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Christmas Celebration at the Pre-School in Caluquí Alto

{Originally posted February 13th, 2014}

Caluquí is an Indigenous community north of Quito. It’s on a mountainside above Lago San Pablo and one can see the lake from the children’s playground. Being surrounded by green fields; the volcano, Imbabura; and steep hillsides is probably many a home owners dream. Unfortunately, many in this area may live in a beautiful place, but they may not have much to make a comfortable life.

For this reason, it is traditional for FEDICE to give gifts to the small children where they are involved. The pre-school in Caluquí Alto is named after Violet Groth Vaca (one of FEDICE’s co-founders.

Glenn and I, along with Blanca, Luis, and Sebastian of FEDICE, all went to the Sunday Christmas party for the children who attend the pre-school. Part of Victor Vaca’s family also drove up from Quito to attend the party and to provide a clown, a bunny, and an elf for entertainment.

Around 11:30, the fun began. People from FEDICE were introduced; the president of Caluquí spoke; and the president of the parent’s group spoke. A few games were played, like musical chairs and hit the piñata.

Five teachers and one recruit danced a lovely, traditional dance.

And then, the real fun began. The clown came out of the school onto the patio and invited the children to participate. Their attention was immediately captured as the clown and her assistants asked the children to call out for Mrs. Santa to come visit. She arrived in short order. Then there was a call for Mr. Claus. When he arrived, he passed out toys and bags of sweets. Much of these gifts came from FEDICE and from the parent’s group. Even if the smallest children did not quite get what was going on, their older siblings did. It was very interesting to see the younger and older children sharing with each other.

FEDICE makes sure that these small children get at least some toys at Christmas time. They also help provide a party where the children and their parents can laugh and enjoy themselves. Life in the communities often involves very hard work, long days, and work 6 or 7 days a week, without much remuneration. The people’s hope is in their children who are very much loved.

We thank God that your interest, prayers, and support of FEDICE helps make “hope” a part of living in this Ecuadorian community.

By Marilyn Cooper

Volunteer with FEDICE

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