Goodbye 2020, hello 2021!

We ended 2020, a year with a series of adaptations and learning, on this occasion, as every year, I would like to share a compilation of the activities carried out.

In the first quarter, we regularly run our programs, until March 15, which we had to go into quarantine as a result of an emergency, and close our doors. At the start of the quarantine, we were almost incommunicado with the outside, we had no idea how long the lockdown would last, but with the passing of days and weeks, we missed our encounters with the children and the readings.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the three volunteers who were in quarantine, made a plan, which worked very well, started live broadcasts of the Kids Club on Facebook Live, the children connected via a device, from their homes, to follow us on a screen, it was the only way that deserved our effort and energy, the transmissions were one of the most colorful and entertaining, we made challenges of different types so that children do not lose their reading routines, we started working at a distance, but with a lot of planning and dedication. In 2020, we had a total of 66 Virtual Children’s Club broadcasts, we concentrated on themes and authors, the children loved to meet Anthony Browne, Antonie de Saint-Exupéry, Roald Dalh, among others.

We had a total of 5 movie nights, the kids connected from their screens to share and talk more live and exchange ideas and opinions.

In adition, as part of the emergency, we had the opportunity to provide food to families in the community, we delivered about 100 baskets of first-necessity products, distributed between the urban and rural area of Puerto López.

The only group that managed to reactivate itself virtually for English lessons was Shark’s who continued their lessons through Zoom for two months. Language exchanges were also virtual, we had 30 opportunities to meet to practice languages with people from other parts of the world.

Also, with the Shark’s group, we began the implementation of the first community library in the canton, an ambitious project, which will open its doors in 2021, a project led by the Clara Luna group of adolescents.

In short, 2020 has been a different year, in which we have had many challenges, vicissitudes, hard moments but above all, moments of growth, in which our community has demonstrated its ability to adapt to the changes and conditions that the new normal implies. Moments like what we are living bring out the importance of having educational and meeting spaces to create resilient communities.

We would like to thank everyone who has passed, known and contributed to our projects and programs, and everyone who believes in our work and effort, for the distance support received in 2020.

 Thank you for your support! Happy Holidays!

August at Clara Luna by Annabel Wiest

Translated by Abril Mendoza

Welcome, Little Prince!

To end our Anthony Browne chapter in our Virtual Kids’ Club, a very famous gorilla went into Clara Luna’s spotlight: King Kong. Anthony Browne had created his version of King Kong using features from the original film. The book was divided into four parts, and it delighted all the kids in the club! Anthony Browne’s subversive universe worked perfectly with human cruelty in King Kong, and the author added a touch of color and sweetness to it.

            During the movie nights of August, we chose to deal with animals and saw Life of Pi and The Lion King. So, we were able to continue the theme of animal life that we could see in many of Anthony Browne’s tales.

            Our Anthony Browne series was coming to an end: we needed a new project. Last month, we watched The Little Prince during our movie night, the animated film. Reading the book seemed crystal clear to us. We had to find a way to be organize given the length of the book, the number of chapters, and a possible lack of illustrations. We shared the reading: our various colleagues and partners from other schools or associations agreed to read one or two chapters. Some children of the club allowed themselves into the game. The highlight of the show was the book. It was not only the little prince book but the little prince in three dimensions. We used the “pop-up” version of the book. Taking pictures of the illustrations was no good enough: it was necessary to film the movements of the book, the characters coming out of the pages, the possible manipulations and this, from different angles. What an extraordinary project! It is just the beginning; we will read the rest of the chapters during September. We have all become children again, and every day we are trying to keep our young and innocent soul:

“All grown-ups were children once – although few of them remember it”.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

