From Mexico to Truckee: A day for kids
Luz Hernandez’s children don’t know about Dia de los Ninos.
Hernandez spent her childhood in Mexico relishing April 30, when families celebrate the Day of the Children. Teachers would give Hernandez and her classmates gifts and lots of Mexican food. However, her children, who have spent their childhood in the United States, have never celebrated the holiday.
The only way the Hernandez children know about Dia de los Ninos is from their mother’s stories. But that’s about to change.
The Hernandezes and other local families will get together to celebrate Dia de los Ninos for the first time in Truckee on Friday.
“It’s the day of the child. It’s almost like Christmas. It’s like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day for kids,” Hernandez said in Spanish while cutting out a seaweed-shaped piece of butcher paper for the “Under the Sea”-themed Dia de los Ninos.
When asked if her children are excited, Hernandez shakes her head.
“They aren’t excited. They don’t know [what to expect],” she said.
The event began as a grass-roots effort, said Susan Bruno, director of Truckee State Preschool. Dia de los Ninos has been a combined effort of parents from Club Amiguitos – a bilingual program for English- and Spanish-speaking toddlers and their parents – and Mexican parents of children from Truckee State Preschool.
Then, Sierra Nevada Children’s Services and other agencies got involved.
“We wanted to keep it as grass roots as possible, but people wanted to help,” Bruno said. “This is just fun. The unifying force is that it is about celebrating childhood; everyone knows what that is like.”
Proceeds from food sales, carnival games and a raffle at the event will go to an orphanage in Mexico, the local chapter of the Flying Doctors and toward the fund-raising effort for a new playground at Truckee Elementary School.
In addition to food and games, there will be dancing and music from DJ Genesis.
For the mothers and fathers who celebrated Dia de los Ninos in Mexico, Friday night should bring back a lot of memories.
Nayeli Andriano, the mother of a Truckee State Preschool student, said she hopes the celebration will become an annual event.
“My dream is that this will be a day for all the children in Truckee Ð for every child in the community.”
Check it out
Dia de los Ninos will be celebrated at Sierra Mountain Middle School on Friday, April 30, from 6-10 p.m. Children of all ages and families are welcome. Call Susan Bruno at 582-7144 for more information.
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