El Día del Cariño
Celebrating Valentine's Day in Guatemala
February 18, 2013 - Guatemala
The children at the home in Guatemala celebrated El Día del Cariño, or Saint Valentine’s Day, with activities during the week of February 14th. Staff and volunteers at Casa San Andrés organized Valentine’s themed events for the kids, and the older youths also prepared Cariño activities amongst themselves.
Volunteers began the celebrations with a Día del Cariño Kermés on Saturday, February 9th. Kermés is a weekend event for the children living at the home with several entertaining activities and a snack for the kids. This Kermés event included face painting, Valentine’s card making, and a station where the kids could take group photographs together.
Many of the kids continued their celebrations of Día del Cariño with their own events. In particular, the oldest girls at the home organized a secret gift exchange with one another in which each girl picked a slip of paper with a different girl’s name. During the week proceeding Valentine’s Day, the girls would deliver notes of friendship to their partners, and the activity finally culminated in a gift exchange where the secret friends revealed their identities on February 14th.
February 15th saw the final celebrations of Día del Cariño when the school hosted a full day of events for the students. This began with a Civic Assembly in which the kids pledged allegiance to their country, sang the Guatemalan national anthem, and celebrated “love” for their country.
Following the assembly, the children returned to their classrooms to prepare and enjoy a special mid-day snack. The rooms had previously been decorated for the holiday with each class making a display that demonstrated their understanding of friendship and love. Additionally, several classes practiced a Día del Cariño song, dance, or presentation and later performed it before their teacher and school director.
After the classroom activities, every student at Casa San Andrés went to the school’s dining hall for a dance competition. The competition was divided into two groups, one for the younger kids and one for the older kids. Each classroom was represented by a pair of children who danced to a number of songs in front of the whole student body. Applause from the audience decided who the winners of the competition were. Once the winners were chosen and the competition had ended, the other students went to the dance floor as well and danced to several songs.
With this, a fun week celebrating love, affection, and friendship ended, and students returned to their normal activities.