June 25th marks the Day of the Teacher. Guatemala is a country that loves celebrations therefore, in addition to the expected holidays to honor mothers and fathers, we also celebrate children, saints and teachers.
Our staff at La Puerta Abierta has grown to an impressive number of 17 over the past 10 years which includes our master teachers, teachers in training, volunteers, secretaries and PE teachers. Upon visiting our center, you can quickly feel the joy that our educators emit while they work. We teach with a philosophy of love, kindness, acceptance and respect for our school community.
We work hard, with heart and soul, day by day.
And then, once a year in June, we stop to reflect on our hard work, our progress and our transformations.
We rest, and we play.
This year, we celebrated El Dia del Maestro on the Pacific Coast at the Mystical Farm at El Paredon. We swam in the ocean (some for the first time), we walked the sandy shores and collected shells, we shared meals and stories, we napped, we explored a lagoon of turtles and we ran like children under the rain.
This is how we do it at La Puerta Abierta.
Written by: Isaias, Traveling Librarian Extraordinaire
Today I visited the Maya Tzutujil School and the ADISA Special Education Center in Santiago Atitlan. I shared the story, Duck on the Bike by the celebrated children’s author David Shannon. I was surprised by the enthusiasm which radiated from the students, especially when they had the opportunity to “stamp” their hands in white paint to create the figure of a duck with their fingers and palms. They loved feeling the sensation of the squishy liquid paint between their fingers.
Before creating their white painted ducks, local students enjoyed listening to the weekly story hour where we explored farm life and the animals on the farm where Duck lives. The story came to life with animal sounds and the children delighted in helping me make the tink-tink of the bicycle bell.
My time at ADISA is always heart-felt. Antonio, a student with spinal cord injuries spends the majority of his day in a wheel chair. He shared that he particularly liked today’s story, and imagined himself in his wheeled “vehicle” just like Duck on his bicycle.
I am grateful for our supporters of the traveling library program who in turn, provide me with the oportunity to bring story hours and plentiful smiles to rural school children in our community. Thank you!