First they arrive to their intended destination, then they take off their shoes and dress themselves all in white, they start to make a circle and begin to dance with the rhythm of claps and chants accompanied by uncommon instruments in our environment.
I am talking about GUETO (Grupo Unido para la Educación y Trabajos de Orientación), pioneers of Capoeira in Guayaquil- Ecuador. This group has been doing “dance social work” for over 4 years.
This initiative was born in Brazil about 20 years ago; teachers used to go to slums to teach their knowledge about this unusual dance to the people who live in poor areas. Because of the great success the idea got it spread its branches around the world. Now it is present in different countries such us Japan, Spain, Italy, France, Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador now.
They call themselves as a training school to work in educational projects (schools, colleges, and universities) and social work.
Through Capoeira, GUETO undertakes projects aimed as an educational tool. The program BrinCapoeira field works in elementary schools and high schools. This proposal is funded by the institution that presents the project.
Without being a constituted foundation, GUETO has taken very seriously the task of working with low recourses youth in several suburban areas of the city of Guayaquil.
James Restrepo, known as Tecelao (nickname adopted by the teacher of the school since the day he belongs GUETO), was born in Cali- Colombia where he learned the art of Capoeira. Seven years ago he came to Ecuador as a “mestre” with the mission of spreading this dance.
He began as a professor at several gyms in the city. Years later, Tecelao make a recognized name and established GUETO as a serious school around the city. With the time and gaining more support Tecelao has built a big group of students who now help him in his social development plan.
He explains that the mission of Capoeira works more in the background rather than as a method. His job focuses on an integral education for students, strengthening from moral values to physical and mental development of each of them. GUETO is a paramount for the evolution of human beings: physically, mentally, and morally.
Tecelao with the school arrive to a specific neighborhood, start doing a circle of Capoeira as a display mode where it is used musical instruments characteristic of this type of dance. In this way they capture the attention of the people that gradually come to look of what this show is about. It is there where GUETO reaches the attention of people and invites them to participate in these activities with no obligation and free. Once they form a group, they organize classes for each week. The school only charges a representative value for the uniform (a heater and T-shirt with the school logo).
Until now, projects have been undertaken in sectors such as Pascuales, Guasmo, Malecon del Salado, Cerro Santa Ana, Cerro del Carmen, and Mapasingue. He has been working with children since 5 years old and more, without limit of age.
This volunteer is not only done in the province of Guayas, it is also present in Manabi in cities such as Portoviejo and Manta, lead by Capoeira “mestre” Sidney Lima da Silva from Brasil, known as Birí in his guild.
Another project is called Camaradinhas, which takes place in marginal areas with the main goal of cultural inclusion. Is a space for the interaction between children’s universe and the practice of Capoeira as a tool for forming and integrated through the Body Culture, Recreation, Play, Playful and Expression.
Today GUETO School is set in the Macrogimnasio of the Sports Federation of Guayas. Their classes are taught daily and they include dance, chanting and the use of instruments.
Although GUETO School has neither public nor private institutions support, they have not lost the hope of continuing this work to the benefit of comprehensive training of human beings. Although teachers and students get no economic gain for this volunteer, they enjoy being part of the growth and evolution of themselves through Capoeira.
For more information:http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/camaradinhas/127341773966159