Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day of the Child

During October, Salvadoran communities celebrate the Day of the child. Officially, the celebration date is October 1st, but it seems like the whole month of October is an opportunity for schools and churches and communities to have special fiestas, field trips, and educational events which lift up the well-being of children.

This week, I have been receiving emails from some of the Lutheran Church sister communities. Each message has been a positive expression of the cooperation which is taking place between the federal government, local officials, heath workers, youth groups, and the church. Kids are having fun and staying safe, receiving check-ups, eating cake, laughing with clowns, playing with toys, breaking piƱatas, singing, dancing, watching puppet shows, eating cookies and jello and working with teachers to learn more about the rights of children.

One of my favorite Day of the Child memories was a visit Greasy and I had with our sister church school. The kindergarten, first and second grade students dressed in traditional costumes and shared
folk dances. The little boys had mustaches and whiskers drawn onto their faces, and proudly wore their straw hats. The girls wore their hair in braids and had beautiful full circle skirts decorated with rick-rack. One lucky little one had the honor of being the bull during the dancing of El Torito Pinto. The school moms were gathered in the back of the school, and after the dancing, they brought out tamales for all to share.

It is a beautiful thing, to celebrate the wonder, the play and the lives of children.

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