The children at the Picaflor House enjoyed their last day of the year by participating in the traditional Peruvian activity of La chocolatada nivideña. In addition to this, the children also received an unexpected visit from Santa Claus, who, much to the children’s delight, came bearing gifts.

It was a fun day for all involved. I was glad to able to witness this unique cultural practice. I also enjoyed seeing the joy on the children's faces when Papa Noel arrived with a bag full of gifts.

Santa with the kids at Picaflor House
History of La Chocolatada Nivideña

La chocolatada nivideña is the Peruvian tradition of distributing hot chocolate along with either sponge cakes or Panettones. This activity is predominantly practiced during the festive season, mainly in the month of December. During the festivities, gifts are also given, primarily to children. This tradition, which can be traced back to the 1930s in Peru, has expanded to countries such as Argentina, Ecuador, and Spain.

Christmas at Picaflor House"
Present for the kids"
Visit from Santa Claus

The afternoon started off with the children receiving hot chocolate and Panettone. While the children were enjoying their treats, Santa Claus was in the greenhouse getting ready to surprise the children. With him, was a bag full of gifts and many, many balloons to make balloon art for the children.

With the children blissfully unaware, I accompanied Santa Claus to the classroom where the children were sitting. As soon as we entered the classroom, there was euphoria from the children once they realized what was happening. The children ran to, and hugged Santa Claus with the biggest smiles on their faces. They truly were surprised!

Once the (initial) excitement wore down, the children stood in line and waited for their turn with Santa Claus. Once at the front of the line, Santa Claus made each of the children balloon art. From the photographs, you can see how excited the children were to receive a dog, llama, star, sword, and even flowers in balloon form.

After the children had all received their balloon art, Santa Claus invited them to receive their presents. Again, you could see the excitement on the children’s faces as they stood in line and when they received their presents. The children all received colouring books, colouring pencils, some sweets, and the youngest ones received story books. After receiving their gifts, the afternoon was topped off with Santa Claus spending time with the children as they opened their presents.

Younger students and staff with Santa Claus

We would like to thank Santa Claus for bearing the heat in that suit in order to bring joy to the children at Picaflor. Additionally, we would like to thank donors and everybody else involved in helping progress our goals at Picaflor. Without your help, we would not be able to make progress on our goals of helping the children in Oropesa.

Categories: Insights


Tshepo is a blog writer at Globalteer. A South African national with a master's degree in international law, Tshepo has experience working in human rights protection in Southern Africa, Uganda and Peru. Tshepo also has experience working in communications at multiple United Nations organizations.


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