Every year in the Patriotic Month, it is a tradition that in Villa Per Se takes one of the 14 trades which are an important part of our methodology and make a beautiful presentation for our families. This year due to the conjunctural crisis, virtuality imposed a new challenge on us, involving students to strengthen their national identity and thus demonstrate that the National Holidays can also be celebrated despite adversity.
The big day arrived, and we started the long-awaited week of trades!
Our students had a different week, away from academic work and dedicated to working trades as a family. We call it “Trades Week” or “Semana de Oficios”. Teachers were quickly organized and grouped according to the workshop in which they wanted to work. They thought of different activities taking into consideration that there would be no limit of participants or groups according to ages. Trades were open to all of our students, including their parents and siblings.
Let’s remember that seven of the trades seek to connect with our emotions: painting, sculpture, pottery, music, dance, theater and philosophy. The other seven trades are external. They help us communicate with the outside world and they are: carpentry, engineering, textiles, masonry, agriculture, cooking and astronomy. Working using trades generates a lot of joy and confidence in children and also in adults. It develops skills, as well as sensitivity and creativity, emphasizes perseverance and also originality. In this way, they can discover their talents and abilities from a young age. It even offers them the opportunity to develop their own ventures. The children’s skills in the various trades is seen year after year perfected and deepened according to their age.
On the first day, the teachers introduced us to agriculture, relating it to the ancient peruvians and their wisdom to observe the phases of the moon. In this way they could plant and harvest in a successful way. This ancient custom is still very useful today. After that, we had the pottery trade, where we learned how ceramics were used in ancient times, not only for practical reasons such as water or food containers, but also to tell stories of their daily lives in their designs and drawings. The third job was masonry, where our students learned about the buildings of the Chimú culture, especially the mud citadel of Chan Chan.
The following day they worked the carpentry trade. They made a shadow theater, and with stick puppets they told a Peruvian story “the wolf in love with the moon”. The prototype that they made in cardboard will serve as a model so that they can do it in the carpentry workshop when we return to school. In engineering, teachers told them about ancient irrigation systems and how the same principles continue to be used today. The kids made their own irrigation channels using recycled material, taped the channels to the wall and threw marbles inside to see the route they made. The Peruvian dances were also part of our “Trades Week”, teachers made a trip to different places in Peru. For the jungle dance they used broomsticks as spears.
The next morning they discovered fusion food in the kitchen trade. It was exciting to see children from “Early Years” preparing their lunch: “chaufa de quinoa”. This dish is a fusion of Chinese immigrants who came to Peru and used some of our products such as quinoa in this case to make delicious dishes. Then they explored philosophy. Our teachers chose the subject of “memes”, which are typical in the idiosyncrasy of Peruvians and they talked about how these help us take with humor different situations that happen every day. Memes were shared about coronavirus and toilet paper, football, history, etc. Then they created their own and analyzed some, such as one about Atahualpa, where they said: “don’t go to Cajamarca!!” and they said this because in Cajamarca he would be caught and killed. They concluded that memes turn dramatism into jokes. It was interesting that everyone enjoyed these activities; younger and older students too. In Villa Per Se encourage everyone to think.
On Thursday in the painting trade they took the theme of the Ayacucho flowers, which are painted with symmetrical motifs in the same way as their altarpieces. What goes on one side goes the same on the other, as a mirror. In theater they made an imaginary trip through the jungle of Peru going through different challenges and meeting different animals. Then in sculpture they made soap carving, they used knives with which they carved the shape of a heart and in the center they drew with a pointed object something that represents what they love most in their country,. Everyone was inspired In their investigations. They drew an alpaca, Machu Picchu, a condor, etc. That day ended with the profession of astronomy, in this “trade” they explained the influence of the stars throughout history, how interesting the sun, stars, moon and planets have always been for our culture.
Finally, on Friday in the music trade, they learned Peruvian songs accompanied by rhythms using glasses, palms and their bodies. They were told that the body has rhythmic memory and Peruvian music always excites us and gives us joy. In the textile trade they made quipus and told a story about Quilla, a girl who kept accounts with her quipu imitating her father who was the head of the panaca and was called “Quipucamayoc”. Children created their own stories with the quipus they made.
All the trades have been prepared with great care and have been so well received that we are going to plan new sessions in the second semester.
Despite the fact that it seems impossible to do trades from virtuality, in Villa Per Se everything can be done with effort, empathy, unity, love, and above all, with the support of teachers, students and families.
That week was a practical experience to complement all the knowledge acquired in the research children have done. Stay tuned because the best will be reflected in an internal website, which we will share soon on the school blog. We are sure you will love knowing that in Peru we have a lot of talent.
Janice Roeder – School Principal
Angela Seminario – Head of communications