African American Studies
INTERVIEWER: Lisa Betty, Mark Naison
INTERVIEWEE: Wanny Angerer
SUMMARY BY: Grace D’Ambrosio
Born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Wanny Angerer is the founder of several global social movements. Her parents both came from small Garifuna communities and moved to larger cities to further their own education as well as expand the opportunities available to their children. Wanny’s family, including her grandparents, were leading members of the Garifuna cultural movement in Honduras. In her early years, Wanny and her siblings were raised to value education, spirituality, and community service. From a young age she was taking music and dance classes and would spend her weekends teaching what she had learned to other children in her neighborhood. From 1883 to 1984, Wanny studied as an exchange student in Rockford, Illinois, where she learned English and began her journey of engaging with new cultures. Upon her return, Wanny spent ten years as a hosting coordinator for exchange students in Honduras, giving her the opportunity to connect with people from around the globe. At the same time, she continued to perform in music and the arts. Using these skills, in 1995, Wanny founded Mujeres en las Artes, Honduras (Women in the Arts, Honduras), an organization dedicated to cultural arts development.
In 1997, Wanny and her family began their journey around the world. Following her husband (a worker for the United Nations) Wanny moved first to Zimbabwe for four and a half years, then to Colombia for five years, then India for four years, Panama for three and a half years, Kenya for four and a half years, and finally Thailand where she has been living since 2018. During her years living in these countries, Wanny developed a format for finding her space in a new environment. First, she does a “mapping” where she searches for things she loves and is passionate about. Then, she scouts out talent and educators that have something to share with others. Finally, she gets involved in the cultural and educational projects that she has found. Using this formula, Wanny created her organization Moving Cultures. Moving Cultures is dedicated to producing events, workshops, and learning experiences all over the world. Under Moving Cultures cultural exchange and art is utilized as a way to educate and empower communities. Wanny has expanded Moving Cultures into every place she has lived. The organization now has branches in Honduras, Kenya, Columbia, India, Zimbabwe, Thailand, and Panama. Under the umbrella of Moving Cultures, Wanny has other programs and movements dedicated to empowering people, particularly women, globally. She runs Ponchos Wanayran, where she uses her own business model to teach women about entrepreneurship, as well as Women of the World, which highlights women’s achievements all around the world.
Through her travels, Wanny has created a global community of educators, musicians, and artists. Her personal connection to music plays a large role in her efforts around the world. She brings musicians to her home and creates musical fusions (mostly centering around jazz) that can be found under Wanny Angerer on SoundCloud. Wanny has dedicated her life to creating moments of cross-cultural exchange in an effort to educate people all around the world. Her projects and organizations empower people to learn from others as well as sharing their own cultural experiences.
Naison, Mark, "Wanny Angerer Interview" (2023). Oral Histories. 356.