In Choluteca children play a major role in daily care of their communities working horses. In 2014 I worked with World Horse Welfare to help develop a Children's Project in Choluteca to teach these children how to maintain the health and welfare of their families horses through their daily care.
To launch the project the Community Based Equine Advisors, or Consejeros as they know locally, toured the schools and community centres with a pantomime we developed in early 2014.
Our Pantomime tells the story of a besieged family and their horse trying to escape the attentions of an evil Pirate. As the story unfolds the audience see that the progress of the family is hampered by the welfare of their horse, the beautiful Moñeca and the evil Pirate is catching them. Seeing this the Fairy God Mother sends a series of people including a Vet, Farrier and Saddler to help the stricken horse by addressing these welfare issues helping them escape.
In the final act Moñeca is fully recovered and strong enough to escape with her family but the evil Pirate over takes them on his ship forcing a showdown where Moñeca knocks the Pirate out with a single blow tho the eye.
" This simple story teaches the children all the key componants needed to maintain the health and welfare of their horses in a way that is fun, accessable and relevant "
The Pantomime went down really well and everyone got in to the customary booing and cheering. Following the pantomime the Consejeros run a competition, asking questions about the pantomime and awarding prizes. All though fun and silly this pantomime and competition serves a serious educational purpose. It provides a platform to teach these children how to care for their horses and importantly assess how successful this teaching has been.
We are immensely proud of our Consejeros and all their hard work on the Children's Project. The Pantomime taught the Consejeros a great deal. It taught them how to work as a group, how to put together a script, make props and costumes, how to act and perhaps most importantly it taught them how to put across information and ideas in a way that is visual, energetic, participatory and fun.
Through this initaitive and others in the Cholutecan Project the Consejeros are working with their communities in a way that is relevant and sustainable to improve the welfare of working horses.