By Aitor Elua, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Easter is here, and despite Brazil being ninety percent Christian with the largest number of Catholics in the world, long gone are the days when Easter was exclusively considered a religious ritual. Like in many places, Easter in Rio provides a long holiday weekend to visit with family and friends, as well as Easter egg hunts and a big Sunday dinner.
For many, the holidays are a time when it is hard to be away from family back home, and fortunately the expatriate community in Rio has a few fun events planned to help.
This weekend, the American Society of Rio de Janeiro (AmSoc Rio) will be celebrating the holiday by promoting an Easter egg hunt for children on Saturday, April 23rd. The American School will be hosting the event at their campus in Barra da Tijuca.
The event is mainly focused on kids having as much fun as they can, with pin-the-tail-on-the-bunny, an egg toss, story time and of course the Easter egg hunt. Children members of the AmSoc Rio will pay only R$10 while non members will pay R$15. Adults accompanying the kids will enter for free, and more information can be found on the AmSoc Rio web site.
Student volunteers from the Our Lady of Mercy School will be helping out, “Which we feel very fortunate to have,” says Vanica Royster from the AmSoc Rio Event planning team, “We expect the children to have lots of fun, and the parents will for sure enjoy to see their little ones in action” she adds.
Also for some, religious or not, Easter can boost the spirit of charity, and a special project that Belinda Casson, Angelo Campus and their team of volunteers and students from the Casa Do Caminho are trying to bring to the Complexo de Penha (Alemão) community.
They are an independent group, planning on spending their Easter providing the kids in the favela neighborhood a party with sports, music, dancing, face painting along with the classical Easter egg hunt, all orchestrated by the volunteers.
An especially unique activity will be, in Belinda Casson’s opinion, a dream contest. “Children of Complexo Penha will be asked to tell us their amazing dreams. All of the children who participate will be rewarded with prizes.” says Ms. Casson.
“Our intention with this is to show the little ones that dreams are achievable and therefore can become a reality” she adds. Afterwards, a video of the kid’s dreams will be featured on a giant screen before a live concert.
The group is accepting donations, toys or funds, and help from anybody who wishes to contribute. If you would like to get involved in any way, contact Ms. Casson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.