While our Canadian friends were just starting the new school year yesterday, and American friends recovering from Labour Day celebrations, here in Monteverde we were already one month into the school year and busy celebrating our children. Costa Rica’s annual “Dia del Nino” (Day of the Child) is a day much enjoyed by young and old alike, especially at the Monteverde Friends School.
The day began with each homeroom creating a mural by tracing body parts on huge poster paper. Happy faces and painted hands then filed into the meeting room for our usual Wednesday morning Quaker meeting. As often happens this day, the gathering was graced by some beautiful testimonials about the value of children and childhood, and reminders to hold in the light those many children who do not experience the joys and freedoms that most of us enjoy.
Then children were allowed to choose 6 items – including a minimum 2 fruits, though most took more – from the delicious buffet prepared by volunteer parents. After that, they split into the same multi-age groups as from Community Service Day and rotated around 10 fun & games sections. From dress-up relays, trampoline and face-painting to the magical shoe race, co-operative musical chairs and ice-cream, children of all ages were enchanted, helping each other, and simply Playing as children ought to.