Friday, May 13, 2011

Children's Day Brings Joy for Mission of Friendship Youth

Gifts for each child, including a blouse, barrettes
and pencils help them finish the rest of the school
year with something new.
The child must know that she is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like her.

- Pablo Casals (1876-1973)

As spring rapidly turns into summer and the school days begin to shorten, children throughout all of Mérida become anxious for that day of the year when everything becomes a whirlwind of childhood fun and joy flourishes throughout the neighborhoods.  As the city prepares weeks in advance, children eagerly await the food, games, prizes and special gifts that mark the time when the country honors its youngest citizens with relaxation and play.

Día del Niño, or Children's Day, seeks to honor children all over the world for being who they are: young, creative people who revitalize and reshape the world with each new generation.  While celebrated globally, April 30th marks the official day of annual festivities throughout Mérida and the rest of Mexico.

Created in 1952 as a result of suggestions from the United Nations, UN officials proposed that an annual youth day would promote global awareness of children's universal rights regardless of nationality, economic status, cultural customs or other unique characteristics.  Variations of Children's Day are celebrated around the world, with Latin American countries such as Mexico giving special attention to young citizens and their families.  Celebrations are often city-wide, including fairs, in-school activities and government-sponsored events.

Girls from Hogar Nueva Vida enjoy an afternoon
at the pool in light of Día del Niño celebrations.
As one may expect, Mérida continues to celebrate Día del Niño with all of the excitement and enthusiasm of week-long carnivals, street fairs and festivals throughout the city.  Here at the Mission of Friendship, both the Amiguitos Daycare and Hogar Nueva Vida  each worked to provide a day of fun and relaxation for all of its children, with celebration including swimming, games and special holiday treats.  Each child also received small gifts, ranging from shirts and candy to brightly- colored No. 2 pencils in preparation for the rest of the school year.

Special thanks goes to all of the benefactors of the Los Amiguitos Daycare and Hogar Nueva Vida for continuing to provide quality care, love and education to those children and youth in need throughout all of Southern Mérida. On behalf of all of our children, we greatly thank them for all they do and would like to wish everyone a happy Día del Niño 2011! 

 - Pablo Casals (1876-1973) 

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