A Magical January

A Magical January at Clara Luna by Nina Unternährer

After the Christmas break we dove into the world of magic. The magic was amusing not only for the kids, but also for the volunteers. Ed, Lino, Paola, and Nina very enthusiastically practiced magic tricks, which they can presented to the kids. We became proper magicians and even amazed each other with our magical abilities.

The children from the “Club the de Niños” read by themselves, as usual, then Paola read them a related story about magic. Afterwards it was time for the show by our magicians. One after the other we showed our tricks; Lino had some card tricks, Ed had the magic two-dollar bill and the magic coins, Paola made the coins disappear and reappear and Nina had the magic flying bottle and the magic spoon. Wow, you should have seen the faces of the kids!!! Amazing! They were completely shocked, sitting there with their mouth wide open! We said, Mission Completed!

For our trip to the north we prepared the magical puppet show “El Mago de Oz” (The Wizard of Oz). For this we received help from the new volunteer Jade. Together we created the puppets, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion, Wizard and two Witches, one Good and of course, one Bad. Our first performance was before the assembled “Club the Ninos” on a Friday afternoon. They really enjoyed the show. After the performance, every kid made his own magic wand which completed the magical ambience.

After this first show we were ready to go on tour to the kids in the earthquake region up north. Very early Saturday morning we left by bus. Our troupe managed to inspire and fascinate these kids with the puppet show and our simple magic tricks. They also became true magicians with their self-made magic wands. It was an unforgettable experience for all of us.

With the “Club de Jóvenes” we looked at the subject evolution. We explained evolution to them, showed them videos and got them to know Charles Darwin and his evolution theory inspired by the Galapagos Islands.

To finish our magical month, we got totally bedazzled by the laughs, smiles and energy of the disabled kids during the surf lesson, simply magical!!!

Nina showing her Magic tricks “Sim Salabim”
There is not place like home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They got their Magic Sticks
Magical day with “glitter”, feather and tricks.

December at Clara Luna

December at CL by Lino Wiede

The beginning of December at Clara Luna was all about Human Rights. After coming back from the trip up north Paola, Antonia, and me, Lino, realized several ideas and projects to get the kids closer to the subject of Human Rights. We started off with creating a special “Clara Luna Human Rights Bill”. On a big wooden board the kids and their parents signed a declaration with their handprints in the colors of Ecuador. The declaration said: “Todos los seres humanos nacen libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos (All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights)”. The process of creating the declaration evoked emotions and a sensibility for the importance of maintaining these rights. We also introduced Club De Niños to “Imagine” by John Lennon. Next to listening and signing the song, Paola discovered a book that contained the original lyrics with a Spanish translation and images that illustrated the message of the song and the Human Rights topic. In the English classes Antonia and me made the Rabbits, Sharks, and Butterflies familiar with important vocabulary and phrases to understand and distinguish the contents of the many rights a human being uncompromisingly has. The United Nations Human Rights Declaration of 1948 served as orientation for us. This milestone document was also subject to the first Jovenes meeting of December. Antonia and me discussed all the 30 articles with the teenagers and watched a short documentary of how the declaration accrued. Afterwards we asked each of them to pick an individual right that was most important to them and let them explain why. At the end of the Human Rights period at Clara Luna we created a short film with the kids and teenagers that emphasized the most important aspects of what we learned in the past two weeks. You can watch the video on the Clara Luna YouTube channel as well as on the newsletter.

On the 15th Antonia left us, unfortunately. But she is going to be back to celebrate New Years with us before she ultimately leaves back home to Germany.

The following weekend the Jovenes were part of a project that was created by “Mingas por el mar”, an Ecuadorian organization that cleans up beaches on the entire coast of Ecuador and provides information about how trash, especially plastic, threatens the vitality of our oceans and its biodiversity in general. The teenagers, Paola, the Mingas por el mar team, other volunteers from Puerto Lopez, and me met in the morning on Saturday. We started off with a small presentation about what happens with trash after it is irresponsibly disposed into the ocean and how it ends up being part of every organism in the water in the shape of micro plastic particles. The moral of the presentation was to especially prevent the usage of unnecessary plastic products. Afterwards we gathered and walked along the beach of Puerto Lopez to collect trash. It was interesting and alarming at the same time: most of the trash were the “unnecessary plastic products” we were taught about – things like plastic bags, toothbrushes, cups, straws, and of course candy wrappings. At the end we sorted the trash to put it onto a wall at the beach front that we had painted blue before. When you walk by this work of art automatically catches the eye and makes one aware of the two problems we all have to faces and solve: how do we create less trash and how do we dispose it responsibly.

