La Casita delivers toys on Three Kings Day

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Volunteers dressed as the Three Kings – Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar – give out gifts to children in a community in east Trinidad. – Photo by Grevic Alvarado

La Casita de Arima gave more than 150 gifts to boys and girls on Three Kings Day.

Andreina Briceno Brown, director of La Casita, at the Arima Hispanic Cultural Centre, said the giving gifts on this day is a tradition in Latin American countries.

She said: “In Venezuela for many years, children have been waiting for the arrival of Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar every January 6, who bring gifts to the child Jesus, the son of God.”

On Thursday, three men who are part of the La Casita volunteer team, dressed up as the Three Kings of the Nativity story, and visited the communities of Maturita, Wallerfield and Valencia, sharing gifts to the neediest children.

“It is a tradition we cannot forget and that we want our Latino children to uphold and for local children to know about,” Briceno Brown said.

In addition, the La Casita headquarters, on Farfan Street, Arima, also gave out gifts to children.

Volunteers from La Casita give out gifts to children in a community in east Trinidad. – Photo by Grevic Alvarado

“We made a large list of all the people that we have registered in our internal aid data. We called each parent and organised groups of 10 to 15 children every hour to come get their gifts, share some sweets and hot dogs, and explain what Three Kings Day is about,” said Briceno Brown.

They also delivered paediatric medication to parents with babies.

“The covid19 pandemic slowed us down a bit when it came to requesting aid and obtaining more gifts, but thank God, there are many collaborators who made it possible to maintain this tradition,” she said.

Briceno Brown said the activity was the official start of events for 2022 at La Casita. Next week, karate, wushu, dance, and music classes will begin with the start of a marching band.

Volunteers dressed as the Three Kings – Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar – during gift-giving at the Arima Hispanic Cultural Centre
– Photo by Grevic Alvarado

“We have a broad programme for 2022. La Casita is now officially a NGO registered with the TT authorities, and we are working on various social programmes, not only with children and adolescents, but also with entrepreneurial projects that help vulnerable women,” she said.