Mother’s Day in Guatemala is celebrated on May 10. It’s a day when children (and adults) take a moment to thank their moms for their love and support. This is especially important for Safe Passage students, since most of them come from single mother homes.

Guatemalans celebrate Mother’s Day by setting off fire crackers in the streets, making breakfast in bed, and buying flowers, or other gifts. In Safe Passage’s new Escuelita, the kids made their moms proud by singing, dancing, and reciting poems.

More than 50 moms gathered in the comedor of the Escuelita, which was decorated with streamers, balloons, and signs wishing them a Feliz Dia de la Madre. The children were all dressed in their best clothes; the little girls wearing puffy dresses and the boys wearing shirts and slacks.

The break dancers from the Escuelita started off the show by spinning, popping, and kicking out in the air. I even got a chance to jump in and show off my moves with Sharron Moyle, the Escuelita Site Coordinator and English teacher/volunteer. It was really fun to get a chance to interact with the youngest members of our Safe Passage family. Watching them and the mothers having so much fun reminded me how special this work is. I’m really grateful that I get to be a part of Safe Passage and get to share these special moments with Safe Passage families, and with you, our supporters.

Two-year-old Jimmy finished up the break dancing with a headstand (well, almost). Then, all of the two-year-olds followed by singing a song dedicated to their mothers. They were followed by the three- year-olds, four-year-olds, and so on up to the six-year-olds. Some of the older children even did a waltz, making their moms teary-eyed as they danced like little princesses and gentlemen.

Each mom got a gift made especially for them by their son or daughter. After the program, everyone got a snack and enjoyed each others’ company for a while. It was very noisy in the cafeteria, with all of the kids running around and their mothers chatting and laughing over the music. Everyone was happy and having a lot of fun.

It was nice to see the moms having fun, especially since many of them work long hours and spend their days caring for their children. They don’t get thanked very often for the sacrifices they make, and they definitely don’t have a lot of time for themselves. It was really amazing that our students, staff, and volunteers were able to show them our appreciation for all of this hard work.

These moms give everything to their children. Many of them never got the chance to go to school, or dropped out way too young. I realized as I was celebrating with the Escuelita that, for these women, watching their children learn and grow is the best Mother’s Day present of all.

-Victor Garrido

Safe Passage Support Team Coordinator