El Día de los Niño’s Children’s Day

As told by Katie Reed

On September 10th Honduras celebrated Children’s Day. The team was invited to a nearby school in Cayantu to participate in their festivities. We had such a great time! We arrived to see the school decorated with balloons and signs, one even thanking Pure Water for the World. The children, teachers, and parents were excited to see us. They showed us to the back of the school where they had chairs set up us to watch the children play field day type games.

The first game was a sac race. They had a boy and girl champion. Then, they invited the PWW team to participate. Fredy, Luis, Mario, and Wesley, who works in the environmental office of the local government, lined up at the start. They hopped their way down and back about 50 feet. There was pushing and shoving and more than one person fell down. In the end Luis won by a margin (after he playfully elbowed Fredy into the fence). They are a competitive bunch. The kids played a couple of other games. They laughed and we laughed along with them, realizing that everyone has fun in the same language.

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The highlight of the games were the 5 piñatas. The kids were blindfolded and then allowed to take a few swings. The teacher made it more interesting by raising and lowering the piñata with the rope it was attached to. “Arriba”, “Abajo”, “Izquerida”, “Derecha” (Up, down, left, right) they yelled, trying to help their classmates find the elusive piñata. Once the candy would start falling, the kids would attack. The teacher had to quickly step in to take the stick away and un-blindfold the student. It was an intense. For the last piñata, they gave the Pure Water team a chance to take a few swings. Since the guys participated in the sac race, they let us ladies take care of it. I don’t think I’m a big fan of piñatas. But the kids had fun, and that’s all that matters.

After the games we all (PWW staff, kids, parents) sat down for a lunch provided by the mothers of the children. It is corn harvesting season, so the theme was “things prepared from corn”. There was fried ground corn, covered in sugar. It reminded me of a thick funnel cake. It was very good. The main course was a fried empanada made of a corn tortilla filled with potatoes and other vegetables. It was topped with grated cabbage. They had a vanilla cake for dessert.

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The games were fun and lunch was yummy, but the main event was the uniform giving ceremony. Every year the children receive one uniform for school. The uniform is a white shirt, navy blue pants for boys or a navy blue skirt for girls, white socks, and black shoes. The kids try on the outfits at school to make sure everything fits. They looked so cute. Some of them would come out proud that their uniform fits, others would come out holding up their pants and shuffling around in too big shoes. The kindergarteners and then the main school kids all posed for a couple of pictures. You could tell the parents and children were very grateful. It is exciting that we can help contribute their education in this small way.

It was a full day, but it’s a tradition I’m glad I got to experience.