In Honduras, Children’s Day (or Día del Niño) is the closest celebration to Halloween – children with candy, elaborate decorations, and preparation of an agenda full of games and entertainment. Of course, it also includes people that scare you (aka teachers) but all in all it is just fun*.
*Fun that includes many children boosted by sugar and games!
Children’s Day is on September 10 but preparations start two weeks before when teachers and parents sit down in meetings to deliberate about food, piñatas, beverages, costumes and activities that will go according to a selected theme. This year at Santa Monica Bilingual School the theme was “Ponies and Pirates”. Even for our middle school students, seeing your homeroom teacher dressed as a pony or a pirate is hilarious and unforgettable.
Each classroom at minimum has a piñata and a cake. Parents help out with the logistics of delivering food, soda, and plates; while teachers work out some exciting activities like a cotton candy eating contest, the spoon and the lemon, and water balloon games or musical chairs. A hilarious fact about the choice of music is that trending songs such as Baby Shark are enjoyed by all students - doesn’t matter the age, it just makes everyone dance and laugh. (In fact, the volunteer teachers at San Jeronimo Bilingual School dressed up as the Baby Shark characters and even performed the dance for the whole school!)
In my experience as a teacher, Children’s Day is a day to be on high alert. Everything that is happening keeps you aware all the time (especially the sugar rush!) with so many questions coming and going through your mind. What if the students fall down? Is that piñata stick dangerous? What if they start running and hit something? What if they vomit? What if they are allergic to the cotton candy? What if there is not enough food for everybody? Should I give them more? Are they enjoying it? Do they like the game? But since all the students want is to have fun (and they will), all you really have to do is keep track if there is enough food and make sure that nobody gets hurt.
Children’s Day was suggested in 1954 at the United Nation General Assembly to have a day to celebrate children. Adding this day to The Rights of the Child in the Honduran constitution making this the happiest days of all.
THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
Article 119. The State has an obligation to protect children.
Children shall enjoy protection under international agreements which safeguard their rights.
The laws of child protection are public and official establishments serving this purpose are the character of social assistance centers.
Article 120. Minors, physical or mentally deficient, with irregular behavior, orphans and abandoned children are subjected to a special rehabilitation legislation, monitoring and protection as appropriate.
Article 121. Parents are obliged to support, assist and educate their children during their minority, and in other cases in which law is applicable. The State will provide special protection to children whose parents or guardians are unable to provide for their upbringing and education. Such parents or guardians shall have priority for the public office of suitability in similar circumstances.
Article 122. The law shall establish the jurisdiction and special courts to hear the cases of family and children.
Not allowed to enter a child under eighteen (18) years to a jail or prison.
Article 122. Second paragraph. Interpreted by Decree No. 41-95 dated March 14, 1995 and published in the Official Gazette No. 27,633 of April 21, 1995. In the sense that children under 18 who violate criminal laws, shall be confined in special centers determined by law, other than jails or prisons.
Article 123. Every child shall enjoy the benefits of social security and education. Shall be entitled to grow and develop in health, for which shall be provided both to him as his mother, special care from the prenatal period, with the right to enjoy food, housing, education, recreation, sports and medical services.
Article 124. All children must be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. Not subject to any type of trafficking.
They should not work before an appropriate minimum age, or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice their health, education, or interfere with them physically, mentally or morally. It prohibits the use of children by their parents and others to acts of begging. The law shall specify the penalties for those who engage in the violation of this provision.
Article 125. The media should cooperate in the training and education of the child.
Article 126. Every child should in all circumstances be among the first to receive help, protection and relief.