Santa Comes to Quito

When I'm in Quito, the Franciscan sisters there graciously allow me to stay over and share some in their life and ministry. They live in a poorer area of Quito, and last week, they held an event for over 40 children. Someone from a wealthier neighborhood had offered to buy small Christmas presents for the kids, and Sr. Anita hosted. It took a while to set things up and plan, but part of the plan was the arrival of Santa! So I broke out the Santa suit and was able to give out the bags of navidades (cookies and candies) to the kids at the end of everything. We didn't get a video, but I'll share some photos here. You may notice that Santa was having a bit of a bad mustache day - but the kids (and the adults) loved it all the same and got a good share of their own photos in. I'm glad the family gave, and they're talking about making the event an annual thing.

This hand-sized bag is a coveted "caramelo" or "navidad", that all children covet. The mix of animal crackers and candies and chocolates is more expensive the more you put in chocolates and candy bars. A child here might receive one or a few each Christmas at school, church, or community gatherings.