The last week was even more about creating. Christmas time was approaching and we had to prepare the annual Party at Clara Luna that took place on Wednesday, the 20th. During the English classes we practiced Christmas songs with the kids (Spanish and English ones) to perform them at the party. The Jovenes helped Paola to set up the stage and to bring chairs and tables downstairs and the mothers cleaned up the garden. The party started in late afternoon. All the people who are involved in the foundation came to celebrate. Adam, the patron of the disabilities group, came to play the guitar and dressed up as Papa Noel (Santa) – the kids made big eyes. The songs worked out well, it was fun and I hope everyone enjoyed it, but we still were far from being perfect. Gifts that Paola made were handed out to every kid and we let everyone write down a wish for the next year on a small piece of paper and collected them in a bottle. Afterwards we let a balloon fly to symbolize our wishes on their way up in the sky. Paola and the mothers prepared delicious food and hot chocolate – it was a success!

On Thursday, one day later, we had another Christmas party with the disabilities group and Adam. This one was way smaller but as good as the other one for sure and this time I got be Papa Noel – a very skinny version the kids found. That was the last event of this year. It was a long and eventful month and now we look forward to another beautiful and successful year at Clara Luna! Feliz año nuevo a todos!

 

Paintting the Mural.
Mural activity after the Beach Clean up.
Moms stampped their hands on the Rigths board.
We have the right to FREEDOM!
Reading “Cosas que pasan” by Isol.
Christmas Carols singing by the Kids.
Santa Claus visited Clara Luna.
The Kids Club gang.
Mothers in charge of the delicious banquet.
All the best wishes for New Year.
Presents time.
Salvador and Jaimito.
Santa’s helpers of this Christmas.
Kids excited with their Christmas gifts.
Christmas Violin Live Music.

November at Clara Luna

November started out very relaxed with a four day weekend “Day of the Dead Feriado” giving Paola, Joseph, Scott and Linda time to recharge after their trip to the north. The team was joined by the new volunteer Antonia from Germany. Saddly Scott and Linda left near the end of November after spending two months working at Clara Luna.

This month we continued with the legends theme in Club de Niños, adding “El Duende”, “Las Brujas Blancas” and “El Padre Almeida” to the list. Tying into that theme, the kids prepared the play “Davilara el Rey de la Bomba” for the monthly event “Érase Una Vez”.

The Jovenes spent this month learning all about local endangered animals like the Guacamayo Parrot and the various sea turtles coming to Puerto Lopez to nest each year.  They took a field trip to a nearby park to visit a project trying to increase the native Guacamayo population by releasing captive ones slowly into the wild.

The trip to the north was also a really fun experience. Paola Joseph and Antonia were joined by Lino, a new volunteer from Germany, for the trip. Together we visited various schools in Canoa, Tabuchila, San Vincente and Chone to read with the Kids and perform the theatre production “Davilara el Rey de la Bomba”. It was great to see the kids staring at the puppets with openmouths, and to see the wonder in their faces while telling the story. Reading with them was a special treat as well, because you could tell they really needed the practice made possible through the Clara Luna Foundation.

On our last day in Chone we where able to take part in the parade for the Dia Internacional de la Discapacidad.

Yarén sharing feathers.
Reading time in Río Muchacho.
Making rooster for the legend “Las Brujas Blancas”.
Victoria cutting worms.
Rosmery showing her Padre Almeida picture.
Team work. Alena and Lupita.
“Padre Almeida” craft activity.
Playing during Club de Niños.

A Legendary October

In early October we said goodbye to Szilvia, and we also began to plan for our next theme. Following up the success of the Clara Luna Olympics was a difficult task, but we decided that a theme like the Legends (Leyendas) of Ecuador would be appropriate for a month that includes Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos!

