Book Awareness Week at Casco Antiguo, Panama

 

A classic Monday morning in Casco Viejo: I was on the phone and at the same time answering emails (or deleting early spam… somehow the prince of Mombatu is still considering sending me at least $200,000 directly to my bank account, no papers signed) when suddenly a loud noise started to approach. “Drums…. Drums in the deep”… I thought, just like the Lord of the Rings episode when the good guys where about to get attacked by ugly orks. I couldn’t continue my phone conversation, so I hung up and ran outside with my camera… quickly, but not quickly enough, as the parade had already passed Calle 1era.

 

I ran through the alley to catch them at Calle 2nda, but then found out they where staying at Plaza Francia, so I had to run again to get a good shot before they disolved the formation.  And there they were: all dressed up in their school uniforms, heads high under the morning sun, a parade to commemorate the “Book Awareness Week”. A few local schools where part of it, Escuela de Mexico and I think I saw the Simon Bolivar as well.  The parade had two great signs: “To respect other people’s rights is to have peace” and “The books are our teachers”.

 

I’m glad schools take these small but significant opportunities to blend fun with great messages. For the kids is all about the honor of being in “the band”, but I know somewhere in the middle of it, a mind is being shaped.

 

The Book Awareness Week has started! If you are in the community and would like to donate books, don’t be shy and ask any of the local schools. Some have small libraries and they would love to receive donations. Or go to Parque Omar on Saturday, as they are collecting books to distribute to schools and use in their art workshops.

 

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