Celebrating International Children’s Day: join the kids!

By Gregory R. Gunter

International Children’s Day, Activities for children, Sun, Apr 29, 12-7pm, La Luciérnaga shopping mall, Contact Lily at Patronato Pro Niños at 152-7796, Free

For most readers, the memory of childhood brings joy: carefree days, unlimited potential, bright futures… they all seemed an inherent part of childhood. But it’s not always so, especially in developing nations where hunger dominates, health care proves scarce, and education becomes a distant dream.

International Children’s Day—first created in 1925 by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland—takes a day each year to protect the fragility of childhood, and celebrate its potential. In Mexico that day falls at the end of April, and this year it’s celebrated April 29 here in San Miguel de Allende.

In other words, it’s time to be a kid again this Sunday!

Local children’s healthcare nonprofit Patronato Pro Niños, partnering with La Luciernaga shopping mall and the Instituto Sanmiguelense, hosts a full day packed with activities for the young, and the young at heart. Drop by La Luciérnaga anytime between noon and 6pm for a variety of separate events.

Students have organized games throughout the day for children—Twister, mini-soccer, Wheel of Fortune—directly in front of Soriana. You’ll find a theater workshop organized by 13-year-old Luna Urita—perhaps our next Salma Hayek?—from noon to 5pm. And a dance presentation by CEDECOM’s students is staged at 4pm, followed by costumed Super Heroes and Disney characters who will pose for photos with the kids.

Even Radio San Miguel joins the festivities, hosting their show Gente Prendida live on site with hosts Maria Luisa Zavala and Gustavo Ponce de León, a Los Niños board member. Liverpool’s own Captain Planet theater rounds out the day’s activities with a theater play beginning at 6pm.

And it’s all free.

Patronato Pro Niños knows, however, it’s hard for children to enjoy life—and lead a productive future—when a mouthful of cavities ruins a child’s smile or a health ailment prevents school attendance. That’s why Los Niños—as Patronato Pro Niños is often called—offers plenty of opportunity for celebrants to help as they pose with Cinderella or Superman.

Ten student volunteers will wander the crowd with donation canisters, and collection urns eagerly await your spare change or your tax-deductible checks. Gas Providencia has chosen to lead by example, and will donate a portion of their gas sales to Patronato Pro Niños as the day closes.

Want to learn more? Patronato Pro Niños will have both of their dental vans on site, peopled by staff who can explain how Los Niños has provided dental and medical care to the children of San Miguel for over 41 years. You can see the marvels of an entire dental office on wheels, and meet the dedicated dentists and doctors on staff at the health care clinic operated by Patronato Pro Niños. Seeing the smiles we have helped improve on the faces of many children will put a smile on your own face!

And here is the best part: you’ll have a head start, if you are among the very young at heart! If the Sinatra tune doesn’t melt your heart, the kids most certainly will. To learn more about Patronato Pro Niños, call bilingual Lily at Los Niños office at 152-7796, or see their web site at PatronatoProNinos.org.

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