It may only be November but there is no escaping the fact that Christmas is just around the corner. In Cusco Christmas celebrations are a wonderful mix of old Andean traditions and the more familiar celebrations that arrived with the Spanish conquistadors and Catholicism in the 16th Century. Despite December 25th being right in the middle of the rainy season, nothing puts a dampener on celebrations for the exuberant Peruvians.
Christmas in the village
Less than an hour outside of Cusco is the village of Oropesa, home to Picaflor House, and even here everyone looks forward to Christmas too. Celebrations will not be as cosmopolitan or as glamorous as the street parades and huge markets in Cusco, but even a small scale celebration is a change from everyday life for the hard-working villagers.
For the children of Picaflor House, Christmas means one thing – Chocolate! Or to be more precise a ‘chocolatada’ - a traditional Christmas treat of mugs of delicious spiced hot chocolate and wedges of scrummy sweet panettone. The Picaflor House chocolatada is funded each year by one of our local business partners, Southern Crossings Tours to whom we are extremely grateful. Christmas without a chocolatada for the children of the project would be like Christmas without presents for children in the UK or Australia or the US.
There's more to life than study!
At Picaflor House it’s not just about academic classes, it’s also about allowing these disadvantaged children to enjoy being children which is why the project takes a holistic approach to our programme. Arts and crafts, games, sport, music and dance are as important as Maths, Spanish and English! And being able to enjoy Christmas like everyone else is important too.
We also teach about health and hygiene, including the importance of regular teeth cleaning - especially important after those sweet Christmas treats - and thanks to one generous donor every child at Picaflor House receives a piece of fresh fruit every day.
We thank all our supporters who make it possible for us to give so much to the fantastic children of Picaflor House, all year round. Please help spread the word about our work by sharing this with your friends. Thank you!
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