We have made it halfway through our weekly blog posts leading up to #GivingTuesday on November 27th. Each story is unique and demonstrates the ways in which one individual’s experience can ripple to inspire and empower others.
Next up is a person who has been a part of the JUNTOS family for a very long time. Meet Nestor Antonio Cifuentes Rodriguez.
Nestor is from Quetzaltenango (Xela) in the western highlands of Guatemala. He is the owner and one of the main teachers at Bakanos, a dance studio in this mountainous city.
Over the years, JUNTOS has watched Nestor’s interest in community impact and arts outreach grow. This curiosity started with us, but the impact that proceeded could not have happened without his energy and drive. Here is Nestor’s JUNTOS journey:
Nestor connected with us and arranged class exchanges at Bakanos. JUNTOS taught contemporary workshops and Nestor taught salsa and bachata.
Inspired by this intercultural exchange, Nestor applied and was accepted to the JUNTOSAmbassador program in 2016. He was one of the first abroad participants to work with us in this capacity.
A few years ago, Nestor represented JUNTOS at NicaPhoto‘s annual Arts Brigade in Nagarote, Nicaragua. After this introduction, he returned multiple times as an independent to continue offering dance classes in this barrios, one of the poorest in Nicaragua.
Nestor continues to bring dance workshops and programming to his community and inspires others to do the same. He was a part of Iniciativa Corazon y Arte (see our story about Nekiss), has collaborated with organizations like Caras Alegres, and has been an important contact for free public performances in his city and surrounding communities.
Nestor advocates for dance and arts outreach whenever he can. His passion has influenced us along with many JUNTOS participants over the years. JUNTOS returns to Xela every year with a group of students, and we always make sure to stop by Bakanos to see him and take class.
This story is an example of the impact that JUNTOS could not create without the help of leaders in the communities that we visit. Join us for Giving Tuesday to help us do this locally in Boston and New York this year. Find out more and join us on November 27th 2018!