News & Events


Summer in Sicuani

by Ancilla Maloney, IHM

When the folks in the southern hemisphere experience summer, it includes mainly the months of January, February and March. The children are on vacation and so the sisters in San Felipe Parish plan summer activities for the children and teenagers.

The sisters use the patio of the IHM House of Studies for the program. The teachers are teachers from the public schools and mostly members of the parish. They were accompanied by two volunteers from Germany who are working with the sisters throughout the year in Sicuani and in the village of Checacupe, and by some of the teenagers in the parish. Approximately 70 children, divided into four groups, participated in the program which lasted for three weeks. Activities included singing/dynamics led by Sister Eileen, reading, mathematics, arts and crafts and sports.

An Andean custom exists in a program called “Rezania” which means “Prayer.” Each morning at 5:30, Sister Norma heads up to our church to announce over the PA the beginning of the hour-long program at 6:00 a.m.  The children are divided into groups conducted by the teens in the parish and by Sister Norma. During Rezania the children learn their prayers, how to pray the rosary and how to read and pray with the Bible. Sisters Ellen Maroney and Terri Jordan joined the sisters during the last week and on the last day of the program, the children gave a presentation of all that they had learned during the month.

Carnival is a big celebration time in the South Andes. On Shrove Tuesday, Ancilla planned a water balloon day of fun. She and Sister Terri, plus several of the teenagers, filled more than 700 water balloons. In the afternoon, the patio of the House of Studies was again filled with happy and excited children. While Sister Ellen and Eileen guarded the tubs with the balloons, Sisters Norma, Terri and Ancilla organized the different games and the children had a ball. The program ended with a free-for-all with water balloons flying everywhere!

Now because of COVID19 the schools here are closed for at least the month of March (schools usually open the first week of the month) and probably longer. Our children do not have access to any educational programs on computers because most families do not have computers, books, toys or games. May this virus which is stealing so much from the children of the world come to a safe ending soon!

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Filling the water balloons and preparing to catch them with a bucket!