During the week of October 9, we enjoyed Club de Ninos on Wednesday by finishing up with one of our September books, La Manzana Roja, by painting trees and drawing animal characters and doing a red tempera paint apple print on the tree–messy, but the children had fun doing it!  We also were treated on Friday after Club de Ninos to a teatro, Adan y Eva, performed by a traveling couple of actors from Switzerland. The play was very entertaining and the children were laughing their way through most of it.  We said goodbye to Lucas on Friday and Laura on Saturday, and then the Clara Luna House got a bit more quiet for the rest of the month. On Saturday October 14 we worked with Club de Jovenes on a sensitive topic regarding understanding personal space and how having a good understanding of it links up to proper behavior in social and dating situations.

During the week of October 16 we presented two of our Leyendas to the students during Club de Ninos – La Mano Negra (on Wednesday) and Etsa–Leyenda de Oriente (on Friday). We did crafts for each of these legends–spiders made out of hand-prints for La Mano Negra and colorful construction paper birds to be used for decoration for the puppet show in the upcoming Erase Una Vez–for Etsa.  On Saturday the Club de Jovenes learned about birds of Manabi Province and made some larger and more colorful birds to be used as set decoration for the puppet show.

During the week of October 23, we read the last two of our legends to the kids at Club de Ninos on Wednesday.  We also did crafts for each of these legends, making white handprint ghosts for La Dama Tapada and colorful crepe paper cut-out calacas (skulls) for La Caja Ronca–to be used for decoration in the upcoming Erase Una Vez on Friday. The Erase Una Vez on Friday was a big success. We had readings of each of our legends by some of our Club de Ninos students, a reading of another leyenda, La Madre Goyita, by Valeria Saenz, and the puppet show Etsa was put on by four students from Casa Búho in Machalilla. Puppets were made by Trish, and our decorations looked fabulous! On Saturday, the Club de Jovenes students traveled to Ayampe with Ed, Alex, and Lobo to watch the release of some endangered Papagayo birds into the wild as part of our focus on learning about the native birds of Manabi province.

Also on Saturday, Paola, Joseph, Linda and Scott left early in the morning for a weekend-long visit to Canoa, Tabuchila, Río Muchacho, San Vicente, and Chone in northern Manabí province. We visited many locations in these areas and gave the kids a chance to read for a while, sing and dance along to Chumba La Cachumba, listen to a reading of each of the leyendas, and watch a presentation of the puppet show Etsa.  As Szilvia said about the trip to the north last month, it was amazing to be able to make the children laugh and be happy!  

We returned to Puerto Lopez late on Monday October 30 and awakened to find that another volunteer, Antonia, had arrived from Quito (and Germany!) by bus overnight–Happy Halloween! We enjoyed the day getting to know each other and ended it at a local restaurant watching the kids of the town go by in their costumes.  October was a great month at Clara Luna, and we are looking forward to November and more leyendas!

 

September at Clara Luna

OLYMPIC  SEPTEMBER BY SZILVIA MESTER

We started the Olympics theme in Clara Luna in the Kids Club.

At first we talked about the antique Olympics, we played games, for example we tried the movements of discos. In the activity we made olive branch with them. Then we spoke about the modern Olympics; we watched recording of different sports. We made 5 taps, 5 colors of the olimpic circles, every volunteers represented their own country; Germany, Hungary, Spain, USA and of cours Ecuador.

From then we practiced a lot with the kids the different sports (running, relay, archery, long jump, football) at the beach. It was fantastic how the kids took the competition seriously. Of course we always said that the most important thing is to enjoy the game.

We worked a lot! Every day there was something to do. There was a very good volunteer team, it was great to work together.

In the end of september we went to North again; we made other theatre (I made the poppets I am so proud) and read other books and do activities. It was amazing again to make the children happy!

On Octuber 6th was the big finale; the children told tales, they did the puppet’s theatre; solemn announcement of results, prize-giving ceremony. It was a worthy closing of the subject.

The children were really happy and we also!

Archery time.
Spain in action!
Olympic Flag and Ceremony.
Wheelchairs race.
Relay.

 

 

August at Clara Luna

AUGUST OF THE HOSPITALITY

In August, we were joined in the activities by Guillaume from England and Melissa from Germany.

Club de Niños learned of hospitality, through the stories and activities they learned The Humanity Rainbow, the children of the world, their rights, the causes and consequences of the migration, and they discovered Human Values ​​such as tolerance, empathy and brotherhood that explained hospitality.

