ACT 2020 Featured Capstone:

Victoria Amazonica:

A Bilingual Podcast, Book and Art collection

Lina Cuartas

 

 

Describe Your Capstone Project.

Victoria Amazonica is your personal invitation to embark on a mental vacation to the Amazon. It is a bilingual podcast, audio book and an art show. We are currently being called to consider the well-being of the collective. In the Amazon, that is a given. In each podcast episode, I create a space of peace and safety from which we depart. Then I paint, with words, the characters, places, and experiences I lived in the Amazon. In our contemporary world, it is easy to forget that we still have the same human needs we did when we lived in primitive collectives. I hope that my stories will remind us all of the value of each individual’s story and the interconnectedness of our realities. This is how we, together, can change the world, one story at a time. Currently, there are 15 or 20 episodes, which in fact will be 40 total because of the bilingual recordings. 

Describe Its Impact.

Storytelling is a powerful way to reach people’s hearts. The podcasts have provided an opportunity for people whose lives have suddenly lost their sense of normalcy a vehicle to explore a reality so much unlike our own, an exotic landscape with so much to teach us and so many treasures to delight our imagination. Many people have written to express their gratitude and delight. “ Thank you for helping me get through this insane world situation. You help me breathe.” This was a comment on the podcast platform that summarizes the others I have received too. Some people have listened to use the stories as meditations, as soothing mechanisms at bedtime, as inspiration when feeling depressed, and many others motivated by curiosity about the Amazon.

How has the ACT Program helped you become an Ambassador of Compassion?

The process that we had to go through, thinking about what we wanted to achieve and how we wanted to reach our audience despite the difficulties 2020 placed around us, challenged me to think differently. I had worked in radio and tv 25 years ago, and was fascinated by podcasting, but the restraints of our situation finally made me take the leap into a new medium. I love storytelling and had enjoyed writing and speaking to large groups before, but this exercise, of voicing to an imaginary friend these love letters, has kindled new possibilities in my life. I still love books and art, but now I can love with my voice too, and highlight our shared humanity and invite us all to live within the arms of Compassion.

What advice would you give to someone who's considering registering for the ACT Program?

 I feel I had always felt that I had one clear job as a human being, to be light wherever and whenever I could and I had kept that conviction as my North as I lived through different stages in my life. However, I always felt there was an overarching theme to my existence that I couldn’t label or see clearly. Finding the ACA container, the teachers, and the extraordinary group of caring individuals that have stepped up to be Ambassadors of Compassion has given a depth to my daily tasks, whether they entail tending for my family or writing a book, creating art or speaking or listening to another human being. I feel that I was a raging current of ideas and desires and now, my river has found a bed.

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Be the change!

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