IMPERIAL — Young children learned about other countries by creating art representing each nation at the Travel the World Camp hosted by the Department of Community Services.
“It is a camp to have fun while they learn about different parts of the world,” said Priscilla Garcia, a recreation specialist with the Department of Community Services at the city of Imperial.
According to Garcia, children ages 5-8 will be learning each day about four different countries August 5 through 8. Eight children registered for the camp.
“They will be learning about India, China, Ireland, and Mexico. They will learn about the heritage, culture, and different traditions in these different parts of the world,” Garcia said.
On the first day, the children learned about the culture of India.
The World Factbook — a website by the Central Intelligence Agency — described India as a country located in “Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan.” On its northern border is the country of Nepal.
The children will learn about Diwali. According to a teacher’s guide, Diwali is also known as “the Festival of Lights … in honor of Lakshmi, a Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. During this festival, houses and shops are decorated with candles and colorful lights.”
As part of the activities, children made paper lanterns, and Rangoli — a type of folk art — using paper plates. In India, Rangoli patterns, according to the teacher’s guide, “are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals.”
Recreation leaders Emily Ortega and Samantha Gutierrez helped the children make the art projects. Gutierrez collected completed paper lanterns, threaded them with twine and hung them above the class as decorations.
Passports are usually required for international travel as a standard form of identification. Using templates and art materials, children created their own passports. Samantha Whipple, recreation leader, took head-shot photos of each child using a plain white background. According to Garcia, the photos were affixed on “passports” and recreation leaders stamped a page for each country they “visited” during the week.
At the conclusion of the camp, each participating child will have their passports marked with ready-made stamps representing India, China, Ireland, and Mexico, according to Garcia, who dreams of one day visiting Ireland.