We´ve created spaces for the kids to play and enjoy different educational games.

This is where the evil starts!  hahahahaha .... José has been learning to behave here.

Even the new tía Maribel was playing our games with the kids!

When they are occupied with meaningful activities, they are so good!

Antony and Angelo dragged me all around to play puzzles.

Even MariLuz is a fan of puzzles now!

Two little lovers!

Among a crazy guy and another manipulative gal volunteers fiasco, Finally came some comfort......

It has been a problem with the Casa San Antonio, where the tías cannot manage very well the boys of 8-12 years old.  For one thing, there were not enough tías and too many boys.  And boys are always naughtier and more physical.  On top of that, some of them had delinquent backgrounds and even psychiatric issues, what could one expect not to have problems?!  Even when I visited them, being a professional, I felt hopeless and helpless.  Tía Maria Castillo, who is a fantastic tía with a maternal nature that we all love.  She once said that, ¨it´s a pity because you can´t work with these children with love and care.  They don´t seem to understand.  All they are used to is being treated like animals, and it´s the only way to go.¨

Since Viki and I have been designing the cognitive educational program ENPAL, we have been working endlessly creating games, techniques to handle behavioral issues and tools to help the teachers understand the importance of learning through play.  One of the things we have decided to do in the second half of our year here is that we would go to each house and try to figure out the problems and help solving them.  In the past weeks, we prepared what we have with ENPAL, developed strategies, then we stayed in their house all day to observe the needs and flaws and tried to make some strategical changes.  It was like second nature for me to create behavioral programs, and I loved doing it.  And it was a good way to show to the tías how to manage behaviors effectively.  Both tías are so happy because they finally find ways to cope with the issues of the house, and they even resolved the conflicts that they both had because of different ways to handle the children.  Yesterday when I talked to tía Maria again, and she said,¨Yesterday while all the kids are drawing, painting and playing, suddenly Jeferson told her, ¨Tía, our house is so quiet and nice now.  I like it very much.¨!¨  I was so proud of all of them for making this program work.  They are the one who can make it work and make it sustainable.  And the children respond it to so well.  I truly believe that if we keep it consistent and keep it positive, we can make dramatic and positive changes.  Not only the behaviors, but the confidence, the self-esteem and knowledge these children deserve.