Saturday, June 16, 2018

"Buenas Tardes" from the Family Support Center

Text by Amy Scheuren
Photos by Santos Istazuy Perez

For most of our international Pop Wuj students and volunteers, visiting the Family Support Center is one of the memorable experiences in Guatemala. Although every year brings new changes and new participants, the Family Support Center always provides nutritious food, academic support, and a safe place for children to learn, grow, and play. We’d like to share what’s new!

At the end of 2017 we said goodbye to four long-time Family Support Center participants who graduated from both primary school and the project. These students continue to receive scholarships from Pop Wuj, and Family Support Center’s staff and materials are available to support their education as needed.

In 2018 the Family Support Center is serving 30 children—a big jump from 25 the last two years!

In March we were all excited for the buildup to Semana Santa and Easter. The children made bunny masks and enjoyed an Easter egg hunt.  Each year we incorporate aspects of Easter celebrations from Guatemala and other countries around the world into our celebration. Our snack stayed on theme with a hard-boiled egg!

One activity reviewed some of the themes of Easter (clockwise from top left): resurrection, reproduction, happiness, reflection, life, fertility, and spring.
Three bunnies chow down on hard-boiled eggs at the Family Support Center Easter celebration.

With all the children in the masks they decorated, the Family Support Center was full of colorful bunnies.
More bunnies enjoy their eggs. Our snacks are on-theme!
This year we also launched Buenas Tardes activities every afternoon.  During Buenas Tardes, we gather all the children and staff in the yard to greet each other and share news about upcoming activities at the Family Support Center.  We also teach about values using games and dynamic activities.

Buenas Tardes is an opportunity not only to share with each other but also to strengthen language development. Everyone speaks Spanish in the project, but some staff also speak English and/or K'iche', the local indigenous Mayan language. Despite K'iche' being a required class in primary school, usually only older adults in the community speak it in their daily lives. At Buenas Tardes Family Support Ccenter staff introduce new words in English and K'iche' in an easy, fun, and meaningful way.

One afternoon the children played a racing game. Each pair had to use communication and teamwork skills to race with the balloon between them—and also had a great time.

Moving a balloon is harder with no hands!
Whatever its teamwork and communication-building merits, balloon racing was also a great time.
Stayed tuned for more updates from the Family Support Center.  If you'd like to support the 30 children who participate in the project, please donate to our US partner, Foundation Todos Juntos, and indicate that you would like your donation to support the Family Support Center.

No comments:

Post a Comment