Saturday, December 20, 2014

The El Pavo chocolatada

I’d like to start this post with a general observation about small desert villages and ‘events’, be it a birthday, anniversary or chocolatada. After five years of attending these things, It seems to me that the purpose of these activities is to have the event…. enjoying it isn’t even a consideration. All the ingredients for fun are there – a cause, food and music, but rarely is there laughter. That’s not a complaint, merely an observation. If that’s the custom and culture of these villagers, fine with me.

Brian is home during a university break and offered to help with the El Pavo chocolatada. He has seen poor villages in his travels but I think he was a bit surprised at the degree of poverty in El Pavo. His question to me, “This is the school….?” is what tipped me off.

Those parents who had the means chose to dress the kids in their best finery. The school director Amalia started the activities by leading the kids in a song. They sang Cholito Jesus, a common song that is sung at Christmas in schools throughout Peru.

While the kids were singing, the village women brought the food that they had prepared in their homes into the classroom. It was the standard chocolatada meal; chicken, paneton, and hot chocolate, followed by empanadas, candy and juice that had been donated by Promesa Peru member Yescenia.

When we began to hand out the toys we heard ooohs and ahhhs from several of the parents. The toys we gave to the kids were not extravagant, but the parents were expecting balls and other simple toys. If you click on the photo and look at the little girl lower left, you’ll see that she has discovered that her doll lights up and talks. Those are the good moments at a chocolatada.

This is a rare photo at a chocolatada… showing village men who attended. Usually they are either working or for whatever reason never show up. These men stood in the background and didn’t participate, but upon our leaving each of them thanked us for our contribution.  

The El Pavo villagers are poor and uneducated. They don’t have much but they do know how to work the land…and to show appreciation. They gave us these food items to take home with us.

Our thanks to Chris R, Amy B, Ray and Rose, Yescenia, Pablo and especially to Graham T for donating the toys.


  1. Tom, congratulations on your chocolatada!!!!!!!!!!!! It looks like everyone had a great time. Keep up the great work, your efforts are making a difference.


    1. Thanks Marc - being able to take part in two chocolatadas was a great way to finish a very successful year.