URUGUAY: Obviously, we need to do some sort of amazing artistic project on this art studio turned hotel with no straight lines (in the entire edifice, as per the artist’s preference, Carlos Paez Vilaró). I was thinking of using marshmallows as our medium, but the temptation to eat them is just too great for elementary aged students. I will keep you posted.
URUGUAY: Aptly named, “La Calle de los Suspiros”, or Street of Sighs, this dot on the map leaves you aching for a slower pace of life. I took the BuqueBus ferry over from Buenos Aires and only spent a day here, but it was as though time had stopped completely. My memory of this day easily stretches to weeks, if not months, in my mind.
The cobblestone streets, Sycamore trees, lighthouse, and breezy winds from the Atlantic–coupled with a gourd of hot Yerba Mate tea (“MAH-tay”) and a few alfajores, of course–sweep travelers into another world.
Image #1, Image #2, Image #3; all other photos are mine. Note that the huge, white, artistic-looking building is not in Colonia del Sacramento, but rather, Punta Ballena, Uruguay.
URUGUAY:La Mano de Punta del Este is a huge sculpture on the beach of a seaside resort called Punta del Este in Uruguay (on the Atlantic coast). It was constructed in 1982 by an artist, Mario Irarrázabal, when there was an art exhibition but no space for him to participate in the town. So… he went to the beach! The fingers are made out of steel bars, plastic, concrete, and metal mesh.
In class, we did not use steel bars; instead, kindergarten students smeared a piece of paper with glue, and then sprinkled real sand over it to recreate la playa/ the beach. Next, they smushed their palms (no splatting, please!) into a color paint of their choice, and put a handprint on the beach. It was a simple project–albeit messy, for sure–but helped students to connect with a country that they knew little to nothing about.
While waiting for their turn to make a handprint, kindergarteners “built” the Andes Mountains on my floor map with blocks, through much of South America. It was a good day!