Los Amigos Puppet Show Teaches Recycling

Dave Easby - Los Amigos de Jaltemba
April 7, 2012

Fresh from a successful run as a member of the La Peñita Players, Marion Rogers has now taken on a new challenge.

She heads up the group responsible for developing the educational component of the Los Amigos de Jaltemba Recycling Program.

Funded partly by a donation from the La Peñita Players and partly by a grant from the Del Norte Rotary Club, this component of the program is based on Los Amigos' belief that any plan to raise community awareness with respect to the importance of recycling needs to start with the youngest citizens of the community.

As part of the initiative, Marion has scripted a puppet show about recycling that students from Colegio Cervantes are performing in all the primary schools (which cover grades 1 to 6) in the area.

The show is playing to rave reviews. A pelican has been adopted as the mascot for the overall program, so the show features the pelican and a rooster.

The show lasts about 30 minutes and involves active learning. Audience members are asked to respond to questions by the puppets and to record reasons for recycling; they also are invited to "fill in the blanks" on a page of the song lyrics.

The show includes two songs which have been written to the tune of two classic Mexican songs, "La Cucaracha" and "Jarabe Tapatio" (more commonly known as "The Mexican Hat Dance"). One song is about not wasting, and the advantages of recycling. The other song instructs on how to recycle plastic bottles and other advantages of caring for the environment.

A prototype stuffed pelican has also been designed and created by a Los Amigos member, Sydney Richmond.

A group of parents from the La Peñita Catholic community have lent their talents and financial support to the sewing of 15 pelicans to be provided to each school; these will serve in each school as a weekly reward for the class that undertakes the most recycling.

To help ensure buy-in to the mascot among local children, a contest has been organized in the schools to name the mascot, the prize being another pelican.

A drawing will be held for yet another pelican; the "ticket" is merely a returned pledge sheet of recycling promises by both students and parents. The purpose of this pledge sheet is to raise environmental awareness at home as well as build student commitment.

All of these activities complement the environmental education curriculum of the Mexican government.

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