Yanapay Halloween


Our very first week at Aldea Yanapay happened to be the week of Halloween. We had no idea Halloween was so popular in Peru, but the kids were already busy at work preparing their costumes when we arrived. Each week, there is a particular theme at Yanapay which we try to teach to the kids in some small ways; This week, the theme was recycling and so, we were building our costumes from completely recycled materials. It was a hectic week full of paint, glitter, and glue, and was quite a shock for our first week working with the project… It was however, a great introduction, and an easy way to work with the kids- even without words.

A few of the 'robots' from my class

The kids got pretty creative with their costumes and we has astronauts, robots, aliens, fairies, wizards, skeletons, and more- all made from material which we found on the streets or what the volunteers brought from home: Cardboard boxes became robots, plastic bags became fairy wings, and plastic bottles became jet-packs and inter-galactic armor… It’s great to see what the kids imaginations came up with, with a little help from the volunteers, and some very minimal supplies.

Um... Alien? Skeleton?

The week culminated with a procession through the streets of Cusco with all the kids, fully dressed in their costumes, so that they could give out candy and show off their costumes to all the city. It was really fun and the kids loved it, though this was the most stressful time of our volunteering so far: Each volunteer had responsibility of three children, and had to navigate them and their costumes through the wild streets of Cusco while avoiding speeding taxis, crowds of people, and keeping them all together while they handed out their candy- often in three different directions at once!

Two Robots and an Alien

Marco and Friends

We stopped in each of the three main squares of the city for the kids to show off their costumes and perform small juggling acts, songs, and theater skits they had learned that week. Each time, they attracted huge crowds of people and it was really great to see the public reactions to this huge group of strangely-dressed kids with all the foreign volunteers mixed in. The reception from the public was really warm and many people were interested in the project, asked how to get involved, how to donate, or how to get their children involved. Happily, the night ended safely with no lost children, and I think all the kids had a really great time… I on the other hand, was dead tired and had to crawl home to bed afterwards and fell immediately asleep- Lena and I were both still recovering from a terrible flu that week!

Some of the Wonderful Costumes:

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