Give Gifts Top Banner

Home » Issues » Learn as You Go » Volunteers Teach Healing Arts

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.

The YES! ChicoBag(R). Full-size tote that fits in your pocket!


Volunteers Teach Healing Arts

Document Actions

Radical Acts of Education script


Volunteers learn practices through Capacitar International.

Photo by Aiveen Mullally

Gang warfare in Juarez, AIDS in South Africa, homelessness in Cincinnati—survivors of these and other traumas are often left to cope and seek healing on their own. One group, Capacitar International, is offering help.

It began in the 1980s, when Pat Cane was helping paint murals in revolutionary Nicaragua. She took breaks behind a ­schoolhouse to practice tai chi. One day, locals followed her and posed the question that led to Capacitar. “We like your art,” they said, “but could you teach us this?”

Inspired by Paulo Freire’s work in the 1960s, Capacitar International (from the Spanish “to empower”) has spread to 30 countries. Volunteers (like those above) learn practices such as tai chi, acupressure and mindfulness, which they teach in traumatized communities in places like Guatemala, Israel, Palestine, Rwanda, and Ireland. The simple work nourishes people’s own power to heal and creates so much relief and joy that it spreads, person to person, through families and communities. Check out


More radical acts of education...

Radical-Acts-1-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-2-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-3-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-4-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-5-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-6-tn.jpg  
Roadtrip Nation
  Kids Take
  Santa Fe Tells
Its Stories
  Teens Listen to
  Melia Reschools
as Teachers
Radical-Acts-7-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-8-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-9-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-10-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-11-tn.jpg   Radical-Acts-12-tn.jpg
Youths Face History   Citizen Scientists   Volunteer Teachers   Climate Activists   Life-long Learning   A City Learns
Who Listen


13 Radical Acts of Education are part of Learn as You Go, the Fall 2009 issue of YES! Magazine.


Email Signup
Learn as You Go
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus

You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.

Issue Footer

Personal tools