El Dia de los Ninos
The Day of the Children, in Isla Mujeres is a day completely devoted to children. This celebration occurs every year on April 30th. It is a day of fun, fiestas, and what else… candy. Classroom learning stops for this day as the children enjoy music, food, clowns, sugar rushes, games, piñatas, and fun.
For those of us here at Volunquest, it a busy and eventful day. We were able to get 14 piñatas generously donated from people all around the world who care about our cause. We are currently working in fourteen first and second grade classrooms. We were able to provide each of those classrooms their own piñata. We were then also able to fill these with toys, pencils, rulers, balloons, erasers (you would not believe how coveted they are here), and, of course, candy.
We began our day by transporting our piñatas which were a variety of minions (characters from the movie Despicable Me) and superheroes with a Pepper Pig thrown in for good measure. We took each of these to our classrooms in the three schools we work in: Andres, Cesar Mendosa, and Julio. Our first stop was Andres. They were definitely having a party. They had music blasting, delicious food cooking, and children laughing. They have the biggest courtyard of all the schools, and they put it to good use. The children were running and playing. There were some who had come with sparkling princess dresses. Others who had gotten their faces painted. There were no school uniforms in sight. There were teachers who had taken a great deal of time and put a lot of effort into giving the students a wonderful day. Some had decorated their own classrooms and given the students a smaller celebration with presents and cake. Other students were less fortunate on this day and must have been misbehaving quite badly, for they were kept from the celebrations and left to think about what they had done. After we dropped the piñatas at Andres we were in a rush to drop the rest, so we could watch they break them open. Watching 14 classes smash 14 piñatas can be a very taxing day.
Next, we were rushing to Cesar Mendosa in time to drop all of the piñatas to the rightful classes and return to watch them become pieces on the ground. We managed to get to Cesar Mendosa with enough time to say a quick hello and leave the piñatas with the teachers. Cesar Mendosa, has a smaller courtyard was having a smaller party with just as much fun. Most of the school and a few family members were standing at the sidelines watching two teams of students race each other by hopping one at a time in cloth bags down the court. One teacher made this particularly entertaining by voicing the actions of the participants rather loudly and with a rather hilarious voice. I wasn’t able to understand the words, but it was funny even still.
Finally, we reached Julio. Here we took a break and enjoyed some of the food they were serving. Meat and tortillas are a good combination. Here we had time to watch the classes open their piñatas before leaving and watching the rest of the classes break theirs open as well. The process involves all students getting a turn to hit and then the teacher finishing the job and throwing candy and the presents at the students which they loved. As I suggested before, those erasers went fast.