Many thanks to Videographer – Yoko Nishi and Video Editor – Geoff Lawrence for sharing their creativity in this video.
The Celebration of Feliz Navidad began with little angels, shepherds and an indigenous King and Queen. Imagine 30 children, all between the ages of 3 and 4 entertaining us with song and dance.
It was a misty rainy day as 15 of my gringo friends packed themselves into two vans around 9:00am and we headed to the school in Agualonga that so many of you have helped to support over the years. We were loaded with presents, cookies, candy and popcorn. Of course Santa was on board, with Mrs. Santa Claus and all the elves.
As we drove down the bumpy road to the school we passed mothers and children who were walking a great distance to get to the school. We were greeted by young children and a teacher. On arrival, we were ushered to the lower level of the school, which has a dirt floor. The surprise was on us – the room was decorated with tree branches in one corner, chairs to seat many people (all in bad shape) and wooden benches to accommodate the crowd that would soon arrive.
Everyone had a place to sit and we had many mothers with toddlers and babies carried on their backs and even some little ones nursing. The villagers, about 65 children and 45 adults, were ready for us.
The show began with the little angels and shepherds singing and dancing. The King and Queen were sitting on little chairs and I was honored to be asked to put the velvet cape on the queen as she was crowned.
Much to my surprise a speech was made by the teacher, and the little children brought me gifts and cards. I felt very emotional as they had made a beautiful tapestry for the wall, engraved in Spanish so that I would remember Agualongo School. Also a boy and girls indigenous dolls were given to me with head bands saying “Feliz Navidad to Micky.”
This was all in appreciation of the work that has been accomplished to update this school. I sincerely say thank you from my heart for all the financial donations that made this possible. Please remember, this is a poor village and they celebrated our coming with many heartwarming surprises.
A piñata started off the party before Santa distributed gifts. As the piñata broke and candy floated to the floor, the children excitedly gathered them up. Next, the children invited us to dance with them and we ended by dancing in a circle to the music. We even had a small version of musical chairs!
Now it was time for Santa! The children lined up and received all their goodies – we had enough for 65 children from infants to those under 5 years. I have learned that when there is a celebration in a village, be prepared, as you never know how many people will show. A few more games were played with the indigenous adults and the teachers gave out a few small prizes.
Next we were asked to go up to the classroom where food was to be served. The room had some old tables and chairs, but we had a great time. We were each served an ear of corn and some large beans along with a fruit drink. It was a sacrifice for them to have something for 15 people, and we felt very humbled and grateful.
We asked the teacher how we could help with another project. The answer was a large concrete patio play area in front of the school. It was nothing but mud yesterday because of the rain. Much to my surprise the cost would be around $350 and the village people would do the work themselves. One of my generous friends at the party donated $100 immediately toward this project.
Again, I thank you all for your past support and hope you will help us raise the $250 that is needed for this next project to improve the school for these dear children.
You’re welcome to make donation on my website: www.EcuadorProjectHope.com. We also welcome donations mailed to: Ecuador Project Hope, 2316 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, Florida 34109
Blessings to all,
Thanks to Yoko and Geoff of Cotacachi for their help producing this video. You’re welcome to visit their website on keeping fit over 50 here at www.50plus-fitness-walking.com