Today was a great day for Quetzaltrekkers and one of the local projects that we support. Minibiblioteca Manuelita Sacasa is a social organization aimed at educating León’s youth through various fun and interactive workshops. One of its most successful initiatives is the “Movil,” a library on wheels that travels to different schools to provide educational seminars for young students. Quetzaltrekkers has proudly supported Minibiblioteca since 2012 by keeping the Movil running, quite literally. Paying for the gasoline for the motorcycle, as well as the salary of the travelling teacher and all necessary books and materials he shares, Quetzaltrekkers has paved the way for truly wonderful events like today. Similar to the concept behind the Movil, the event consisted of Minibiblioteca’s travelling to a less fortunate school in order to share resources and laughter. For our hand in the project’s success, Minibiblioteca was quick to invite us to see how our support had fostered a similar bond of support with this new school.
In what was a great display of educational programs working together to benefit young students, Minibiblioteca took a trip to a small impoverished school in rural León. Traveling with about five teachers and thirty students, Quetzaltrekkers and Minibiblioteca set off to bolster a growing relationship that benefited all involved. Upon arrival, the hosts immediately demonstrated their kindness in welcoming their new friends, leading them to a shaded area where they would be given a small presentation on the importance of the event. After both parties shared their excitement about the opportunity to work together, the real fun began.
Given the limited resources of the rural school, there were certain materials that Quetzaltrekkers and Minibiblioteca knew would provide a great experience for the hosting students. Most notably, a performance of one of Leon’s most famous traditions: the Gigantona. A historically rich aspect of the local culture, the performance of the Gigantona requires a couple of children to dress up in comical outfits and a couple of kids to play the drums, while some more kids add intermittent rhymes and jokes. Needless to say, the students of the small school were thrilled to have the opportunity to both watch and participate in the performance. And they were just as thrilled to be able to return the favor.
After the ceremonial Gigantona performance, it was time for the hosts to demonstrate their fun and gracious ways, to the delight of both Minibiblioteca and Quetzaltrekkers. They kicked things off first by hosting a series of group games, from Simon Says to Rock, Paper, Scissors, leading to relentless laughter for the students, teachers, and hiking guides alike. Once everyone caught their breaths, the hosts provided a delicious lunch for all, followed by the presentation of a kind and symbolic gift for Minibiblioteca: an avocado plant and a lovely mosaic of Rubén Dario, representative of the growing relationship between local educators. After finishing the day with a relaxed reading session, in which Miniblioteca shared its many books and the host school shared its creative student-made books, the parties said their goodbyes and looked ahead to the next event together, which will once again be made possible with the help of Quetzaltrekkers and its generous supporters.