CiC-title
Jarwin-top

Here in Colombia we celebrate Jesus’ birthday all December long! My parents usually don’t have enough money to buy us toys. But there are many fun things to see and do. Plus, sometimes Mom finds us toys that people threw away, and she gives them to my sisters and me. We’re happy to have something to play with, even if it’s broken and old.

I want to tell you more about where I live — and why Christmas was extra special for me last year!

divider-2

essay photo

This is Mom and me at our home last year. She usually stays home to take care of my sisters and me. Dad works as a motorcycle driver. People pay him money to drive them places. If enough people need rides, Dad makes money to buy us food that day. But sometimes we can’t afford food. Those are the worst nights because we go to bed hungry. Things are better since I started going to the Compassion program at our church last year when I was 5.

essay photo

These are photos of me at my Compassion center coloring a picture and eating a meal of rice and vegetables. I started going to the center for food, Bible lessons, health checkups and playtime. My teachers there told me they would find someone to sponsor me. I could hardly wait until I had my own sponsor! But that’s not the only thing I was excited about — Christmas activities were starting all over Colombia!

essay photo

In Colombia we start celebrating Christmas on Dec. 7 with a holiday called Día de las Velitas. That’s Spanish for “Day of the Little Candles.” People light candles all over town to celebrate the time when Mary became pregnant with Jesus. And grandmas come over to cook foods like buñuelos, which are fried cheesy bites, and natilla, a custard dessert.

essay photo

More reasons I love Christmastime in Colombia: dances, fireworks and lights! Dancers and musicians perform in the streets. And families watch fireworks at parks. On Dec. 16, we start nine nights of prayers and parties to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Each night, families say a different prayer. During this time, shops, streetlights and trees are decorated with lights and giant ornaments. 

essay photo

The teachers from my Compassion center invited my family to a Christmas party! We ate a feast with other sponsored kids and their families. Then the teachers surprised us. They gave presents to every sponsored child! I got this awesome toy truck and a new shirt. Since my parents didn’t have to buy me a gift, they had enough money to buy rag dolls for my sisters! Then I got an even better surprise a couple of months later: The Serafin family from the United States sponsored me!

This is Mom and me at our home last year. She usually stays home to take care of my sisters and me. Dad works as a motorcycle driver. People pay him money to drive them places. If enough people need rides, Dad makes money to buy us food that day. But sometimes we can’t afford food. Those are the worst nights because we go to bed hungry. Things are better since I started going to the Compassion program at our church last year when I was 5.

These are photos of me at my Compassion center coloring a picture and eating a meal of rice and vegetables. I started going to the center for food, Bible lessons, health checkups and playtime. My teachers there told me they would find someone to sponsor me. I could hardly wait until I had my own sponsor! But that’s not the only thing I was excited about — Christmas activities were starting all over Colombia!

In Colombia we start celebrating Christmas on Dec. 7 with a holiday called Día de las Velitas. That’s Spanish for “Day of the Little Candles.” People light candles all over town to celebrate the time when Mary became pregnant with Jesus. And grandmas come over to cook foods like buñuelos, which are fried cheesy bites, and natilla, a custard dessert.

More reasons I love Christmastime in Colombia: dances, fireworks and lights! Dancers and musicians perform in the streets. And families watch fireworks at parks. On Dec. 16, we start nine nights of prayers and parties to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Each night, families say a different prayer. During this time, shops, streetlights and trees are decorated with lights and giant ornaments. 

The teachers from my Compassion center invited my family to a Christmas party! We ate a feast with other sponsored kids and their families. Then the teachers surprised us. They gave presents to every sponsored child! I got this awesome toy truck and a new shirt. Since my parents didn’t have to buy me a gift, they had enough money to buy rag dolls for my sisters! Then I got an even better surprise a couple of months later: The Serafin family from the United States sponsored me!

divider-1

Two of the most popular Christmastime treats in Colombia are buñuelos, fried cheesy bites, and natilla, a pudding dessert. They’re normally served on the same plate. Some sponsored kids get to eat them at Christmas celebrations at their Compassion centers!

 

Cook it!

Send this to a friend