Dec 20 2010

Make a cup of traditional Guatemalan hot chocolate

Chocolate has been part of Latin American culture for 2,000 years. Today, most Latin American cultures serve hot chocolate with tamales during the Christmas season.

In Guatemala, Claudia Mariela and her family live in the community of El Chocolate, so of course, chocolate is part of their lives.

Claudia is the mother of six children, three of whom are sponsored in CFCA’s Hope for a Family program.

Watch this video of Claudia Mariela making Guatemalan hot chocolate, then try making your own using this easy recipe.

Hot chocolate (makes about 2 quarts)

  • 2 7-oz. bars of drinking chocolate (brands such as Ibarra and Abuelita can be found at Hispanic markets)
  • 2 quarts of water
  • Cinnamon sticks (optional)
  • Milk and sugar (optional)

Bring the water to a full, rolling boil.

While the water is coming to a boil, chop up the chocolate or grind it in a blender or food processor. This will help the chocolate dissolve faster. You can also just add the chocolate as is from the box.

Add the chocolate to the boiling water. Stir constantly until the chocolate is dissolved.

Add milk, cinnamon sticks and sugar according to your taste. This chocolate is so rich that you don’t have to add milk.

Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until well blended, about 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve piping hot with tamales. Make your own Christmas tamales.

Want to know the story behind the CFCA mothers group who run a chocolate-making business? Click here to read more.

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Sep 20 2010

Colombia’s Feria de las Flores (Fair of the Flowers)

The Feria de las Flores, or Fair of the Flowers, takes place in Medellin, Colombia, every year. Tr·nsito Hern·ndez, coordinator of the Antioquia project in Colombia, writes about this yearís fair, which took place in August.

2010 Feria de las Flores

Colombia celebrates its 53rd Feria de las Flores, or Fair of the Flowers, in 2010.

“This year we celebrated the 53rd version of the Fair of the Flowers. This fair constitutes one of the most important cultural events in Colombia. … This is an event that unites all the people of Antioquia and many national and foreign tourists who visit the city of Medellin. The city decorates itself for approximately 10 days to enjoy the flowers and a diverse number of recreational, cultural and fun events, which gain in importance year after year.

“Ö Our sponsored children have also participated in a very special manner in the competitions of dance and have won first place. They have also participated in the festival of martial music bands. This year the band from one subproject won the fourth spot in the competition among more than 34 other bands that competed.

“The children are full of hope when they participate and feel very proud of representing CFCA in events as important as this one. From their institutions of education, they also participate in many cultural events of the fair.

“Other forms in which some of our CFCA families participate actively are with stalls for selling different kinds of food and drink. They go out in the streets enjoying the events and the crowd selling water, juices or fast food, generating extra money for the family. Some mothers are hired by restaurants and businesses which attract large crowds and need more employees, even though it is just temporary. It is very clear that the festivities significantly help the economy and many of our families take advantage of these events to make an extra peso.î

Click here to see a Facebook photo album of the flowers, as well as other events from the fair.

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Dec 23 2009

Walk2gether begins in one week

The walking begins in one week!

On Dec. 29, CFCA President Bob Hentzen will embark on Walk2gether, an 8,000-mile, 16-month journey through 12 countries in Latin America.

CFCA staff and BobExcitement and anticipation are building as families and CFCA staff in Guatemala prepare to bid Bob and his fellow travelers “Buen Viaje.” More than 65 sponsors participating in the mission awareness trip will also be on hand for the launch.

Meanwhile, CFCA staff in Kansas gave Bob an official send-off when he visited the headquarters in late November. Read more here.

Check out the new Walk2gether website, where you can follow Bob on an interactive map, and explore links to his electronic journals and to videos, slideshows and stories about the realities, people and activities in the countries he visits. You can also send messages of support and encouragement that Bob will share with the families of sponsored members and the CFCA staff in the communities he visits.

