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Carlos Mejía Godoy launches a children's book

Róger Solórzano Canales | Dec 9, 2011

The book will be first sold in Granada and then in the rest of the country.

The Nicaraguan songwriter Carlos Mejía Godoy will launch tomorrow, December 10th, his latest work: a children's book entitled "Pastorela Nicaragüense", which humorously describes the birth of Jesus in the town of Belén, Rivas, with illustrations by Nivio López Vijil. The event will be held at 6:00 pm at the San Francisco Cultural Center, located in the city of Granada.

"The people who lose its folklore is bound to be a slave," said Mejía Godoy during a press conference while citing the renowned national poet Pablo Antonio Cuadra. The concern regarding the loss of the local Christmas traditions, which have been substituted by foreign elements, is what motivated the singer to work on this book, said its author. "The pastorelas, Easter sounds and all expressions related to the most important event of all times have disappeared ," he said.

With the book, written in verse, Mejía recreates Jesus' birth according to the Bible, but he gives it the Nicaraguan touch by placing the event in Belén, Rivas. Also, all the characters are Nicaraguans, they dress like people do it nowadays and they use national expressions. Even the Three Wise Men change: one of them is a Miskito, another one is creole from Bluefields and the third one comes from Chontales. The complete title of the book is "Pastorela Nicaragüense. De cómo en Belén de Nicaragua nació en Nochebuena un chavalo que será tayacán de muchos pueblos".

During the presentation, there will be a performance of the "Pastorela", but this time according to the style of the book. The Pastorela is an almost extinct Nicaraguan street theater play which is always performed in Christmas and represent Jesus' birth. Ten scenes of the book will be performed during the launch event in Granada. All actors and actresses are either professionals or amateurs and each of their presentations will be joined by music and singing.

Edited and printed by the Publishing Fund Books for Children and the financing of the Swiss Cooperation (SDC), the book will be available the day of presentation, and then readers will be able to find it in every bookstore in the country at a price of C$250. The book will be sold until the last of the first 2000 copies is bought, said Gabriela said Terreri, director of Books for Children. The funds collected with each sale will support reading programs developed by this organization.

Translated by Cinthia Membreño.