Everyone had a fantastic time at Hekab Be Summer Camp!

For three weeks this summer, Hekab Be was transformed as we explored the art and culture of Mexico, learning about the traditions of our local Maya, as well as the Aztec and Huichol cultures through crafts, theater, sports, dance, and cooking.

A total of 64 children attended camp this year, and we’re proud that tuition and supplies were covered thanks to generous donations from our friends, families of the children attending, and the Akumal business community. Thank you all!

Judging from their smiles, the children had lots of fun. Camp ended with a big celebration, where each class of children performed a play, and everyone danced the traditional Aztec “danza de los concheros,” complete with traditional dress.

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The smallest children, aged 3 to 5, were taught by Kaori. They learned about native animals from the Yucatan jungle. In their play, two explorers went into the jungle to meet the animals and learn their names in Maya.

Lucy taught the 6 to 9 years old, who performed a play about the legend of “El hijo del Maguey.” This traditional Mexican legend tells the story of Meconetzin, the son of the agave.

The older group, ages 10 to 13, were taught by Elizabeth, and created a play based on the Maya and Aztec gods. They not only performed, but wrote and directed the play and created their own beautiful costumes of the gods.

Every child who attended summer camp left with a backpack filled with supplies for the new school year, and an additional 26 backpacks with supplies were given to children who attend class at Hekab Be during the year, but were unable to attend summer camp.

Working together for the Akumal Art Festival

It wouldn’t be an Art Festival without art from the children! As part of the upcoming festival scheduled for this November, we are working with the Akumal public schools and Otoch Paal Montessori to decorate the Pueblo with beautiful, hand-painted fabric flags. We wanted to make flags that would last a while, but not become trash to litter the streets, so we are painting on fabric which will naturally decompose after a period of time. We want to include ALL the children of Akumal in this project, so if your child goes to school outside Akumal and wants to paint a flag, please contact Kaori to make sure they get an opportunity to be part of this event.

We are entering the Fall semester excited and energized, with a great group of children and volunteers. We’ve already had some great classes, including an introduction to scuba where the children made cardboard scuba gear and practiced how to descend and underwater communication. Every second Saturday you’ll find us in the ocean for real, learning to swim and just enjoying the beauty of Akumal bay.

Coming up on Oct 30th we are planning a bazaar to be held in the Akumal Pueblo. We are asking for donations of good quality clothing, small household items, and toys to sell to benefit Hekab Be. We’d also love any old bicycles (working or non-working) that we can use at the library for the children. Please drop items off at the library during open hours.

If you’d like to share you expertise with the children by teaching a class, contact Kaori. Or stop by anytime and join in the fun. Classes are Monday through Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, and Hekab Be is open weekdays between noon and 6:00pm, and Saturday mornings.

Thank you for everything you do to help us provide educational and cultural opportunities for the children of Akumal.

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