The event was organized by the "SOS co-workers" of the village and the purpose was to provide an opportunity for sharing moments of friendship between the children of the village and the several "SOS friends" of the organization in Sucre.
Organizing the event
A first task for the organizers consisted of investigating the most commonly known traditional games still played by children at the village and in the community. Similarly, "SOS friends" were asked to give a feedback on the games they used to play when they were children. Finally, both children and guests started the competition showing their talent at playing a variety of traditional games prepared for the occasion.
The three most preferred games in the competition:
It is the equivalent of spinning top in English. It is a sort of round-shaped piece of wood with a metal-pointed bottom that allows the top to spin. "The top is wrapped with a string and quickly thrown out to spin," says Walter (nine), one of the participants. "We usually apply different techniques to launch the top...one of the most difficult ones is the one where the top returns to your palm and continues to spin after you have launched it."
This is the particular name given to the game of "marbles" in Sucre, and Marcos (eight) explains the way it is played at the village: "Among the most preferred variations of this game at the village is the one where we [the players] place our "tinkas" (main marbles) two meters apart. We try to get close to the other player's tinkas so that we can score a "chutis" (touching the opponent's marble). This determines who will start the game."
"During the game itself," he continues. "Each player puts a marble within a square of approximately ten centimeters a side [...] then, standing two meters away, we attempt to touch the marbles with our tinkas. Whenever a player succeeds, the player can pick up his marble and the opponent's marbles [...] the game can be played by several children at the same time."
This is the Quechua name for string beans. This game was and still is quite a popular game in many parts of the country, and the children at the village really enjoy it. It is said to be among the oldest traditional games of the Andes.
"The game is rather simple, but interesting," says Cristina (seven)."One of the variations is to make a hole in the ground and the players throw their chuwis, one by one, into the hole. If a player fails, it is the next player's turn [...] the player who finishes first with all his/her chuwis (for example, five chuwis) wins all the chuwis already inside the hole, and a new game starts."
By the end of the day, there were no losers. Indeed, everybody won because all participants, including the organizers, enjoyed the games as much as the children did. After all, the goal of the contest was to celebrate friendship and solidarity among all participants.
In this respect, a visitor commented, "I thought I had forgotten how to play chewis, but I didn't do too badly. Lots of memories of my childhood came to mind when playing, for example, the time when I used to enjoy the company of my family, their love and support. These children here are lucky... God has given them a second chance, the chance to have a second family, and a very large one, by the way."
This is how both "SOS friends" and the children from SOS Children's Village Sucre say good-bye to the contest, hoping to repeat it at some other point in time.