Tours show rural children art and culture
Aprehendiendo Mi Cultura (“aprendiendo” means “learning,” and “aprehendiendo” means “seizing”) is an educational program aimed at bringing art and culture to the youngest generations and helping them learn about and value their culture. Children from rural preschools and elementary schools (from around 4 through 13 years of age) are the main participants in this program.
It is estimated that this year more than 1,000 children will visit four of the most important cultural centers in San Miguel: the toy museum “La Esquina,” the House of Allende, Casa del Mayorazgo de la Canal and Cultural Center Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante” (Bellas Artes). According to the staff in charge, the children are made to feel they are part of the city “because it belongs to them. Once you know the story, you can feel you have the right and obligation to assess and protect the tangible and intangible cultural heritage.”
The program also creates interaction between children and other young people; the tours are conducted by high school students who are trained and do this as a social service. They talk to the children about the historical significance of places and buildings in the city, about the exhibits they are seeing and about art and craftsmanship. The dynamics of the guided tours differ according to the age of the children. For example, students in fifth and sixth grade are given more intellectual and historical information, and for younger children the experience is more playful.
On Wednesday, February 26, preschoolers from Rosario Castellanos at Presa Allende were divided into four groups to tour the cultural centers simultaneously. Two tours are held each month. Marcela Rodríguez, in charge of educational services in the Casa del Mayorazgo, said that in order for the program to work, the organization establishes communication with school officials and invites them to participate. If the school accepts, parents must pay for the transportation of the children to the city.