The books we read were Derek Munson’s “Pastel para enemigos (Enemy Pie),” “Ígor el pájaro que no sabía cantar (Igor the Bird Who Did Not Sing)” by Satoshi Katamura, “Los días raros (The Rare Days)” by Maria Fernanda Heredia, ” La vida sin Santi (Life without Santi)” by Andrea Maturana, “La partida del soldado (The soldier departure)”of Javier de Isusi, and “La peor señora del mundo (The worst lady of the world)”of Francisco Hinojosa.

Also, the children prepared the puppet show, “La peor señora del mundo (The worst lady of the world)”, which was a resounding success in the monthly event “Érase una vez (Once upon a time)”.

In “Cuentos en la Plaza – Mobile Libraries”, we explored humor, tolerance and empathy. In our pink suitcase, were the books “Fernando el furioso (Fernando the furious)”, a child who destroys the entire planet in a tantrum when he loses control of his temper. The children then helped Fernando to rebuild the world. The book “Pastel para enemigos (Enemy Pie)”, taught us to resolve conflicts in a positive way. Another title that we read was “Hipopótamo peleón (Big Bully Hippo)”, a story that deals with importance of good manners and cordiality. Our puppet show was “La peor señora del mundo (The worst lady of the world)”, a story that illustrates a lesson on the importance of living together in harmony. We visited Ludoteca Nueva Esperanza in San Vicente, Pío Montufar Refuge in Bahía de Caráquez, Gabriela Mistral School in Tabuchila, the Ricardo Abad Solórzano School, Juntos Venceremos Special school and 30 de Mazo  Neighborhood in Chone.

July at Clara Luna

JULY “THE MADNESS IN BICYCLE”

In this month we were accompanied by Peter from the United States, Matthew, Hennie and Hanna from Germany, Eva from Spain.

In July, the children worked on stories with the theme of Diversity. We had our first “Fair Clara Luna” where there was a garage sale, reading activities, yoga for parents, a puppet show,“The Musicians of Bremen” prepared by children. There was a circus for children presented by the project Anay Pacha and a candy fair organized by the Club de Jóvenes (Youth Club) also a raffle of an almost new bicycle.

In cooperation with the Sustainable Development project, a workshop was done making toys with recycled material, where children reused discarded materials to protect the environment.

We celebrated with the Machalilla National Park its 38th anniversary, we marched in the parade with banners with messages of conservation and protection to the environment.

The Club de Jóvenes (Youth Club) made a bicycle trip to Los Frailes beach, Machalilla National Park area as a day of recreation.

In Cuentos en la Paza – Mobile Libraries, he also did the LA DIVERSIDAD tour, we were in Chone, in the Ricardo Abad Solórzano Elementary School in Mario Loor  Neighborhood and in 30 de Marzo Neighborhood in San Vicente with the children of Ludoteca Nueva Esperanza, in Pío Montúfar Refuge and María Auxiliadora Neighborhood in Bahía de Caráquez, and in Gabriela Mistral School in Tabuchila.

June at Clara Luna

JUNE “MONTH OF YELLOW, GREEN AND RED MONSTERS”.

We started the month with Caitlin and Peter from the United States, Mateo and Hennie from Germany, Bobbi and Tate from Canada.

The Children’s Club took off from stories of monsters, began with Maurice Sendak’s classic “Where the Wild Things Are”, then went to Anna Llenas’s “Monstruo de colores” to address the theme of emotions, “Ñac Ñac el monstruo come libros “by Emma Yarlet,” Montsruo Rosa “by Olga de Dios, and we could not miss the stories of Julia Donaldson,” The Gruffalo”and” The Daughter of the Gruffalo “. For the International Day of the Father “Yo mataré monstruos por ti. (I will kill monsters for you” of Santi Balmes)”, to tame the fears of the children.

The children did activities on the subject, like dancing the cumbia of the monster of the Canticuénticos.

In Once Upon a Time, “The Monsters” the children told the monstrous stories and they made a good presentation of the puppet show, “El Grúfalo”.

In the Language Exchange, we received a visit from Jipijapa Redemptio students, the students demonstrated their knowledge and command of English in their International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

The program Cuentos en la plaza – Mobile Libraries in the area of ​​the earthquake, made its monthly tour of Chone, in the school Ricardo Abad Solórzano in Mario Loor Neighborhood, and in 30 de Marzo Neighborhood, in María Auxiliadora Neighborhood in Bahía de Caráquez , Mauro Cedeño  Elementary School in Río Muchacho, the school Gabriela Mistral Elemantary School in Tabuchila, and Elías Cedeño Jerves  School in Canoa.

