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Feb 12, 2020

Preparing for Gender Equality through Libraries

On the last months, we visited Chone, Mario Loor Neighborhood, and the project "Semillero de Líderes" of JCI, and the Annual Festival Canoa Fest, in Canoa, we brought a bunch of books and presented the puppets show "The paper bag princess", a story about Gender Roles and Happiness, it brings up questions about what it means to be in a role such as a princess, leading into the greater topic of one's identity in general.

We are working hard on preparing our mobile libraries became an educational tool for teaching gender equality, through the libraries we want to strengthen the self-esteem of girls and boys, so that they may know their potential, love each other, value each other, accept each other, and know how to bring about change. We also intend to raise awareness about gender roles in Ecuador, to question whether they are fair, and whether we can live with less prejudice, more liberty, and in peace. Before our sessions, we select 10 to 15 children´s books related to issues on gender equality. The children will have these books at their disposal to exlore freely, followed by a group reflection on the theme of the book.

We believe in the power of books to achieve gender equality by empowering girls and boys!






Feb 12, 2020

A lot of activities and celebrations!

Clara Luna has had an abundance of activities and celebrations over the past few months, starting in November. The theme for November’s Club de Niños was rebellious women. We read stories and learned about the lives of valiant women like Malala Yousafzai and the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic. At the end of the month we celebrated this inspirational theme with one of our events known as “Erase Una Vez” or “Once Upon a Time”. For this gathering, Club de Niños students set up stations to read aloud a selection of stories to their parents. A group of five students also put on a puppet show called “La Princesa Vestida con una Bolsa de Papel”, which is about a princess who saves her prince and promptly leaves him in the dust when he criticizes her appearance instead of thanking her. It sends a great message of women’s empowerment and keeps parents and kids entertained. Afterwards we all gathered to enjoy hot chocolate and rosquitas. Also in November, our club of teenagers started their work on our community library, set to open this spring. For two and a half hours every Saturday morning, this group of ten adolescents selects the books to be displayed, mainly literature in Spanish and English, and organizes and labels them in accordance with the Dewey Decimal System.


In December, we brought 2019 to a close with our annual Christmas party. 32 families and 60 kids joined us for a night of celebration that included choreographed dances and puppet shows put on by our students. When we resumed our regular programming in January, we held two sessions of our “Cuentos en la Plaza: Mobile Libraries” in Puerto López’s San Jacinto neighborhood. We enjoyed bringing books to a group of 15 kids in the area and reading with them. Again we performed “La Princesa Vestida con una Bolsa de Papel”. It was lovely to see how pleased the children were watching the clever princess. For our second session, we read stories by Anthony Browne and everyone made a drawing of his main character, the kind gorilla Willy.


Dec 17, 2019

Women and Girl's empowerment at Clara Luna

There has been a lot going on at Clara Luna in the past few months. September, October, and November were filled with an array of themes for Children’s Club, from King Kong and climate change to women’s empowerment and Ecuadorian legends. Throughout September we read Anthony Browne’s King Kong book and followed it up with crafts inspired by the book. At the end of September, to honor 2019’s Climate Strike, we held an event for the Children’s Club in a local park, reading children’s books on the environment and finishing the evening with a play put on by the kids! In October, in the spirit of Halloween and Día de los Muertos, we read spooky legends from Ecuador, including “La Dama Tapada”, “La Mano Negra”, and “Las Brujas Blancas”. To end October we hosted an event where our Children’s Club participants read these traditional stories to their parents. Afterwards, a group of children performed a muppet rendition of “Davilara, el Rey de la Bomba”, based on the award-winning book “A ritmo endiablado de bomba” written by Marco Chamorro and Alice Bossut. In November, we shifted the focus of our club to women’s and girls’ empowerment throughout the globe, reading stories about inspirational individuals like Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic. As always, we followed our stories with arts & crafts, such as making homemade medals for our students to present to their mothers.


In September we restarted our Youth Club on Saturdays with pre-teens. For this we start with English lessons for an hour and then move on to activities that mirror the Childrens’ Club but more advanced, both technically and thematically.


For the children’s English classes, in September we learned about haikus and names of foods. One class included a blindfolded fruit tasting game which our students loved. In October we covered a wide variety of topics, getting help from two Swiss volunteers to take over the classes. In November, we learned about different English-speaking countries, discovering the traditional foods, dances, and some slang from countries such as Jamaica and Ireland. For the adults’ English classes, we continued our usual bi-weekly lessons on grammar and new vocabulary. For our Intercambio, or language exchange, we played many language-learning games enjoyed by our participants from Ecuador, Germany, the United States, France, Belgium, and Switzerland.


It was a busy and very enjoyable few months, and we hope to continue this action-packed schedule into 2020!

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