Behind the scenes at Candle Night


Pedro Gom

11 grader P, Escandon sells luz de kit to TCS mom as a volunteer of the foundation on the Candle Night event.

Candle Night went through a long period of planning for the first time in three years, put up by the logistics team, the security, and maintenance department, and the TCS Foundation. 

Maintenance split up into different jobs: some, people worked on the lights, while others moved tables, and chairs, and assured no one went to prohibited spaces. The maintenance team took four days to assemble the lights and another four to take them down.

“People can no longer be in the whole school and may only stay where the event is taking place because in previous years students invited people from other schools, which led to some damages,” Juan Fernando Mesa, TCS Director of Development and Operations, said. 

As soon as students finished school at 1:30 pm, maintenance began to organize the roofed boulevard for the sellers, so they could then organize their site and the Bomberos Envigado come to approve the site’s safety.

“If Bomberos Envigado does not authorize the event, sadly we have to stand at the school door and tell people to go away because there is no event,” Mesa said. 

The businesses were set up on the boulevard because of the wide space and the high probability of rain, protecting sellers under the roof.

“We have put immense effort into this event so we can´t allow sales to decrease due to rain, which would result in as good as the event was expected,” Mesa said. 

Between 8:00 and 8:30 pm businesses closed their stand after school orders. The maintenance team then cleaned the area, removed the stands, and let the families know to leave.

“Although there were a lot of people, it was not as horrible as other years where there was a lot of wax stuck on the floor, wax which we had to clean,” Claudia Yanet Ciro, maintenance member, said. 

The money the foundation collected in sales is used to replace the supplies they used,  while the rest foundation itself, where graduates of neighboring institutions and children of TCS staff are granted scholarships. In addition, the school buys school kits and uniforms for children from neighboring institutions in Las Palmas.

“We have been counting all day yesterday and today what we have left over, unfortunately, we have a lot of inventory left, we have approximately 1000 packs of lanterns, 400 packs of candles, 270 light kits, and 600 packs of lighters,” Angela Maria Botero, Executive Director of TCS Foundation, said. 

Student volunteers helped the foundation. One volunteer group was security, which makes sure people don’t burn objects and enter prohibited areas. Then, the sellers go around the school selling merchandise, while another volunteer group solicits donations for foundation projects in exchange for some appreciation letters. 

“The work of the volunteers was wonderful, they were very committed, and always aware of the foundation. Obviously, there were some who did not do much but in general, they were very committed to the foundation,” Botero said.

The HS parking lot is expected to be used next year given its large space. The only challenge to making this happen is climate, since rain may present a problem when setting up stands and candles.  

“There are always unforeseen circumstances, some of us are left with some tasks for next year because people always want to move. The task is to hold the event downstairs in the flag’s parking lot because there are more spaces which let the event have better circulation and a more successful event and, but we always depend on the weather, ” Andres Montoya, General Services Coordinator, said.