Toucans, tropical treats and Tata Duende at Pestalozzi

20 December 2012

Pestalozzi’s Belizean Cultural Evening gave guests a fresh insight into the history, culture, nature and folklore of this diverse Central American country.

Rudolph and Daniel, Pestalozzi's first Belizean studentsRudolph Parham and Daniel Hernandez are Pestalozzi’s first Belizean students, and guests were intrigued by their informative presentations. Visitors learnt that toucans sound like frogs – Rudolph gave a good impression! – and a student-directed film about the Tata Duende showed this forest spirit with backwards feet and no thumbs punishing a greedy hunter. Tasty tropical treats from Belize left tastebuds tingling: sweet potato pone (a sweet, crumbly cake made with sweet potato, coconut and ginger), glasses of refreshing horchata (a drink made with cinnamon and rice), and homemade tortillas with beans. The evening concluded with a dance performance and an energetic dance workshop.

The event gave guests a chance to meet Rudolph and Daniel in person, and to find out more about their life before coming to Pestalozzi.

Daniel's background is Mestizo and he is interested all things electronic. "Back in Belize, I used to do minor electronic repairs. I hope to become an electrical engineer in the future,” he says. "Being from a family with a low resources background, it would have been impossible for me to further my education, so I am grateful for the Pestalozzi scholarship giving me an opportunity to study.”

Rudolph’s cultural background is East Indian and he is a talented volleyball player, although when the time came he chose to pursue academic interests instead of sports. "I like to observe the world around me, speculate why things are the way they are and consider alternative solutions and possibilities,” he says. "If I hadn’t been successful for Pestalozzi, and if I was not selected for a sports scholarship, I might have been working like some of my other schoolmates, trying to save money for school.”

Claire, Audrey and Nigel: honorary Belizeans!Pestalozzi scholarships are offered to academically bright but economically disadvantaged 16-19 year olds from around the world. Current students are from Belize, India, Nepal, Tibetan communities in exile, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Pestalozzi’s International Celebration on Saturday 9 March 2013 will offer a chance to discover more about this multi-cultural, multi-faith community of scholars. All welcome!

Intrigued? Make sure you keep an eye on Pestalozzi’s forthcoming events!.

Inspiring young people to make a difference in the world.