Walk2gether is a way to help counterbalance the isolation of people living in poverty, and show them that someone cares. The walk will help build community and strengthen the bonds of unity between CFCA’s sponsored members, sponsors and staff. It will also symbolize and promote the unity of countries, races, languages, genders and creeds. Visit Walk2gether.org to learn more.

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Aug 11 2009

August isn’t back-to-school month for everyone

As U.S. students prepare for the onset of school, students in other countries have already taken mid-terms.

That’s right. For students in many countries where CFCA works, school does not start in August or September.

The school year in Central America started in January or February. Those lucky children are only two months away from the end of school. Schoolchildren in India and the Philippines are already into their third month of the school year. And students in Kenyaówell, they follow the British system and attend school all year, with long breaks at the end of each quarter.

Find the school calendar for your friend on the graph below.

School calendar

Related links
Time for school

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Aug 3 2009

Honduras update

Late last week we received an update about the political crisis in Honduras from three of our five Honduran projects. All three reported they are continuing to operate and provide benefits.

Please continue to keep your sponsored friends, CFCA staff and all people of Honduras in your thoughts and prayers through this turmoil.

To read the entire news story, please refer to this link.

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Jul 2 2009

Celebrating freedom

On the Fourth of July, Americans will gather to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, parades and picnics. Although the United States and the countries CFCA partners with do not celebrate independence on the same date, we share many customs and events.

In Central America, most countries celebrate their independence on Sept. 15 with parades and music. The running of the Central American Freedom Torch from Guatemala to Costa Rica, taking a total of 14 days, reenacts the news of their independence spreading through Central America.

South Americans celebrate with large celebrations, flying flags, parades, fireworks and feasting. In India, all cities have Flag Hoisting Ceremonies run by politicians and other officials. Indian schoolchildren gather to sing songs and watch the hoisting of the flag.

Under colonization, Haitians were forbidden to eat soup, a meal reserved for the upper classes. Now on Independence Day, it is traditional to eat soup to demonstrate the equality of all citizens.

People of the Philippines celebrate their independence with ceremonies, historic exhibitions and memorial events. Festivities begin with a flag-raising ceremony and parade in the historic city of Cavite, where Filipinos first proclaimed their independence.

We would like to encourage you to research how the country your friend lives in celebrates its independence. And from all of us at CFCA, we wish you a safe and wonderful Independence Day.

The Independence Days of the countries CFCA partners with are listed below.

Jan. 1
Haiti
Feb. 27
Dominican Republic
May 24
Ecuador
June 12
Philippines
June 26
Madagascar
July 5
Venezuela
July 20
Colombia
July 26
Liberia
July 28
Peru
Aug. 6
Bolivia
Aug. 15
India
Sept. 7
Brazil
Sept. 15
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua
Sept. 16
Mexico
Sept. 18
Chile
Oct. 9
Uganda
Dec. 9
Tanzania
Dec. 12
Kenya

 

Updated July 1, 2011

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Feb 11 2009

Sol, Solecito

Four-year-old Liseth of Bogota, Colombia, loves learning songs and rhymes. In this video, she recites a few rhymes popular in Latin America, similar to “Hey, Diddle, Diddle” in English. The translations of her rhymes are below. Read more about Liseth.

Arroz con Leche (Rice with Milk)*
Rice with milk
I want to get married
To a senorita
From the capital

Who knows how to sew
Who knows how to embroider
Who knows how to open the door
And go outside to play

With this one, yes
With this one, no
With this senorita
Iíll get married
I want to get married
I donít know with whom
Someone
With brown hair and shoes

I like milk
I like coffee
Now I like everything
About you!

Sol Solecito (Sun, Little Sun)*

Sun, little sun
Warm me a little
Today and tomorrow
All week long

Moon, little moon
Like a sleigh bell
Five little chicks
And one calf

Snail, snail
At one oíclock, the sun comes out
Out comes Pinocchio playing a drum
With a spoon and a fork

*In Spanish, these verses rhyme and, like ìHey Diddle, Diddleî, they make little sense. The rhyming is lost in the translation.
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