Caras Tarde – Afterschool Program
Our free afterschool program provides a space where kids can be kids in a safe and supportive environment. In the community of Las Rosas, children face a number of difficulties, which arise from a lack of economic resources and educational opportunities. Most come from single-parent households and often have to fend for themselves after primary school ends in the morning. Without afterschool activities, children in Las Rosas are susceptible to delinquency and risky behaviors, such as drugs and alcohol, which are prevalent issues in the community. Thus, with Caras Tarde we aim to provide a supportive space where kids can have fun and develop healthy relationships away from negative influences.
Every Monday through Thursday, from 2 pm to 4:30 pm, we open our doors to the kids in the community, offering activities such as:
- Arts and crafts, which includes drawing, painting, and handicrafts;
- Sports and dance, which includes football, basketball, baseball and zumba; and
- Four-day workshops, which typically involves more complicated crafting projects, such as paper mache animals or dream catchers.
Each day at 3:30 pm, the kids eat a nutritious snack, after which they have time to play until the end of the day at 4:30 pm. Additionally, because the children do not have access to computers or printers at home, we print homework assignments at the end of the day for any child who needs it. The last Thursday of every month is “Birthday Thursday.” We sing “Happy Birthday” to each child with a birthday that month, and present each child with a small gift, which is theirs to take home. With cake, drinks, and games, everyone looks forward to this day! While the children enjoy these opportunities to be creative and have fun, they are also exposed to positive role models who teach them right from wrong and how to interact positively with their peers.
The children in Las Rosas are often caught in a vicious cycle caused by a lack of educational opportunities and economic resources. Therefore, Caras Alegres plays an invaluable part within the community, in interrupting this cycle of marginalization.