Lloyd shows what an empty bowl can do


Photo courtesy of: Liz Lloyd

Art teacher Liz Llyod (right) and Emely (left), the Nicaraguan child she sponsors, paint an owl together. Lloyd’s yearly donations allow Emely to attend school.

A bowl, while simple to some, can make a big difference for others.

WHHS art teacher Liz Lloyd travelled to Nicaragua with the organization Rayo de Sol last summer. Originally she went to train teachers, as they don’t receive much professional training, but she soon found herself wanting to go above and beyond to give back to the communities she found.

After seeing the level of poverty and the living situations for people living there, Lloyd felt like she had to help. “When I met these people, I started learning about the culture. I saw the good things that the organization was doing,” Lloyd said. “I wanted to be a part of that. I knew I couldn’t just up and quit my job, but I knew that I could do something.”

Rayo de Sol is an organization based on Christian principles founded by Peter Schaller, in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, with corporate offices in Atlanta, Georgia.

According to their website rayodesol.org, and their YouTube channel, the organization is involved with a little bit of everything, from education to community development. They even give grants to Nicaraguans trying to start businesses and learn trades.

Lloyd purchased 15 aprons from a Nicaraguan women’s sewing group to use for her classes that received a grant from Rayo de Sol.

Rayo de Sol provided them with the resources to buy what they needed, such as sewing machines and fabric, and to sell what they make.

But Rayo de Sol doesn’t stop there. The organization also gives scholarships to kids wanting to go to high school. In Nicaragua, kids usually won’t go to school past the eighth grade, as their parents need them to work.

Additionally, high schools there are private, and most people can’t afford them. Families are able to go to organizations like Ray de Sol to help pay.

Rayo de Sol either gives them a scholarship, or people can volunteer to sponsor a child. It only cost 300 dollars a year to send a Nicaraguan child to high school. Lloyd sponsors a 5-year-old named Emely.

“Three hundred bucks for a kid to go to school for a whole year. That provides their transportation, meals at school, their tuition, and their books and uniform,” Llyod said. Here, we spend more than that on televisions, clothes, shows, and more.

Rayo De Sol also provide cisterns, which are big barrels that collect rain water, to Nicaraguan families.

“They can get water from it to bathe, wash their clothes and to get drinking water from. It is enough to last them three or four months where, in comparison in the States, we would go through one of those a week. So they conserve, and they have clean water because of that,” Lloyd said.

Three hundred bucks for a kid to go to school for a whole year. That provides their transportation, meals at school, their tuition, and their books and uniform.”

— Liz Lloyd

After learning about all of the issues Nicaraguans face day to day, she jumped into action with her mind set on helping.

Lloyd planned her Empty Bowl Fundraiser. She is going to have students from all of her art classes make bowls with the help of Emily Hanes, her student teacher from Xavier University who is majoring in Art Education with a concentration in Ceramics. Lloyd and Hanes also plan to reach out to local organizations for funding.

The bowls will then be sold for 10 dollars each at the Spring Art Show on April 30, with the money going back to Rayo de Sol.

What Lloyd wants people to understand is that while things may seem bad, other people have it harder and can still be happy and joyful.

“The biggest takeaway is that what we have no matter how hard it is, no matter who’s leading our country, it is so much worse in other places, and then those people can still be happy every day and still be joyful and kind,” Lloyd said.