News from Centro Santa Catalina

These are some of the events and happenings in and around our Center and colonia. We hope they will give you a sense of the life of the people in Colonia Panfilo Natera.

The Journey of Life

A popular Mexican song, "Los Caminos de la Vida," begins with the words: The paths of life are not as I expected, not as I imagined...."  

Pilgrimage, the journey, the paths of life, the companions we encounter along the way, the ups and downs, the detours and the destinations....all were part of the reflections of our morning retreat for the women who teach our women's course called Valores, Fe y Vida.

First Day of Kindergarten

Do you remember the first day of school? We've probably all had several "first days"--as children, parents, perhaps as teachers. Remember the mix of feelings that filled those first days?

Kindergarten at Centro Santa Catalina began on August 22nd with 89 children enrolled. The pre-kindergarten classroom is full. We have eleven spaces remaining for children in regular kindergarten, and after our late registration tomorrow those will probably all be filled as well.

Volunteers Make a Difference

Mailing our newsletter three times a year is an effort that needs many hands! In December and April we count on the women of the sewing cooperative to help with this task. However, in mid-August they are still enjoying summer vacation so our El Paso board members as well as other volunteers from St. Pius Parish rose to the occasion. Folding, stuffing envelopes, attaching labels, sealing and sorting according to postal regulations--all in less than four hours.

Kindergarten Graduation

The kindergarten class of 2011-2012 received their graduation certificates today witnessed by many, many family members and friends. The event took place in the Chapel of San Andres, on whose grounds the Center is located.

All of the children wore black togas. Each class had stoles in a different color; the stoles were embroidered with the Center's logo and the name of the child. 

Graduation for the Women's Program

On Saturday June 23rd seventeen women graduated from the four-year cycle of Valores, Fe y Vida (Values, Faith and Life). Each of these women received a framed certificate of completion and a gift from the Center.

In their evaluations during the last session the women completing the fourth year said the following:

The Kindergarten Gets All Wet!

One of the most anticipated events of the year for the kindergarten students is the end-of-year swimming party. On a day with temperatures above the century mark what could be more fun than jumping into cool water!

Thanks to three parents who loaned us their inflatable pools the children had plenty of room to splash and play.

When they tired of the water they could climb into the brinca-brinca (literally translated as "jump-jump") or onto the swings.

38 Sixth Graders Graduate

On June 19th, the last day of the Homework Help program for this year, we celebrated graduation for our largest ever group of sixth graders. Thirty-eight boys and girls, many of whom have come to the Center since kindergarten, are now ready to leave primary school and enter secondary.

Next week these children will have their official graduation from the primary schools that they attend. But we could not let them leave Centro Santa Catalina without recognition of their time here in the Homework Help Program.

May I Introduce You?

One of the pleasures of being the director of Centro Santa Catalina is that I get to deal directly with the women who work at the center and those who participate in our programs. To give you an idea of the life of one of our women I'll share with you the story of a woman whom I will call Dolores.

Annual Fundraiser

The temperatures reached the mid-90s. The wind tossed the canopies about until they could be anchored. But no matter--the women set up the food booths and began to "tortillear." (That lovely word means "to shape the dough into tortillas.") The youth taped down their lottery game so the cards wouldn't blow away. The kindergarten children and the primary school children in the tutoring program arrived in their dance costumes. 

Mother's Day Celebrated

Mother's Day in Mexico is celebrated on May 10th, no matter what day of the week it might be. The children are off from school on that day and even some government offices close.

The kindergarten children offered their mothers an additional day of celebration at festivities on Friday, May 11th. After two days of rain Friday dawned cool and clear, a perfect day to be outside.