In the absence of university groups, the after-schoolers in Tecuanípan have amped up curiosity and creativity, effectively launching themselves into several long-term projects at once!
After thinking back to the afternoon by the river where we filled bags full of plastic bottles, we spent another day cutting, painting, and fixing our newfound waste into beautiful hummingbird feeders, complete with attractive red designs that the colibris won’t be able to resist. And no need to buy birdseed; these guys sip a sweet cocktail of water and sugar.
With the help of our new volunteer, Rachel, the program has begun its own garden. We learned about nature’s cycle of growth and decomposition through a discussion on compost—what goes in it, how to make it, and how to use it. Divided into 3 teams, we sifted compost, prepared beds, and planted seeds. With a little TLC and some sun and water we should be able to make ourselves an afternoon snack in a matter of weeks.
Our third project is composed of a few different stages, and exercises creativity while engaging ideas on social behavior and identity. First, each student was asked to think about the qualities that set him/her apart from the others in the class. Differentiating between physical appearance and internal characteristics proved quite a challenge. Next students worked on creating their own characters, drawing inspiration from people they know or from fiction. At the moment we are in the process of creating masks which the kids will paint in the image of their created characters. Finally, they will write a monologue to perform while wearing their masks in front of the class. For example, Reyna has chosen to be a butterfly…she’s begun to imagine how the world looks from high in the sky, how it feels to have wings instead of arms, and will hopefully share some of those thoughts with the rest of us!