Summer should be a time for fun, relaxation, and vacation, but for many youth in under-privileged communities, summer can be a stressful time for working families without resources or opportunities for places to send their kids. That is why every summer the Julio Otoni Center organizes a week-long Colonia de Ferias, or Summer Camp, providing fun and educational activities to the kids in the community. The summer camp began before Carnival, with four days of different activities organized by a team of international volunteers. Each day there were 25-30 kids eagerly waiting to see what that day had in store. There was a day of sports, a day of art projects about their community, a day of singing and music, and culminating with a day of wacky competitions such as spelling bees, trivia, and other brain teasers! After Carnival the group came back together the following Thursday for a field trip! 16 kids and 7 volunteers went to Casa do Pontal, a museum of popular Brazilian art and folklore from the 20th century. When the group arrived they were greeted by what one volunteer described as a “pied piper”, leading the group with guitar and song through the museum. “The kids were captivated by the theatrical presentation of their guide, as were we! She managed to bring to life folk history and to get the children involved as well. It was brilliant," reported one volunteer. “My favorite part was the puppet show! I got to be the bull,” said one student about acting out a popular folk tale. The museum is located in Recreio, a neighborhood just outside of downtown Rio. The children were glued to the window during the 90 minute bus ride, passing through the famous beach neighborhoods of São Conrado, and Barra. While these places are only located a few kilometers away from where they live, many of the children had never seen these neighborhoods, nor the open ocean. On the way home from the museum, the group stopped in São Conrado to watch the para gliders and hang gliders jumping from the mountains above and landing on the beach. Rio de Janeiro is a city rich with cultural centers and activities. With your donations and support, we can continue to offer and expand upon these opportunities to the youth of the Julio Otoni Community. We also hope to expand our Colonia de Ferias to longer than one week, for the upcoming winter holidays in July, and the following summer. From Rio, we thank you
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Rio de Janeiro,
Rio de Janeiro,