Text and photos by Elizabeth Barnes (unless otherwise noted)
Last week we started a blog series on the activities we've held in the last month or so at the Family Support Center. Today is the last regular day of the project for 2016. As the kids are enjoying a water balloon fight and afternoon movie in Llanos del Pinal, we're looking back on one of the funnest days of school vacation: Halloween!
Director of Social Projects Carmen de Alvarado invited some helpers to Pop Wuj on the morning of October 28 to prepare pumpkin pie for the Halloween party. Older students who aged out of the Family Support Center came from Llanos del Pinal (no easy feat given that unexpectedly, no buses were running that day!), and long-time Pop Wuj volunteer Ashley Aue brought participants from her new project, Pathways, serving adults with developmental disabilities in Xela.
|We used every part of the pumpkin—the seeds for roasting, the insides for pie, and the shells for jack o'lanterns! (Photo by Marie Barranco, Pop Wuj Social Work Spanish student)|
|Carmen and our bakers roll out dough for pie crust! The pies turned out absolutely delicious, but they didn't last long enough to be properly documented by our photographers. (Photo by Marie Barranco)|
That afternoon, with dozens of pies of all sizes baked, we packed up in a hastily rented minibus to head out to the FSC Halloween party.
|Trying to get everyone to keep their costume on, hold still, not show off their karate kicks, look at the camera, and smile at the same time proved to be the scariest part of Halloween.|
Costumes on, we gathered in the party room to tell scary stories.
|The room was lit only by jack o'lanterns.|
|Spooky jack o'lantern light completes Ilcy's witch look.|
The kids and Carmen took turns telling scary stories. In Carmen's tale, dogs howled as the dead walked past. She asked the kids over and over, "What did the dogs do?" and over and over, they howled.
Stories told, we turned the lights back on, had pumpkin pie, and set up trick-or-treating. Kids approached Pop Wuj students in pairs to say either "Trick or Treat!" or "¡Dulce o Truco!"
|Wilson and Manuel choose from mini Halloween notebooks offered by Pop Wuj Medical Spanish student Katrina. Another student, Will, handed out candy at the next trick-or-treating station.|
Halloween is always a blast. After our party on Friday the 28th, the FSC had a few days of vacation for the children to celebrate Día de los Muertos (or Día de Todos los Santos) with their families. Check out our next blog post to see what they've been up to since then!
|"Can you smile, Andrea?"|