The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Las Manos de Christine
On March 4th, 2014, the kids are having a particularly hard time concentrating on their work. It’s Carnaval, and here in Guatemala that means that later in the day they will get to hurl handfuls (and empty egg shells full) of confetti on each other. Before that though they have to make it through a few more hours of school.
Up in the town of El Hato, the public primary school bustles with activity during the week. Las Manos de Christine and the public school have been working together for several years now, originally only with English classes but now all types of collaboration is taking place. Thirty-seven preschoolers sing a song about elephants in the classroom that Las Manos built last year; preschools are still relatively rare in Guatemala, especially in rural and poor communities, and by having one in El Hato the school is hoping to be able to decrease the number of students that fail first grade and drop out of school. Down past the new library where Alejandra the librarian is cataloguing books, the first graders are coloring in fish to decorate the English classroom.
Finally it’s time for recess (and for today, the end of classes), and the kids race out into the courtyard. Soon it’s a free-for-all as confetti (or “pica-pica” as it’s called in Guatemala) flies through the air. They happily hurl it on everyone (including visitors) until the ground is rainbow colored, before waving cheerful goodbye’s as they race out of the school and towards home.
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