What a day! After breakfast, we loaded up the van and headed to a school entitled La Esparanza. This school was originally located in the city dump, and educated the children living there. However, the Spanish government created a project (that was both a blessing and a curse to the school) that was going to renovate the land. This required all of the families that were living there to relocate, and the missionaries that were running the school were told they had two days to take whatever they needed, because the school was being demolished. The Lord provided a new building for them, and they now educate about 80 preschoolers (ages 2-6) from 8 am to 11:30 am everyday (with the exception of the two year olds who leave at 10:00). The music therapists took the three classrooms of kids and divided them in half, making six groups that completed a half hour music session in rotation. The SLP talked to the teachers and identified the students that had speech/language issues, including children that had no language and those with stutters. The rec therapist also worked with identified children, either through teacher recommendation or music therapist observations during group instruction. The morning was simply exhausting! I have no idea how three women corral 80 preschoolers, but somehow they survive. We donated instruments, school supplies, and therapy tools to them before we left. After the preschoolers leave La Esparanza, elementary students and high school students come for an after school tutoring program. We did not see these children.

Instead, after lunch, we went to the safe home for girls, called Casa Havilah. There are currently seven girls that live there that have been removed from their homes for various reasons. These girls range from ages 9-13. We broke the ice by playing La Bamba on the guitar, while most girls joined in singing. We taught them the Cupid Shuffle. Trish implemented a group game to get to know the girls, including their favorite musical artist, favorite color, favorite animal, and their favorite feature about each girl in the house. This also gave the house mom, Jenny, an opportunity to compliment the girls and love on them with words of affirmation. The girls then split into two groups; the older girls had tutoring while the three youngest stayed with us. We did a lyric analysis experience to the song “Dices” by Selena Gomez. The lyrics to this song are about knowing who you are, knowing that you are wonderful just the way you are, and that changing for others is unnecessary. The three younger girls got it, had some great discussion, and REALLY enjoyed the song. They probably played it at least 5 or 6 times. Eventually, they switched with the older girls, and we did the experience again with less success. They were not as open to the song lyric discussion, but one of the girls seemed to enjoy the song. The oldest girl thought she was too cool for it :p We played the human knot game with them and the made some laynards with rex lace until it was time to leave. Our evening was spent cooling off in the pool, eating, blogging and crashing at 8 pm. We’ll check in with you tomorrow about our time at another school for children from preschool-6th grade.