The school year is coming to a close here in Playa del Carmen which means our volunteer time teaching English in Playa del Carmen will be on hiatus until the Fall. I remember how awesome summer break was so I completely understand that we’ll be sadder than the kids when we part ways.  As a sign of appreciation for the work that KKIS does for the school we were invited to attend Gratitude Day late last week. The program was held to thank not just us, but all those who had contributed to the Pelopidas School over the year be it financially or with time.

Yep, we're VIP these days.
We found these on our chairs when we arrived, yep, we’re VIP these days.

Parent, kids, local dignitaries and our little group were all on hand to hear the speeches (oh there were speeches, lots and lots and lots of speeches).

Speeches of Appreciation at Gratitude Day
I didn’t understand everything she said, but I could tell there were a lot of thank you’s.

But there were also a lot of singing, performing and dancing.

Children singing at Gratitude Day at Pelopidas School
A recorder! Keyboards! A guitar! So much awesomeness here.

My absolute favorite was the Michoacan “Dance of the Old People” that the kids performed. From what I could tell the dance involves a lot of shuffling around bent over a cane holding onto the lower back. Sounds about right.

Michoacan Dance of the Old People
They didn’t specify who the “old” people are. There’s a very good chance these kids were poking fun at me.

The parents and teachers got in on the dancing as well, check out this beautiful dance performed by some of the teachers and mothers.

The children came by and handed out flowers to the volunteers.

Delivering flowers at Gratitude Day
Some flowers, a muchas gracias and a smile from her? I’m not actually sure I did enough to deserve all of that!
 

Flowers at Gratitude Day
We received quite the bounty.

And before we left we were invited into a reception with loads of food and one of the teachers presented our group with a poster full of notes of appreciation that the kids had written.

Gratitude Day reception at Pelopidas School
Croissants, cookies and cupcakes. This is definitely a great way to say thank you.
Pelopidas Teachers Presenting Notes of Gratitude
The kids didn’t need our help to learn to write thank you. Their teachers here have already done a fantastic job.

This Wednesday will be our last day of volunteering before school lets out for the summer so we’ll have to say goodbye to the kids until fall. But just because the school year is over doesn’t mean the need goes away. Thank you for those who have already donated school supplies and money. We will still be collecting school supplies year round and donations to the KKIS program are always welcome . There are lots of changes happening at the school but we hope to be back in the fall where I’m planning to surprise them with my ‘fluent’ Spanish skills and hope they will do the same with their English.  Although if memory serves me right, I’m guessing swimming and sleeping are going to take precedence over studying during the summer break.