In the Columbus School the massive event of El día de las velitas (Candle Night), was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
El día de las velitas is a very big event in The Columbus School. However, it was canceled in 2020, leaving the school community to not only be sad, but prompting the loss of a lot of money for the school foundation, as this is a charity event. “I feel very sad because this was an event that brought all of the families of the school closer together and it got me closer to my friends,” Juanita Muñoz, 10th-grade student at TCS, said.
The school’s community seemed very impacted by the decision. A lot of people were saddened by the news especially because it also affects the school’s foundation. “It is sad to see that it could not be done. It is an event that goes from grandfather to grandchildren and in which funds are raised for the social purpose of the foundation. It is sad,” Camilo Polanco, Executive Director of the TCS Foundation, said.
Even with certain biosecurity instructions, the attendance at these types of events is massive and the school can’t handle that many people, as it increases the risks and is not following social distancing as supposed to. The school has to protect everyone. “It would have been really risky. Imagine if holidays like Christmas are risky when there are few people at home, what can we expect from an event with 4,000 people. It’s a very quick-spreading disease, and biosecurity measures are not enough,” Polanco stated.
This cancellation doesn’t just affect the families and the foundation. It affected everyone because everyone feels like they are doing a good thing donating to the foundation. “It is very concerning to see that the Foundation didn’t get the money that is raised every year from Candle Night. This Foundation is something that represents the school and everyone in it, and to see it come to a sudden stop like that is concerning and sad,” Hugo Herrera, 10th-grade student at TCS, stated.
In addition, this also affects the students’ extracurricular activities, as some of the money coming from this type of event is used for resources that everyone around the school uses. “Much of the funds of the Foundation also go to extracurricular activities of students. For example for the robotics club, certain trips had to be canceled since there was not enough money,” Polanco said.
The cancelation of this event affected everyone, starting from the families all the way to the foundation. Life is important to preserve, and this is an event that approximately 4,000 people attend. The school has to be responsible; it may have been a hard decision, but it was the right one. “This is the biggest event in school and it raises money for the foundation, but this doesn’t change the fact that we have to preserve life before entertainment, this is the reality we have to face,” Polanco finally stated.