November at Clara Luna by Annabel Wiest

November in Clara Luna rhymes with Girl Power!
As you guessed, the month of November was dedicated to rebellious women who fought for their rights, who struggled to get justice, and who did everything they could to acheive their dreams.
During each « Club de Niños » we presented a woman or group of women considered « rebeldes ». We started with Frida Kalo as a transition with the mexican Día de los Muertos in October. And we made a world Tour, starting of course with Mexico, then Iran with Yusra Mardini, Pakistan talking about the incredible Malala Yousafzai, travelling through Italy and the Maria Montessori’s innovating system of education, and finishing this incredible journey with the Mirabal sisters in Dominican Republic. This tour allowed children to get to know women’s conditions throughout the world, see  that war is still running in some countries, that children can’t always go to school and understand that men and women must be equal and must have the same rights.
We got to know various famous rebel women. We learned together how was the political situation in Pakistan and Iran, we learned the meaning of the word « refugiado » and admired the strenght of Malala and Yusra, as examples of bravery. We made homemade medals that children offered to their mothers, to show how strong and brave they are. We made our own butterflies to celebrate the power of the Mirabal Sisters, also knonw as « Las  mariposas ».
The mothers also celebrated during November as we organized a photo session with accesories to remaind us that we’re mothers, but we are also women and proud to be, no one can’t blew this off, not even the wolf of the little red riding hood, because when you say « Dije No!» it’s no. We stand for the women’rights and against gender violence. We all worked on the children’s rights : to education, to be loved, to have fun, to alimentation, to have an identity, and so on. And we made an awesome video about it as a fun souvenir of the month and to celebrate el Día Internacional del niño.
Our event « Érase una vez » was also dedicated to women and we really wanted to work on gender violence. After searching for old socks to make the puppets, a group of 5 kids participated to the muppet show called « La princessa vestida con una bolsa de papel » where the Prince Ronaldo and the Princess Elizabeth are supposed to get married but a dragon burns their castle and sequestred the Prince. Elizabeth’s clothes got burned in the fire, she only finds paper bag to use as a dress. She’s really intelligent and succeeds in munipilating the dangerous dragon so that she can save Ronaldo. The only thing he says when he finally get free thanks to her is that she looks terrible in her paper dress, and doesn’t look like a real princess anymore. So Elizabeth reponds « Eres un TONTO » and they never got married. It’s was simply amazing to see how children reacted to this story because it was funny obviously, but it was also meaningful.

«One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world» Malala Yousafzai.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” ― Malala Yousafzai

February at Clara Luna

Charles Darwin’s Birthday in February at Clara Luna by Marina Morel

February began with the Popular Consultation in Clara Luna. Every member of Clara Luna got an ID card for the  “Republic of Clara Luna” and voted yes or no on seven questions concerning future activities of the foundation. Would you like to meet an author?  Yes!!

To celebrate Darwin’s birthday , we did activities about evolution.  From the book “Grandmother Fish”, we did all together a big evolution tree. The volunteers, Ed, Nina, Yesica and Marina had fun preparing the activity.

With the help of a Peruvian art therapist,  Luciana,  the Children’s Club also did some theatre. We all became fishes, monkeys, dolphins…After that, we read a story about Darwin’s life and told it, then played it.

On a  rainy day, after carnival, a motivated group went to clean the beach in an event sponsored by the Ministry of the Interior and Conservation International. Together we collected hundreds of pounds of trash. We all want to protect our planet and our cousin animals. Good job!

The Disabilities Club worked on the conservation theme, and they also went to surf twice on Thursdays! They were great afternoons, because of the beautiful sun and special help from Adam and the surf crew from Ayampe.

This month is also the beginning of Rainbow Days. With the kids between 10 and 12, we are doing activities to improve self-esteem. Now, we can say: ¡Yo soy! ¡Yo puedo! ¡Yo tengo! ¡Yo haré! ¡Yo creo! ……I am! I can! I have! I will! I believe!

The Youth Club talked about sexual education. It was a really interesting exchange with the teenagers. They know a lot of things, but they are sometimes confused because of what they can see on movies. On Saturday, after el club, Yesica teached us acro yoga on the beach. The kids loved that and they planed to do it each Tuesday.

To conclude this month, Joseph, Yesica, Paola and Marina went to the north with the Marin turtle story. In spite of the rain, the kids of San Vicente, Tabuchila, Canoa and Chone seemed very happy with the puppets show, the games and the handcrafted turtle.

February is a short month but we did a lot of interesting and funny things!

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.

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.