Hi everybody, I am Patty, the Maxstation for Central America & Caribbean. In spite of a caotic political situation, The Cancer Center Emma Romero de Callejas at Tegucigalpa city, capital of Honduras, Central America, carried out an activity to motivate patients, relatives and also care givers, an art therapy session “Maximize Life”.

They did the following activities:
First, the conference “Art as a way for feelings expression” it was carried out on July 2nd. By Dra. Flora Duarte, Director of the Center, Brenda Pinead, Victoria Gamero, psychologists and Cesar Manzanares, a CML patient (GIPAP patient) who has drawing ability.
The objective for this conference was to make patients understand the importance of art therapy. At the beginning with the diagnosis, this kind of therapy may be useful to manage the emotional symptoms they and their families may experiment.
Dra. Duarte and psychologists also mentioned the importance of the artistic expression as therapy to help feelings expression during illness.
Cesar shared with other patients his story and how painting has helped him to bear his illness. He gave some drawing and color techniques, so they be able to do their own paintings. They also did relaxation exercises so they may have contact with their senses and facilitate the exploration of imagination so they may make their drawings in a spontaneous way.

To continue with the activities, on July 7 they invited other patients; in total there were more less 20 attendees to this activity. The patients painted their drawings to participate in the TMF contest. The previous exercises helped them in order to include in the drawing some of their feelings and thoughts about different stages of their illness as patients, relatives or care givers.
This little child is Jefferson Esau Mejia who is five years, he enjoyed very much the art session, he has a brain tumor, but days after he had a relapse, we ask our Good Lord, He helps him. Also these are some testimonials from the patients who attended, what they thought about the art therapy:

We feel very happy because you gave us the opportunity all the happiness, thank you for giving us the opportunity to paint since we had quite an experience. I did not know how to paint but there I learned a little and it helped me to draw a painting. All other did a good painting, only I did a ridiculous one, but now I am going to learn when I practice to do more paintings. You have to invite me to learn and know more about drawing, I am very sad because I am so deaf but thank you for everything. I am Adalid Castillo and I am 17 years old, I have acute leukemia

I felt very happy, it was my first time but I felt relaxed. I liked all what they did. It helped me to distract myself. I am more encouraged and happy, Thanks to the Lord.
Jovita Mejia, 58 years old. Breast cancer

I felt very happy sharing with all the patients although I did not know them; I liked to meet some people. I liked to paint and also to make some friends. I felt happy because I have never painted before, I forgot all my pain being with all the patients and sharing with them. With the help of God I feel better.
Aurelia Reyes, 66 years old

Well, that day I felt very happy because you invited us to have fun. That day you helped me to forget all my sadness, the house I painted I did it with all my hopes that I some day may get to my house. That day helped me a lot because I had a lot of fun and was not bored, I am very grateful. I draw a house and a mountain, I did painted very well or pretty but I had fun and felt very happy. Thank you
Maria Tomasa Milla, 14 years old, LLA

It was a special day, I felt relaxed and happy because we were sharing with friends and relatives. I thank you to all of you for the invitation. The patient is my mother, Rubia Morales, 26 years old

I felt well, it helped me to distract my mind, relax and forget for a while the problems and also, I learned that in spite of all the troubles, we have to try to go on and appreciate the time we have and use the time in important things and also in a useful way to get our wellbeing. Emerita Lourdes, 42 years old

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