Casa Santo Domingo is Antigua, Guatemala’s number 1 tourist attraction.
You walk through the empty chambers and explore the six museums.
So it was surprising to hear the joyful shouting of children. Were these ghostly shouts?
School Luis Mena shares a wall with Casa Santo Domingo. We loved monastery Santo Domingo, but school Luis Mena turned into the highlight of our trip.
We circled the block, just as school was dismissing. Children were excited to go home, running and jumping and playing. Some had family waiting to take them home.
And this girl didn’t attend school. Her job was to sell treats at dismissal.
And the little boy, sitting on the curb by himself, also had no family to pick him up.
We asked to speak to the school administrator and she led us to teacher Luisa Fernanda.
Luisa Fernanda asked permission from a school administrator to give us a tour the following morning at 9 am!
We spent the rest of the afternoon buying school supplies, asking stationery supply stores what teachers needed most.
The next morning, Luisa Fernanda lead us to her empty classroom. The students were in their English class. We had time to talk and learn all about the challenges she faced as a teacher.
Luisa Fernanda’s class of 40 6th graders was overcrowded.
Worse, the government couldn’t provide enough textbooks for all of the children in the class. She couldn’t assign homework if the children didn’t have books to bring home.
The school day was from 9 am to 2 pm. Another school used the space after that. Luisa Fernanda locked up the supplies, but sometimes she found the lock broken and the supplies missing in the morning.
Luisa Fernanda‘s were excited to meet us after English class. That’s their English teacher, standing next to Luisa Fernanda.
We walked the children to the computer room. The room was well-equipped and the children were excited to be on the computers.
Casa Santo Domingo supplies the technology for the school.
We visited other classes, too. The younger children were much more shy, but excited to see us, too.
Even the young girl selling treats at dismissal was both shy and excited to meet us.
These children didn’t have the best of everything, but it didn’t matter to them.
Children have a way of making the most of a moment. Their excitement is contagious.
The school auditorium
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