 

 

May at Clara Luna

MAY ANNIVERSARY

In May, Joanna from England, Peter from the United States, Matthew and Hennie from Germany, Bobbi and Tate from Canada were the volunteers who worked with us during the month.

Clara Luna was participated in the “Marathon of the Story, Quito a city that reads”. We moved to the Itchimbía Park, in the capital, with the group “Alégrate Puerto López” and we had a weekend full of stories, books, authors, launches of new children’s literature, such as “Matilda” Sozapato, “Luciano worm “of Santiago González, both of whom are Ecuadorian authors and illustrators.

Children’s Club, for International Migratory Bird Day, we read Fr. Eastman’s classic “Are You My Mother?” as well as International Mother’s Day.

We were invited by the National Park to take a tour of Los Frailes, to learn about the diversity of tropical dry forest birds.

Also by the Day of the Tree could not miss “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, the poetic story that teaches us to value and to respect the nature that surrounds us.

Another book that was in the month’s repertoire was “Into the Sea” by Brenda Z. Guiberson, which deals with sea turtles and their life cycle, a nice story teaching about the importance of our reefs and marine life.

The boys at the Thursday Club, prepared fruit salad and read “The Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, they also went for a walk on the beach.

In Once Upon a Time, we had simultaneous activities like: Tales in the square with the new collection of books for our library, children and parents read together and enjoyed the new books and, of course, the children read to the audience like every month.

The Puppet Show, for our sixth anniversary was a tribute to the sea turtle, “La Leyenda de la tortuga (The Legend of the Turtle)” presented by the children of the Ecological Club of Equilibrio Azul Foundation.

The program Cuentos en la plaza – Mobile libraries in the area of ​​the earthquake, made its tour of activities to: Chone, at Ricardo Abad Solórzano Elementary School on Mario Loor neighborhood and in 30 de Marzo neighborhood, Ludoteca Nueva Esperanza in San Vicente, Mario Cedeño School in Río Muchacho, Gabriela Mistral School in Tabuchila, the children read the stories, such as: “El árbol generoso (The Giving Tree)”, “Igor el pájaro que no sabía cantar” by Satoshi Kitamura and “Perrito panzón y otras historias” of the Ecuadorian author Ana Carlota González.

April at Clara Luna

April at Clara Luna by Hani Nasser

On Tuesday April 13, a group of us from Clara Luna went to the center of rehabilitation of marine fauna at the National Park of Machalilla. There we took part in releasing a rehabbed sea turtle back into the ocean. The center was so nice and it was wonderful to see turtles that I think are such amazing creatures. As told by the director of the center there, 87 turtles have been rescued, rehabilitated, and been released back into the ocean so far in the last four years since the establishment of this rehabilitation center. Most of the turtles that need rescuing are injured because of human activity in the ocean. Broken shells and cut off limbs from the propellers of boat engines or swallowed fish hooks and plastic bags make up most of the injuries that turtles are subjected to by our actions.  Yulexi, the turtle being released back into the ocean was brought in with a fish hook stuck in her throat. Yulexi was operated on and treated for a period of 8 months. While I was there, I felt like I was a part of something incredibly hopeful which is that there are people out there working to help creatures that we are blindly pushing into extinction. Unfortunately, we were told that this is the only center of rehabilitation for turtles in all of Ecuador, but at least there are some people that care and have saved 87 valuable lives. So please if you are in the Puerto Lopez or Machalilla area dedicates some time to visit the center and volunteer. You will not leave the place feeling disappointed but rather proud and accomplished because you would have been a part of helping, taking care of, and rescuing the incredible sea turtles.

World Book Day

On Friday April 21st, Clara Luna organized an event for the World Book Day. The event consisted of three different readings of books written by Oliver Jeffers. The books were: Perdido y encontrado, De vuelta a casa, and Como atrapar una estrella. There was also a play performed based on the book El incredible nino comelibros, along with a song sung by the kids (Twinkle, twinkle little star). Many parents and kids from Puerto Lopez attended the event, and everything went great. The atmosphere was magical and the kids preformed amazingly. At the end of the event hot chocolate and snacks were offered to all the attendees.