Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tu Puedes Hacer Todo: Celebrating International Women's Day

Text by Amalyah Leader, Photos by Allison Smith

On March 3rd, at the Family Support Center we celebrated International Women's Day! The day was full of puppet making, theater shows, and learning about strong Guatemalan women. Usually the older kids work on their homework in the afternoon, but four of them had finished early and so we quickly roped them in to helping us out with the little ones. Having already prepared a short script and a few puppets, our four new actors gathered together outside the classroom to rehearse. After going over the script once, we practiced speaking in loud voices and using our puppets as we talked.

Next, all of the little ones gathered together to watch the show. The older kids performed for the younger ones the story of a little girl who wanted to be the ruler of the forest of Llanos del Pinal but was saddened by her friends who told her that she couldn't because she was a girl. In the end the girl was comforted by her mother's wise words that told her, "Tu puedes hacer todo" or "You can do anything." The older kids definitely rose to the challenge of acting in front of their peers and were quickly contracted to perform it once again for the rest of the older children. They performed once again to much applause.

After the puppet show, the little ones made their own puppets.
Later, we combined both the older and middle groups together and paired them up. After introducing International Women's Day to them and explaining its importance we passed out little papers with different famous Guatemalan women and a small biography of each. The older kids worked with the younger ones who couldn't read to explain what the autobiography meant. The purpose of this activity was to expose them to women in their country who took or are taking initiative and leadership in their communities and to show them that women can do all sorts of things with their lives. They then created their own "autobiography" answering the questions such as: What is your favorite thing about your community/country? What would you like to change? What is an action you can take to make that change? In this way, the kids connected their lives to these women who took actions in their communities.

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