The second Club de Chicas class was huge! The older girls who missed the first day showed up, along with a few other new students, and a professor from one of the local schools. Here, the students keep the same teacher from K-6 and she will move up with them through each grade.
Profe Prima is interested in learning jewelry so she can teach it to her class as they get older. Jewelry, especially wire work, can help develop fine motor skills for kids because of the need to manipulate the pliers. It also teaches math fundamentals because often you measure your pieces and find the center of them.
With so many people, we barely had enough room on the table and some of the chicas sat on the ground. One of my favorite students from last year, Yessica, returned for the class which made only two returning students from last year. One of last year’s students was sent away because she was stealing clothing off the clothes line and reselling it. The other girls now have babies and have entered the life of motherhood.
Teen pregnancy is extremely common here. It is no unusual for girls as young as 14 and 15 to be pregnant, often by older men. The new school administrator has banned pregnancy in schools- which means if you are pregnant, you’re forced to drop out. Contraceptive, for men and women, is not available in the local hospital so girls must take an expensive trip to town if they want birth control. Culturally, birth control isn’t something people in rural countryside use so, combined with its unavailability, it’s virtually non-existent here.
Back to the class! The girls especially loved the regal pendants and had a blast making them. It was wonderful to watch them help each other and took the strain off of me teaching 9 beginner students at a time with very little space. It was worth it, though, to see how thrilled the girls were with their finished projects.
Profe Prima was also enthralled in her jewelry making. Originally she planned to leave a 4 to go home and cook dinner, but she stayed until the end of class. As she put, “I love this so much and I don’t want to stop. I like doing this better than cooking.”
So there we have it! Ruraq Maki taking over the world with one bracelet at a time!