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Follow PSA intern Olimpia Carias as she learns about us, street art and shares her journey with you.

“Dare to Inspire”: Origins of Inspiration

By Olimpia A. Carias

It’s the little things that make me appreciate life, most of which I find in nature. I think this started when I was about 13 and I saw the most beautiful thing in my life. I was sweating a little, even with the wind whipping past my ears. I was surrounded by family in the bed of my uncle’s red truck, some laughing or just watching the sky along with me. The road seemed to go on forever and I couldn’t keep my eyes off what was above us.

Melting pink clouds of Honduras’s sunset slowly transformed into a black blanket of brilliant stars. I didn’t notice the change right away but it was breathtaking. I felt a certain sense of solitude, ironically so since I was surrounded by loved ones. Experiencing this natural occurrence stirred something up in me; it made me appreciate the beauty that can be easily accessed in the natural world. It inspired me to take on each passing day, to live another day and to see the sun set.

For quite some time I didn’t feel inspired by anything. Days felt dreary and nights were even worse, a shadow for my constricted thoughts. Still, I would remind myself of that sight from long ago or take in other forms of nature. None of it inspired me though. It was just a way to keep myself grounded in the now. What I needed was to feel productive, to be determined again. I wasn’t sure what exactly but it needed to be something.

If you were to ask me now what inspires me, it would have to be myself. I strive to be the best version of myself that I can be and to challenge myself along the way. You are your biggest critique but sometimes you are all you have. Make bets or goals with yourself, tell yourself you’ll do better next time, tell yourself you are the greatest and there is no one like you. This self-reliance of mine can be difficult at times though. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help, to vent or to collaborate.

Aside from myself, I am inspired by the people in my life and the art that I expose myself to. These inspirations translate into my own creativity and desire to be a part of a community. I love listening to a person’s ideas because it creates a new perspective for myself. PSA meetings have been incredibly inspiring for me. It allows me to see what can truly be done for a community and to see other people’s ideas become fleshed out for a common cause. Their open studio hours have also inspired me to be more creative in my daily life by sketching more and to finally read for pleasure again (not to say that post-modernist essays and John Milton aren’t cool buuut I need a break from required readings).

The Positive Street Art motto is “Dare to Inspire”…my own inspirations have translated into a craving to inspire others in a way that brings out their creativity and sense of togetherness, a craving that has had a bit of help from PSA. But I’m not the only one who has been inspired by PSA. To my pleasant surprise I’ve learned that they have travelled to Honduras for the past five years to encourage leadership and inspire the community of San Francisco La Paz, Olancho.

Being Honduran-American and having visited Honduras a few times, I was immediately interested in what ways PSA has impacted the community there. The trip is based on the fear of one of the volunteers and how they can overcome that fear by being supported by peers and entering a new environment that will challenge them to become a leader. The volunteers are a creative bunch that team up with the Nashua Honduras Outreach Team and Honduran based organizations such as Project Eden and Adelante.

Collaboration between PSA and these organizations have resulted in tutoring sessions with local Honduran students, creation and expansion of community gardens, the creation of several culturally empowering murals with the help of local artists, and the creation of the organization Arte Positivo 1519. By inspiring artistic expression the community will regain a sense of togetherness in times of turmoil and generate outlets of healthy expression for their youth.

The creation of Arte Positivo 1519 allows PSA to breach borders and catapults their mission outside the city lines of Nashua, touching the lives of many more people…it creates a heartfelt bond between communities despite being thousands of miles apart. Hopefully Positive Street Art can be an inspiration to other parts of Honduras; I have expressed to them my love of the village Copan Ruinas and it’s enchanting atmosphere. The hospitality and richness of culture there is beyond compare with an ancient history that makes you feel like in a completely new yet sacred world.

And so, Positive Street Art has truly dared to inspire a community an airplane ride away but how have they inspired you?

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