With art and sports, UNAM prepares future and future pumitas

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Carla saw a Star Wars movie and that’s how she knew that fencing was her thing. Emiliano started practicing pre-ballet and realized how much it helped her health.

These are some stories of pumitas who take advantage of the UNAM children’s offer to develop the university claw that will accompany them throughout their lives.

Childhood is the stage of life from which most memories are preserved, but it is also the age in which teachings, values ​​and experiences that mark adult life are transmitted. Therefore, through music, dance, fencing or swimming, UNAM seeks to develop the artistic and sports skills of children.

Najla Reyes, Carla González, Danna Vergara and Emiliano Aragón are children between the ages of 8 and 13 who, even without being enrolled, are part of the university community.

“Music is a way to express all the emotions that one feels,” said Najla, who at 13 is a student of the Cycle of Musical Initiation (CIM) of the Faculty of Music (FaM). It is an educational offer available at UNAM since 1969 and welcomes children between the ages of six and 14 to get started in musical, instrumental and choir training.

Gabriela Ramírez Archundia, head of the CIM department, explained that this program arose to fill the lack of artistic training in the educational system, provide prior knowledge to those who aspire to have a musical career and, at the same time, to stimulate students in their formal study.

The also academic of the FaM considered that artistic training should be compulsory in the educational system. “Yes, it is important that children learn mathematics, grammar, Spanish, but the artistic area is the development of their emotional education and their sensitivity, it is the human side that we all have.”

Najla started her first classes at the age of five, she wants to be a pianist and the CIM represents her opportunity to achieve it, but it has also been a space for inspiration and therapy, since she composed a piece as a tribute after the loss of her father, a victim of Covid-19 in 2021, which he titled “The love of a father”.

For the talented girl, music was the salvation to overcome that hard blow, “I love playing the piano, when I play it I feel transported to another dimension. Through music you can teach everything you have and at the same time say nothing, ”she assured.

Carla González, Danna Vergara and Emiliano Aragón are part of the pumitas who prefer physical challenges, through fencing and pre-ballet they leave insecurities behind and overcome their own fears; they like to explore and venture into the unknown. This is the essence of children: “I always liked playing sports and fencing. Since I saw Star Wars I said wow, I want to have one of those, and the sport that most resembled it was fencing, so here I am.

Carla is part of the children who make up the UNAM extension programs, which include disciplines such as fencing, American football, soccer, gymnastics, rugby, archery, basketball, women’s flag and chess, with which work is promoted in a team, physical activity for the benefit of health, the culture of self-care, as well as coexistence and socialization in infants.

Marco Antonio Jerónimo, coach of the fencing team of this university, assured that the practice of a sport should be basic in the lives of children, since it helps them develop mental, physical, psychological and social skills.

On the other hand, with artistic activities such as dance they also achieve this development of skills, since they are a tool for life, as Kenya Noriega, head of the area of ​​academic activities at Danza UNAM, considers it, “it turns them into human beings much more comprehensive.

Danna Vergara and Emiliano Aragón are part of the Free and Recreational Workshops offered by UNAM with disciplines such as ballet, pre-ballet, pre-classical, hip-hop, controlology and jazz, as well as Arabic, contemporary and baroque dance. “I feel like my life is more fun doing something, in this case dancing,” Danna said.

But the benefits are also physical, since they acquire a better condition and adaptation of the body, as happened to Emiliano: “I wanted to get into parkour and my dad told me it was better to start with something else; then I started pre-ballet and I don’t regret it because I’ve gotten stronger; before I had flat feet and now I have it well”.

On the occasion of Children’s Day, the UNAM will carry out this April 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. the “Festival of children for a sustainable future”, in Las Islas de Ciudad Universitaria, where there will be workshops , recreational activities, concerts, shows and book sales.

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