2010 Bien de Mujer’s Annual Children’s Christmas Party

We could not have asked for better weather conditions on Tuesday, DEC 19—sunny and warm, our first blessing of the day—perfect for our Annual Children’s Christmas Party at the Centro de Recreo UNA, located in Barrio Santa Luiza, near Heredia.  As early as 7 AM, volunteers (our second blessing!) began to trickle into our house and load up 4 vehicles, including two trucks donated by Himalaya Aryuveda Distributors, worth of donated gifts, food, decorations (thank you, Haley Cooney!), and about 8 volunteers.  Again, so many blessings!

Over 160 children, and their mothers, arrived on 3 festive buses from La Carpio (the slums of San Jose, Costa Rica) just shy of 9 AM.  Several group games, a mini-moon bounce, and a huge inflatable slide, with a side of cookie and juice snacks, were ready for the onslaught of excited (this is a gross understatement!) kids.   The children were divided into two groups—half went to participate in outdoor group games and the playground first, while the other half went to the pool!

Gratefully, several other volunteers joined us later in the morning, including Craig and Agnes Lamb, and our “official” party-photographer, Ellen Lazare.  While the kids were playing and mothers cooking lunch, we set up the “sala” for the afternoon Christmas Music Show (a beautiful performance by students of the University of Costa Rica orchestra); for Santa’s visit; and of course– the distribution of gifts!  While the children were swimming in the pools, flopping around on large inflatable things, or playing fooz-ball and ping pong in the recreation room, the mothers prepared and served a lunch picnic of arroz con pollo and juice.

After lunch, everyone gathered in the sala for a sing-a-long Christmas music concert and the much-anticipated visit from Santa, with two of his helpers.  During the concert, ice cream and cake were served.  A special little birthday cake was made for Fabiola who just happened to turn 15 yesterday!  Then the madness began… as Santa handed out over 170 gifts to each child!  Each present was individually wrapped and addressed to each child.  CHAOS!

The party ended about 3 pm—each child armed with a gift, a little snack bag of candy and fruit, and a HUGE smile on his or her face.  Just so you know, the children were truly grateful—endless “Gracias” and lots of hugs, even tears both from kids and mothers in gratitude.  It was truly a special day, not just for the kids and their mothers, but for us as well.  This is what love looks like.

Happy Holidays to everyone and a heart-felt thank you to everyone (and there are many!) who contributed in some way to this very memorable event.

The “Wrapping” Party

Yesterday afternoon, following a morning meditation session, 30 friends and supporters of the Women’s Wellbeing and Development Foundation, arrived at the house– armed with food, sweets, wrapping paper, scissors and tape, with the awesome task of wrapping over 150 presents for our annual Children’s Christmas Party (the Children’s party is tomorrow, TUES, DEC 21.)  These presents, of course, were donations from generous individuals all over the world– as far as Holland and as close as our neighboring mini-mart!

Each gift has been allocated to a specific child in our Ilori Educational Program based in La Carpio, the slums of San Jose, Costa Rica.  Unlike most children’s education, welfare and development programs, Ilori Educational Program is unique in its holistic, experiential, uplifting approach to a child’s wellbeing.   We seek to address and nurture the child’s mind, body and spirit—with practical lessons in basic primary health care to yoga to experiential lessons in the importance of compassion, tolerance, sharing, and self-awareness.  We also introduce and encourage child participation in the arts, music, dance, meditation, yoga, and sports.

Our Annual Children’s Christmas Party is a BIG DEAL for these kids, as well as their parents.  For some of these children, this is the only gift they receive throughout the year.  Therefore, we are so grateful for all the people who came to our “wrapping party” yesterday evening.  The food and the company were priceless!

That’s a wrap! Xmas present-wrapping party for the kids in La Carpio, DEC 19

Because people, especially people like Sandra BonSell, Eline Hennink, Paula Torres, Ted J. and Sara Petrakos, Sydma Hatzopoulos , and Paulo Martins (way too many people to list here!), have been so generous to us this year, we now have over 100+ presents to wrap for the children we work with in La Carpio!  Take a peek!

Therefore, we want to make this awesome task as fun as possible—therefore, we are holding a Xmas present wrapping party at our home in Montelimar, Guadalupe on SUN, DEC 19—wrapping starts at 4 pm.

Details:

What: Wrapping Christmas presents for the kids we work with in La Carpio

When: SUN, DEC 19—starts at 4 pm and goes until we are finished!

Where: Our house—directions:

Del Costado oeste de los Tribunales de Justicia
500 m N, 100 m Este
Montelimar, de Guadalupe
(Cerca Sonido Latino, Casa Himalaya)

We are the far left house in a row of 3 white houses known as “Las Hadas”
House phone:  2240 2910

What to bring:

Wrapping paper!! And this is a potluck—meaning everyone bring a boca or dish to share; and please bring your own choice of beverage.

And yes, of course, you can bring friends!

And know that we could still use some volunteers at the actual Children’s Party; here are the details for the BIG party:

 

WWD-F/Bien de Mujer’s Annual Children’s Christmas Party

21 DEC 10 AM to 3 PM

(However, we are asking for volunteers to come early—9 AM, to help set up!)

Location: Centro de Recreo UNA

Barrio Santa Luiza

(25 mts norte Hotel Balladolit, HEREDIA)