Issue - February 2007



February 2007
Canarito Pampeno

For the last nine years the children of La Cancha have had an opportunity to escape from the busy streets of the market into the care of the Centro Canarito Pampeño where they are given assistance with schoolwork and have the chance to play safely in a protected environment...read more...

February 2007

Canarito Pampeno

For the last nine years the children of La Cancha have had an opportunity to escape from the busy streets of the market into the care of the Centro Canarito Pampeño where they are given assistance with schoolwork and have the chance to play safely in a protected environment.

I talked to Nilda one of the four full-time staff at the Canarito, and Kenneth, a volunteer who has worked there for the last month, to find out more about this project and why it is so important for the people of La Cancha.

There are around 270 children registered at the Canarito although attendance fluctuates and there are usually only 20-40 children in a class. There are two three-hour classes a day with different children in the morning and afternoon. They are mostly aged between four and twelve years but some children stay on into their teens and continue to receive assistance. Parents pay just Bs.5.- per month towards costs or Bs.50.- for the whole year.

Considering how cheap this is, it is amazing that the Canarito is not severely overpopulated, if all the registered children were to attend regularly there is no way they could cope within the small premises currently available. However many children are expected to work from a very young age and this is often given priority over their education and recreation.

It is a great shame that more children do not get to enjoy the services offered by the Canarito as Nilda described many ways that they can benefit including greater confidence and competence at school and improved social skills and self-esteem. She also said that improvements can be seen in family relationships as parents take an interest in the child's activities and the child has a source of pride beyond the economy of the marketplace.

Nilda also highlighted how important this service is to working mothers who are happy to know that their children are safe when they would otherwise be home alone or else floating around La Cancha begging or selling sweets or just hanging around and perhaps getting in trouble.

Besides help with homework there are many other fun and educational activities occurring at the Canarito. Singing and dancing are common, in both traditional and modern styles.

The "Inca Trail"
In August 1990, archeologists Antonio Paolillo and Ricardo Céspedes organized an expedition to the Parque Nacional Carrasco to cover the Inca trail regarding the "cocales" situated in the Yungas of Arepucho. An article published in the Ligabue Magazine tells about the discovery of this pre-Hispanic trail and the presence of a rock with petrography situated in the community of San Pedro...
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