Cast Danza Indigena
"This year we had 250 children, with an average attendance of 170 per day," says Saskia Ellemeet, coordinator of Escuelita de Nosara (the area vacation day school for local children). Then she smiles, shakes her head in a circle and with a weary gesture and a long sigh says, "The little school was bigger than we had anticipated." On Saturday, January 28, the restaurant La Luna was shaking from both running and laughter. The reason: a party to celebrate the end of Escuelita’s term.
The event was climaxed with a fashion show and dance performances. Throughout the term, which lasted four weeks, 250 children and teenagers learned to make clothing, create crafts and take pictures -- all interspersed with a lot of sports, games and dance. About twenty-five volunteers were responsible for giving the young people a summer to remember.
The experience was as satisfying for those who taught classes as for those who attended them. Brad Burcher (25) and Tucker Mauke (23), from the United States, said that the experience was incredible and that next year they hope to repeat it. "We became one crazy and fun family with the children. We'll be in Nosara for three months and this is our way of giving back to the community," Mauke said. He and Burcher were responsible for coordinating sports activities at Escuelita including soccer, basketball and American football.
Australian Esmeralda Douglas (24) and German Elian Reingold (32) also donated their time and energy to the children. "It was a very rewarding experience, " said Esmeralda, who taught Ecological Art. Bamboo floats and jewelry from recycled materials are some of the objects that children took home from their classes with Douglas.
The Indian Dance with North American roots was performed by the smallest of Escuelita participants. Reingold led this activity, and a break dance group was led by local volunteer Adrian López Acosta (17), who has been practicing this unique dance form for more than a year.
The cost of offering Escuelita to our local youth totaled $7000 and were fully covered by generous donations. There is even a bit of money remaining to be used next year, according to Ellemeet.
"I always come to Escuelita. It is very nice and I'll return next year too," says Yohalin Hernandez (12), who lives in San Pedro, Nosara. Beside her, a new group of friends who, after tasting the pizza and ice cream, smiled and looked for a place to sit and enjoy the end of their unforgettable summer.