This is cross-posted in the Huffingtonpost Impact Section.
Carla Moreno is one fascinating woman. A prolific writer, videographer, and humanitarian, she has traveled the world on a continuous quest for cross-cultural exchange. This has provided an amazing opportunity to document and enrich her understanding of musical traditions from every corner of the world.
When you talk with her, you can tell she has an unshakable passion for world music. Not simply because music often does bring us together. That's only part of it. For Moreno, it's about digging deeper, and looking at how music serves different functions, saves lives, and effects social change. Not to mention the interesting stories behind the music makers themselves.
As a resident of Seattle, she is keenly aware of the area's rich musical heritage. From Native Americans to Jimi Hendrix to the infectious energy of the grunge era, she understands the many genres -- rock, jazz, hip-hop, classical -- that connect powerfully with international sounds and styles. This is part of what she teaches in music classes to homeless and immigrant families -- an amazing job made possible through the nonprofit youth organization Arts Corp and the Low Income Housing Institute.
With Jordan's Queen Rania
(Photo Courtesy of Queen Rania's Media Dept.)
In an African Fishing Village
(Photo Courtesy of Sherri)
In the Brazilian Rainforest with the Satare Maue Tribe
(Photo Courtesy of Augusto Queiroz)
In fact, her love of music, culture and education won her a one-week trip to the country of Jordan last Fall. It was made possible through Queen Rania's popular and well-publicized Twisit Jordan Contest. Visiting the country was an eye-opening experience that shattered some stereotypes, inspired greater curiosity, and deepened her love of humanity even more.
I know this because I talked with her before and after she came back from Jordan. I have never traveled internationally, so I look forward to her stories about kayaking, hiking, and soaking up the eye-popping geography on continent after continent. She is never without her camera and her megawatt smile. Indeed, I know what Marcel Proust meant when he said, "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
Yes, Carla Moreno rocks, and makes an impact wherever she goes. Her stories are written with a great respect for the culture she's documenting, and her actions give rhythm to her rich, expansive worldview. This is an immensely creative person living an extraordinary story, and the world is a great place because of it.
Moreno and her students
(Photo Courtesy of Zahara)
To find out more about Carla Moreno, follow her on her Twitter feed and connect with her through her website.