Every summer Julio Otoni Community Center staff and volunteers put on a Colonia de Ferias, or Summer Camp for the children.
This year, camp began before Carnival, with four days of different activities organized by a team of international volunteers. Each day there were 25-30 kids eagerly waiting to see what that day had in store. There was a day of sports, a day of art projects about their community, a day of singing and music, and culminating with a day of wacky competitions such as spelling bees, trivia, and other brain teasers!
After Carnival the group came back together the following Thursday for a field trip!
16 kids and 7 volunteers went to Casa do Pontal, a museum of popular Brazilian art and folklore from the 20th century. When the group arrived they were greeted by what one volunteer described as a “pied piper”, leading the group with guitar and song through the museum. “The kids were captivated by the theatrical presentation of their guide, as were we! She managed to bring to life folk history and to get the children involved as well. It was brilliant, “ said one volunteer. “My favorite part was the puppet show! I got to be the bull,” said one student about acting out a popular folk tale.
The museum is located in Recreio, a neighborhood outside of downtown Rio. The children were glued to the window during the 90 minute bus ride, passing through the famous beach neighborhoods of São Conrado, and Barra. While these places are only located a few kilometers away from where they live, many of them had never seen them, let alone the open ocean. On the way home from the museum, the group stopped in São Conrado to watch the para gliders and hang gliders jumping from the mountains above and landing on the beach.
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