In the US we have Mother's Day and Father's Day. In Mexico we also have Children's Day: El Dia de los Ninos, which was last Wednesday, April 30th.
Our priest wanted to do something special for the children in Meliton Albanez, the small agrgicultural community served by our parish, so we had a Children's Day party for them on Friday. My friend Teresita coordinated the making of 250 chicken salad sandwiches, and other people in our parish brought jello and several large sheet cakes.
Padre conducted the mass with songs that included lots of clapping, and his homily was focused on how much God loves us. He led the children in a time of naming all the things we're thankful to God for (we're healthy! we can read! we have enough food! we have mothers and fathers!).
The party was held right after mass, in the area surrounding the church (a dirt lot).
There were enough pinatas that all the kids could participate:
and get plenty of candy:
All the food was eaten - there was none left!
Then we showed a movie in the church (Rango - in spanish, of course).
While the movie was being shown I picked up the remaining garbage. A lot had already been done by several adults, but there was a lot more! Several of the girls left the movie and asked if they could help, which of course I gratefully accepted:
As a grand finale, Padre brought HUGE boxes full of new shoes so everyone (maybe 150-200 kids) could have a pair. I don't know where he got them, but it was definitely a highlight for the kids to each get a new pair of shoes.
Here's the way we made the chicken salad sandwiches:
1 very large bowl of cooked boneless chicken breasts, put through a Cuisinart
1 very large bowl of chopped celery, ribs removed
1 very large bowl of skinned & chopped potatoes
1 very large bowl of skinned & chopped chayotes
1 very large bowl of chopped carrots
1 large bowl of roasted and skinned poblanos, chopped fine
After taking the chicken out of the HUGE pot it was cooked in, put the celery (in batches) in a strainer and submerge in the chicken broth for a couple of minutes to soften it. Do the same with the potatoes, chayotes and carrots. Then re-chop all of them very fine. Mix thoroughly along with the poblanos in the most humongous pot that you can find.
In another giant bowl, mix a huge amount of crema (or mayonnaise if you have no crema) and prepared mustard to make about 2 gallons. Mix this into the chicken/vegetable mixture.
Cut 250 bolillos (mexican rolls, soft and sweet) in half. Spread the chicken salad on half of each bolillo, top with the other half & wrap in a paper napkin. Repeat 250 times.
The proportions are unimportant. The result is REALLY tasty because the poblanos put some zing into it (and of course the bolillos are heavenly!). It took us 4 hours to cook and chop everything and 1 1/2 hours to assemble the tortitas (little sandwiches). I didn't take any pictures of the process because I was too busy chopping and assembling!
Here's a photo of Teresita (on the right) and another friend, Blanca, who I helped in putting together the food: