUNTOS. Together we can make a dream reality. For me, it has been a huge pleasure to be able to share with you. I have so much love and admiration for your work.
– Sterling Vasquez, Nicaraguan 2 year coordinator; Director of Yaxall (2014)

“Dance has the ability to transcend race, religion, ethnicity, and gender and enables us not as Guatemalans or Americans but as human beings to connect on the most essential level.”
– Katie Berry, Ailey/Fordham alumni (2010)

The great thing about JUNTOS is that it takes this idea [that the understanding of different cultures is what will bring peace to the world] and connects it to concrete actions.
– Marisa Martin, Ailey/Fordham alumni (2010)

“Dance and art bring a light into the world that is essential. Even, maybe even especially, in places of tremendous poverty and hardship, where so much other work needs to be done, dance cannot be taken out of the equation.“
– Maia Dunlap, Ailey/Fordham alumni (2010)

“I feel like I have reached a level where it’s not just me out there. No more me against the world. Instead it is me dancing WITH the world, FOR the world and everything in between.”
– Alicia Delgadillo, Ailey/Fordham alumni (2011)

“One of the biggest insights I think we all made on this trip was that, in Guatemala, we didn’t need to “perform.” It was one of the thoughts I wrote almost immediately after I came back: I don’t want to “perform” anymore, in life or in dance. “Performing” implies pretense and when there is so much realness inside of me, what need is there to escape from the richness of that source? I want to be, to share, to do, but to “perform,” is starting to feel unnecessary. My experiences in Guatemala have allowed me to recognize the importance of my own instinctive feelings and how to embrace and share them fully.

“We are humans. We have common feelings: joy, sadness, fear, love. It doesn’t take much to understand another’s story. Language holds limitations, art breeds possibilities. If we dance for an audience and we use our spirits to do so, connection happens. We are here for each other. To share, to understand, to come together.
-Marisa Martin, Ailey/Fordham alumni (2011)

“Dance gives us this incredible point of entry, to communicate across language barriers and borders and political rifts. Now I’m waiting to go back too- there’s an urgency to do so much more, to share art everywhere to bring people together.”
– Maia Dunlap, Ailey/Fordham alumni (2011)

“Ultimately, what I learned from my experiences in Guatemala is that you cannot take all of the world’s problems onto yourself: it’s not realistic, possible, or effective. But that’s ok, because what you can do is take what you feel passionate about and figure out how to give it value in the world. For me, that’s dance, and I finally understand that the power of communicating through movement, and of sharing that with others, is extraordinary.
“[…] Art is the fabric of culture. It gives texture, color, richness, and meaning to our lives: it describes and defines our human experience. When we share our art we share ourselves, and as artists, sharing our art is sharing the very best part of ourselves. Communicating through art allows us to open our hearts and our minds to each other. We learn about ourselves and those around us, no matter how different or inaccessible they may seem- art allows us to connect on a basic human level. At the risk of sounding naïve, I really believe that in doing so we can create a human community that transcends borders. And how else can we gain enough understanding of each other to achieve compassion and peace? Of course, art is not going to solve all of the world’s problems- so much other work needs to be done, and that work is just as valuable. But my experiences in Guatemala taught me that for me, as a dancer, sharing my art is the most important way that I can try to bring any light into the world. I am so grateful and indebted to all the people I met in Guatemala, for dancing, sharing, smiling, and learning with us- they taught me infinitely more than I taught them.”
– Maia Dunlap, Ailey/Fordham alumni (2010)

“I can honestly say that in just 12 days, my life has been changed and when I return to New York, I will be seeing the same world through different eyes. Still curious, but more assured of what else they want to see in life. Though we were there to teach and share what we had to offer, I truly was the one that learned. Somewhere in the midst of teaching in classrooms, holding hands of the orphaned young and wrinkling old, an omnipresent volcano, rides in the back of a red pick-up truck, new food, triumphs and mishaps of the Spanish language, performing for close to 900 people in a beautiful theater, sick stomachs, hurt bodies, tired eyes, emotional hearts, hug attacks by an entire school, watching our kids perform, and growing closer to one another – we fell in love. Even thought it was short, my time in Guatemala was powerful enough to become a presence in my everyday life – my thoughts, feelings, actions.”
– Marisa Martin, Ailey/Fordham alumni (2010)

“I am going home with an entirely different perception of the world, the power of dance, and of myself… I never understood the power of dance. When my brother passed away, it really made me hate myself for dancing. For being so “selfish” and I struggled so much with my feeling of needing to do more, to help the world become a better place and I just didn’t see dance in that way. JUNTOS seemed to be a great outlet… I always used to believe “everything happened for a reason” in a sort of magical way, but since my brother’s passing its been really hard for me to see the world in a positive way or be able to think good things can happen. This trip has made me be able to accept the way things are and realize things happen the way they are supposed to if we are open to them. … My heart is now open and wanting to do so much more.”
– Kelli Youngman, Ailey/Fordham alumni (2010)