Happiness filled the air on Friday, October 26th as the Escuelita celebrated their First Annual Graduation! This year was the Escuelita’s first year as an official school recognized by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education. Wearing wide smiles and graduation caps, thirty four graduates marched down the aisle to receive their diplomas and strike a pose for the camera. In January when the new school year starts, the Escuelita’s six-year-olds will be moving on to the Educational Reinforcement Center to continue growing their minds and bodies still within Safe Passage.

Family members, volunteers, and Safe Passage staff members were invited to watch the graduation, and celebrate the success of Safe Passage’s youngest learners. With smiles, excitement, and adorable costumes, all students age three to six were in high spirits to celebrate the closing of the school year, and mark the start of their summer camp adventures for the next three weeks.

After the diploma ceremony, Escuelita Director Paola Marroquin narrated the story of “Hanley Denning’s Garden” while the students sang and danced. Each class played a role in dancing as one of the creatures in Hanley’s garden. Shirley, one of the graduating six-year-olds, played Hanley and acted out the process of cleaning up the trash from the garden, planting beautiful flowers, and creating a beautiful place for children to share, learn, and play together. The two-year-olds wiggled across the stage as worms, the three-year-olds as snails, and the four-year-olds shook it as spiders. The five-year-old class then fluttered across the stage as elegant butterflies, and the two six-year-old classes as ants and bees. All students did a tremendous – and adorable – job of telling the story of how the Escuelita came to be.

A big congratulation goes out to the students and faculty of the Escuelita on their tremendous work this school year and a beautiful graduation ceremony to celebrate their success!

See all the photos on Facebook here.

-Julia Fernandes

Escuelita Volunteer