“La Aldea is like a family to me. Thanks to La Aldea I have learned to take care from Covid, I have learned to read, and I have shared with others. I like it because I share my feelings with others. I have learned that I can feel sad because I am afraid, or that I can feel angry because I am angry. My favorite character is Carmen the bear.”

Manuel, child from La Guajira

“The training processes of La Aldea have allowed me to acquire an experience to be able to work better with boys and girls. It is a tool for talking with them about everything. It allows me to start a meaningful conversation, from fantasy, but always closely linked to reality. In the long term, this tool enables boys and girls to train and grow as more conscious people, more active in their exercise of citizenship, in their duties, in their rights. In addition, boys and girls manage to relate the characters of La Aldea with people in the community. For example: Lorena, for them, is the president of the Community Action Board. La Aldea creates an environment that connects boys and girls with the world of adults, opening space for analyzing and understanding real situations in the environment”.

Betsabé Moler, leader of Pondores, La Guajira.

Betsabé, Yineth and Madeleine Moler: the sisters who have given life to La Aldea in Pondores, La Guajira

AETCR Pondores is a former Territorial Training and Reincorporation Space which was created by the Colombian government for ex-combatants of the FARC-EP. It is located in the village of Conejo, in the municipality of Fonseca. In that corner of La Guajira live Betsabé, Yineth and Madeleine Moler, three migrant sisters who have participated in the formation process of La Aldea and have dared to take the stories of the book to another level, giving them meaning and color.

Betsabé has been part of the Gender and Youth Committee of Pondores for three years, and together with her sister Yineth, 20, is in charge of supporting learning in extracurricular spaces for boys and girls between 7 and 16 years of age, most of whom are enrolled in schools in Almapoque and Conejo. For her part, Madeleine, the youngest of the three sisters, leads the school reinforcement process with early childhood boys and girls and with 12 students from multigrade classrooms from the rural school of Marimondas, located in the Perijá mountain range.

Thanks to the leadership of the three sisters, today Pondores has on its walls a mural featuring some characters from La Aldea. Lorena, Carmen and Horacio the owl pose cheering for a corner of the country that for years has faced great challenges, and are helping to nurture the learning processes of boys and girls who have had the opportunity to navigate the pages of La Aldea, a book that has allowed them to learn and reflect about a world and a territory that continues to be in transition.

In December 2021, we were in a meeting with the teaching directors of the Pasto institutions, with the Municipal Secretary of Education and UNICEF, to close the teacher training process and make a projection as to how to work with La Aldea in 2022. The directors began to think about different ways of working with La Aldea and they promised to help the teachers so that the application is a success in the coming school year.

In the last session of 2021 with teachers from four educational institutions in La Guajira, more than thirty teachers gathered together to explore the story “Between chaos and order.” A great success!

Tumac dressed in the colors of La Aldea

The Ciudadela Tumac Educational Institution dressed itself up as La Aldea. Enrique, Carmen, Lorena and many other characters now occupy a special place in some once-forgotten classrooms. We spoke with the director of the institute and he told us a little more.

“La Aldea in Tumac has been very important in strengthening the literacy processes and everything that has to do with orality. Literacy allows children to learn more easily and as La Aldea is a strategy based on stories, it has served the students a lot and will continue to have an impact on them in the future. Because ofthe impact of the strategy, we decided to transform the school. We decorated it, we painted it and this process was very significant.”

“This space had been relatively abandoned. Then, a large number of teachers and students were summoned to clean, tidy and beautify the place. They were very fun days, with a lot of hard work, but the students enjoyed it a lot. It’s very nice to see the walls like this, they were spaces that had been forgotten, as the school is quite large. Staying in this space now is nice and the kids have really enjoyed it. The appearance of the classroom changed completely, it was filled with color and it’s been very striking for the boys and girls.”

“La Aldea is not just a strategy for the pandemic or the return to school. It can and must be a continuous educational strategy. We are interested in using this material to support a fun learning experience for children”.

Miguel Merchán Moreno, school principal of the El Empalme educational institution

“Living in this remote corner of Ipiales, we are grateful to be part of La Aldea”

After Ipiales, Puerto Asís and Orito, we arrived at El Empalme educational institution, located in the township of Cofania Jardines de Sucumbíos, which is part of the city of Ipiales, bordering the Putumayo department.  In this township there are 3 afro-colombian community councils, 5 indigenous communities and 11 peasant communities. 

The school principal, Miguel Merchán Moreno, tells us why he decided to include the whole teacher community in the training process with La Aldea. He talks about the importance of this strategy for students and families. The work in this school started with only 5 teachers…today, there are 36 teachers participating in training sessions with Click advisors. 

“I decided to involve all the teachers, both from primary and secondary school, because I believe it’s essential that the whole teaching staff is familiarized with a strategy like La Aldea. It’s a tool that was specifically conceived to be used during the pandemic, a time in which children and teachers have had to face radical changes in their learning processes. First, with distance learning and now with the return to school. So La Aldea is perfect for students to begin their adaptation to the new system and going back to a sense of normalcy. Additionally, it is ideal for them to maintain a reading habit and explore different subjects. 

But La Aldea is not just a strategy for the pandemic or returning to school. It can and must be used as a continuous educational strategy. We are interested in using this material to support a fun learning experience for children. Today we can use and benefit from this tool thanks to the training provided by Click and UNICEF.

Living in this remote corner of Ipiales, surrounded by nature, we are grateful to be part of La Aldea. We say thank you in the name of all the parents and students that are in need of  support and educational materials for home education. That way, learning is not confined to the classroom, but can occur at home in a family environment. We are pleased to be taken into account. Our institution truly needs it”.

5 reasons why teachers are using La Aldea for reopening schools!

  1. This is a strategy that can be used for both face-to-face learning and distance learning. 
  2. The stories and characters of La Aldea are a thought-provoking exploration of the world we live in. 
  3. The book La Aldea: stories for a world in transition was specifically created to face the challenges of the present time: How to design a blended-learning lesson? How to face uncertainty?  How to cope with health and safety measures? How to ensure learning and fun? 
  4. La Aldea represents more than 8 weeks of learning with four chapters of stories, more than 65 learning activities, a fun tool for self-evaluation, a Carol claw that gives students power for classroom participation and a poster for children to become authors and illustrators of La Aldea. 
  5. This is a tool that not only supports students, but also teachers. With a single book, teachers can approach different subjects: language, mathematics, natural sciences, art, social-emotional learning, and much more. 
  6. La Aldea includes songs, videos, audiobooks, yoga exercises and a website. 

La Aldea is so much more than just a book; it’s an entire universe!

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Bogotá D.C., Colombia