Noche Cultural Con Los Niños

Every Wednesday night at the mountain school, there is a special event, called la noche cultural…where the kids from neighboring villages can come to the school and play with us students, and also do art projects and play games and such, and then afterwards hot chocolate for all…

Now it started with just maybe 10 to 15 kids…but now it has become a youth culture institution…and anywhere from 50 to 90 kids come every week, from ages 5-18…

And it isn’t run by the school, it is run by a local youth group, which has students who get scholarships from the mountain school, and they plan all of the activities and they coordinate it…and they are hella organized!

Now, these Wednesdays were my favorite parts of my two weeks. I love playing dumb games like duck duck goose and hokey pokey (but in Spanish, of course), and the second week it was drawing…and I just loved being surrounded by young people, doing art, playing tag, checkers asking them about their lives and having them ask me questions in English…it was just super fun…and the organizers were an inspiration in terms of youth leadership (and I taught one of the them, the only male actually, how to yo-yo)…

And it was all good except for one thing…this one kid, maybe 8 years old, who was playing a drawing game with me…and it was going great…and then he suddenly draws a vagina and he keeps trying to get me to say some slang name for it in Spanish…and I refuse and I tell him that he’s being disrespectful, ¨ya basta¨(enough already) etc…but he’s getting such a kick out of it that he RECRUITS like 6 or 7 younger kids to start drawing vaginas, and they were literally following me around the activity barn slyly smiling and asking me to say the word in Spanish…it was really out of control…but I think there is something a little bit deeper going on there, behind little boy humor and sexism…I think they very much enjoyed having the upper hand over us because we didn’t know the language…and this is something that makes sense to me.

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi