and United States Children,
I went early today to visit one of our elementary schools where some of
your symbolic butterflies have been since November. This is the "11
de Julio" elementary in Palo Amarillo. This town is just 10 kilometers
away from Angangueo, and 2-3 kilometers away from the borderline between
the states of Michoacán and México.
This school was founded 49 years ago (in 1960). Most families here as
in any other area or community in our region have from 4-6 children. Over
here seldom you will find a family having only two children. This is different
from Angangueo, for example, where most new families will now have an
average of two children, three and seldom four now.
Most families here in Palo Amarillo make a living from working their own
lands. Fathers in some families can sometimes get a job driving a loading
car making commercial transportations from this to that part of the country
and will come home every two weeks to visit the family. Others perhaps
make a very small commerce activity, but at a very low scale.
Most children were not attending school today because there was a sports
event in a far away school were they were invited. Only a few children
came and this is what you can hear from them in order of appearance of
I ran first into three boys, who, while awaiting for their class to start,
were playing with their little toy cars. Our first three boys interviewed
are Ezequiel, Rafael and Baltazar. They are attending the 2nd grade and
this is what they tell us about tomorrow's celebration.
"Do you know what we are celebrating tomorrow?"
Ezequiel: "Yes, The Day of Love and Friendship.
But we will not celebrate tomorrow, but until Monday, because most of
our classmates are not here today"
Rafael: "On Monday we will exchange some gifts
with each other in our group"
Me: "Rafael, have you thought about any particular
gift for your classmate"
Rafael: "Yes, I will buy a small toy car in San
José (the nearest town to the community, 5 km. away) for my classmate.
Me: "How did you got to know to whom you will
make a gift to"
Ezequiel: "By raffling our names and picking up
one everyone of us"
Baltazar: "We will eat Tacos, Candies and Orange
Water our mother will prepare at home."
we in México, in our normal everyday speech, call the celebration
on February 14 as "The Day of Love and Friendship," and very
few times we hear someone saying "Saint Valentine's Day." You
will see "Saint Valentine's" more in Publishing announcements,
Radio or TV programmes, in spite of many people knowing that this day
The Church dedicates to Saint Valentine´s officially. This is similar
to "Halloween" for you and "Día de Muertos"
for us on November 2nd.
are also showing you the way they decorated their classrooms with their
Next I went
into the 5th grade and and got some comments from specially two other
children there. Besides, they showed me the way they decorated their "News
Mural". This is a permanent space placed and exhibited at every school
and contains all official commemorative dates and important events of
every month. Notice that they are including a note on illegal wood logging
from which I made a "Close UP" with my camera. The teacher of
this group told me they are constantly approaching the topic in different
ways nowadays with the children.
You will also appreciate the way they decorated a symbolic tree in their
classroom containing the symbolic butterflies they took from all of you
in the United States and Canada.
"We are celebrating the Day of Love and Friendship and we will
make gifts to each other in the classroom next Monday. We will be given
the rest of the day for free."
"Perhaps we will bring something to eat in our classroom, otherwise,
we will take the rest of the day off. Come and look at our classroom
and our decoration on 'The News Mural.'"
Angangueo, Michoacán, México
grade students Ezequiel,
Rafael and Baltazar
decorated for The Day of Love and Friendship
a symbolic tree in their classroom with the symbolic butterflies they
from all of you in the United States and Canada.
A note on
illegal wood logging. The teacher said they are constantly approaching
the topic in different ways nowadays with the children.