Written by Shannon Ghere
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are well known in the United States, but here in Costa Rica they add a new holiday into the mix, Children’s Day! Recently, Costa Ricans celebrated the national holiday of Dia de los Ninos to celebrate all the children of Costa Rica. Often on this day children receive gifts from their families and there is a small town celebration. Of course, this holiday did not pass by quietly at Abriendo Mentes!
Flor and Sucelli’s Children’s Day sign.
To celebrate the children of Potrero, Costa Rica Abriendo Mentes hosted a Carnival in the community salon open to all the children of Potrero and beyond. More then 50 children came, many of them arriving early (which those who have spent time Costa Rica know is something rare!) to stand outside the door, excitedly watching us set up the party. After grabbing their carnival tickets, they rushed in to begin the fun!
We had filled the carnival with some of our own favorite games that we remember from carnivals and fairs when we were growing up including a fishing pond, Frisbee toss, bingo, and basketball hoop. We also included the classic game, the cake walk, where winners received brownies. And an arts and crafts station was set up for children to decorate their own goody bags and more. After each game children would excitedly pick out a prize that they had earned such as pencils, bracelets, or key chains. But the crowd favorite was clearly the face painting station! The line for face painting was always long, with children typically requesting flowers and butterflies or pirate faces.
Needless to say, it was a wonderful and fun afternoon for everyone and a great way to celebrate the Potrero children!