A Day in the Park with the Kinders

In the village of Quesería live the migrant workers and their families.  The workers go out into the sugar cane fields and cut cane, 9 hours per day, 6 days per week.  Fortunately for the families, Project Amigo has built a primary school on the grounds of the camp, and I understand that the government now considers it an official school.  One of the perks of being in school is the field trip. The children get to see things they ordinarily wouldn’t, such as the Turtle Sanctuary and the Pacific Ocean, as well as museums, etc.

Two days ago, they were able to just be children, having a picnic at the lake, being Little Jedi’s attempting to hit and break open a piñata and gather the sweets, play with hula hoops, go on the slide – and go on the ZIP-LINE over the lake.  It was wonderful to see the joy in their faces, and watch their individual personalities emerge, just as children everywhere do when in a safe and loving environment when they can just be themselves.

I saw one little girl who appears to be a natural-born leader, pulling other kids to various activities, playing mother to some. Instead of getting on the slide herself, I watched as she stood beside it, putting her arms around the ones coming down so they wouldn’t go too fast (even though the slide itself was only slightly taller than her tiny self), and telling the ones still on it to get off because another child was ready to slide down. And – she was very gentle with the shy ones.

Some were explorers, going to the edge of the lake, swatting the water with small, leafy branches, maybe to stir up whatever might be in the water, or maybe just to see how the water would react. Some just sat on the rocks and stared out at the beautiful scene of a body of water surrounded by greenery and the ever-present volcano in the background, or looking up at their friends and the adults on the zip-iine above their heads.

What I saw were potential artists, scientists, explorers, mothers, fathers, nurturers. For those souls brave enough, they went into the zip-line harness alone, some with their friends close together, and some in tandem, adult and child both in their own harnesses with the adult holding onto the child on the way down.  All in all, a wonderful day.12593745_1117198564978036_2880365560158877413_o

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