Christmas at Centro Infantil San Pablo
By Mireille Rita Grovier
The children at Centro Infantil San Pablo always start their winter holiday vacation with festive reminders of the reason for the season: the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. The 2013 winter holiday was no exception.
On Sunday, December 15, following regular services at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, members of the congregation and personnel from the school gathered on the lawn of the church for the school’s Pastorela. In costumes appropriate to the occasion, the students, Directora Patricia Palacios and the Maestras reenacted the journey to Bethlehem to commemorate and celebrate the event that was to change the world. “Father Joseph” and “Mother Mary,” portrayed by five-year-olds Santiago and Paola respectively, traveled to the mock stable on a live donkey. A live infant represented the Baby Jesus in the arms of “Mother Mary.” Directora Palacios and a student, dressed as devils, tried to stop the Blessed Event. They couldn’t do it! All of the costumed children gathered on the lawn, class by class, parading in laudation of the occasion. Three male guests, also in costume, represented the Three Kings.
On Wednesday, December 18, their last day of school before Christmas vacation, the children celebrated the annual Posada held at the school. Again dressed in their costumes, the children paraded first to the school cafeteria. The same “Mary” and “Joseph,” who delivered a miniature crèche to be placed on a corner table in the room, led them. The children filed by the crèche, paying tribute to the Holy Family’s search for the birthplace of the Infant Jesus: because there was “no room in the inn.”
And then the fun began! Class by class, the children paraded onto the street in front of the school, which had been cordoned off from traffic. Piñatas, one for each class in turn, were strung from rooftops on each side of the street. Children, Maestras and guests were invited to have a go so that the goodies “could flow.” And flow they did, as the excited and wide-eyed children gathered their treats! Back, then, to the school patio, where the revolving roof opened to reveal, in costume, the Three Kings: Lee Daneker, Jay Grovier and Adrian Ross. The Gifts of these Magi were balloons, tossed down to the excited children with arms outstretched to catch.
Thus commenced the Christmas vacation for the 61 children at Centro Infantil San Pablo. The 2014 school year resumed on Tuesday, January 7.
Centro Infantil San Pablo (CISP) provides early education for underprivileged children. Founded by St. Paul’s Anglican Church and in existence since 2001, over 240 five-year- olds have successfully completed our three-year program. A sponsorship for a child is always welcome. Donations are also appreciated. Advisory Committee Members are often needed. For additional information, go to www.centroinfantilsanpablo.org or email us at CISPsma@gmail.com.
Photos by Barbara Merritt Espinosa and Jay Grovier