Earlier this spring, we gave UPAVIM supporters the opportunity to send Mother’s Day Cards in honor of the women at UPAVIM. We thought you might like to see how the mothers of UPAVIM celebrated their special day!
On May 7, 2015 we celebrated Mother’s Day in the UPAVIM School with a frenzy of activities, culminating with a program on the Thursday before Mother’s Day in which all of the mothers or maternal figures were invited to attend. We packed everyone down into the space of the first floor, squeezing in as many chairs as possible. The stage was set, decorated with cutout neon letters and a big painting. Mothers came dressed to impress, all beautiful and radiant on their day, and were greeted at the door with a flower pin memento.
For the weeks leading up to the event, each grade set up shop during recess selling snacks of all varieties- sodas, tostadas with beans or guacamole, chips, candies, ice cream- in order to fundraise for the event. During class, foam flowers were cut out, cards made, gifts of aprons sewn, dances and performances practiced. The preparation for the event seemed to us almost excessive in that a lot of time was dedicated to getting ready. However, everyone’s hard work and collaboration came together and the event was very successful. There were dances and plays, mimes and clowns, kids in costume, laughs and tears.
[blockquote align=”right”]Mother’s Day can be a challenging time here in this community. For some, it is a reminder of strained relationships, of mothers who have passed away, of children they have lost. The feelings of love and family were tangible in the air and it was moving to see the children interact with their moms.[/blockquote][/two_third_last]
Each grade participated in two acts: one that the Guatemalan teachers led and one from the English team. Notable performances included the entire kindergarten class dressed in mariachi costumes pulling their moms up to the stage to dance with them. 2nd grade donned sunglasses and danced to a mix of several popular reggaeton songs. 6th grade, dressed neatly in pink and white, sang a song for their mothers.
To show off the kids’ English skills a bit, we combined classes and did performances together: kinder and 3rd sang and danced to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, 2nd and 6th grade sang “All You Need is Love”, 4th grade wrote bilingual poems and voted on three to read for everyone, 1st and 5th read and acted out the story from “I Love You Forever”.
The program concluded with the entertainment of a professional clown, who pulled up women to participate in a variety of silly activities. Each mom was given a lunch of chicken and rice with veggies and horchata, a popular drink here in Guatemala. Kids came barreling down the stairs of the school, prepared gifts in hand, looking for their one special mom among the mass of mothers. The reunion of mother and child at the end of the day was beautiful and every face and heart in the room was full of love and pride.