Arena y Esteras [‘sand and mats’, the material our houses are constructed of], are a grassroots organization of artists, educators, and local leaders committed to workinh on ways of being and living by creating art that contributes to human development and social transformation. They tap into the creative potential of human beings as an artistic strategy that makes possible their capacity to live, to be resilient and synergically balanced. They do so through theatre, circus, music, dance and fine arts.
On 15 February 1992, María Elena Moyano, a popular leader in the migrant community of Villa El Salvador was assassinated for political reasons. This event causes enormous sadness and widespread protest in the community. A group of youngsters got together with the firm intention to overcome fear through art and to create conditions so that the population could recuperate its capacity to smile and to believe again in life. Thus, on the 29th of March 1992, Arena y Esteras was born.