For those of you who might think that kids are getting a real glimse of Latin culture and Spanish language through the Dora the Explorer videos sold in the U.S., think again.
We were recently at the birthday party held for the first birthday of a couple who work at the school. The husband has been teaching the elementary Spanish classes for the past two years. He and his wife and entire family are Ecuadorian.
They put together a huge party which included blow up bouce house, face painting and a cotton candy machine (all which their one year old couldn’t enjoy, but her elementary aged guests could). After a couple hours of free play, the kids were brought together for the great “show.” A very animated lady on a microphone greeted all the children. Behind her it was hard to miss the “Dora the Explorer” theme in the decorations and the birthday cake.
But we didn’t expect what came next. Suddenly a live “Dora” came out from behind the bushes to dance and sing with the children. Soon, a live “Boots” (“Botas” in Spanish) who was actually taller than the Dora figure, also joined the circle of children. The kids were going crazy trying to shake their hands or give them hugs. Jared and Luke weren’t sure what to think about the people with the big plush heads.
Then Dora and Boots began to sing and dance and encourage all the children to join them. However, I’ve never seen Dora shake her hips on the video as much as she did at this birthday party. That girl had some real latin moves going on.
Of course, all this activity was taking place completely in Spanish. The two characters led the children in some jumping and dancing games and then finished off by breaking a pinata over their laps so that everyone would have the same opportunity to get some birthday candy.
It was a birthday party that Jared and Luke will not forget for a while.