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Valentine's Day in Mexico
(Español)

February 13, 2009

Dear Canadian 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 the photos.

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.

Me: "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."

Notice that 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.

Some photos are also showing you the way they decorated their classrooms with their teachers.

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.

Everardo: "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."

Aydeé: "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.'"

María Estela Romero
Angangueo, Michoacán, México

Second grade students Ezequiel, Rafael and Baltazar

 

 

Classrooms decorated for The Day of Love and Friendship

 

 

They decorated 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.

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