Emily McRae, AmeriCorps VISTA
We’re excited to announce that the 4th annual Fiesta Para Bebés kicked off last Saturday, May 12, at El Camino Real Academy, and it was a blast! New and expecting parents and families alike joined together for a fun Saturday morning with their kids, to learn about all the amazing community resources Santa Fe has to offer. Many organizations came from around the county, whose mission is to support families and help children succeed. To name a few, the Randall Davey Audubon Center bird sanctuary was present to encourage children and families to get out and engage with nature. Fathers New Mexico was there, a non-profit helping to support healthy fatherhood. And The Food Depot, who helps ensure that no one goes hungry, had a booth to provide information, as did many more. With over 30 vendors present, there was someone to represent every kind of support a family could need to help their child succeed.
While parents browsed the booths, children were encouraged to participate on stage in the three live and amazing performances. Teatro Paraguas was wonderful enough to put on the live play El Diablo de Polvo, The Dust Devil, a tale about a little girl living on an isolated farm who learns the true meaning of friendship from a cat, a bird, and a cow. Next, magician Monte Davidson astounded everyone with his ability to magically change the length of string and the size of red balls, and other unexplainable happenings as well! Finally, Dahlia Cummings of the Santa Fe Public Library was there to serenade the children and guide them in beautiful songs, both in Spanish and English.
We closed the show with one brave little girl. She stood up, on her own, and sang for us her ABC’s – that had to be the highlight of everyone’s afternoon. By supporting her singing and sharing what she had learned, we witnessed the powerful impact early childhood engagement and playful learning can have on a little one. That moment seemed to encompass everything Fiesta Para Bebés is about. A time for providers to showcase what they do, to support parents through their difficult journey of raising a child, and to offer children a space to learn and engage with all the wonderful things in the world.
Throughout the day, we had drawings for diapers provided by the Santa Fe Baby Fund, and for various other prizes generously donated by some of the organizations, including Many Mothers, Gerard’s House, and the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. It was truly a joy to see so many families and kids laughing and playing together and for them to learn of the abundance of support from the community.
I want to give a shout out to Pablo, a former janitor of El Camino Real who helped set up the event in previous years, and has since transferred schools, but who cares about the kids that much that he came back and help us arrange for the event. Thanks Pablo! I would also like to give thanks to Katie Dry of the Santa Fe Baby Fund, who planned the event.
See you next year for Fiesta Para Bebés 2019!
Some special thanks to our sponsors, Brindle Foundation, Noticias Nuevo Mexico, La Tricolor 105.9, LANL Foundation, Christus St. Vincent, Nusenda Credit Union, Gemini Rosemont Commercial Real Estate, Jenna and Wilson Scanlan, and Santa Fe Public Schools. This is an event by the Santa Fe Community Foundation and Santa Fe Baby Fund and is supported by Opportunity Santa Fe.