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While Santa Claus is making inroads into Mexico, it is los Tres Reyes Magos (the Three Kings) who bring gifts to children on Epiphany, January 6.

Every year toy drives are held to assist Gaspar, Melchor, and Baltazar in acquiring enough toys so children from disadvantaged backgrounds are not left wanting.

I stumbled upon this toy drive, sponsored by the youth group Colectivo Yú Guelnaban and Fundación Comindi, at the north end of Llano Park.

Today’s drive is almost over, but I have no doubt there will be other opportunities to donate a new or gently used toy between now and January 6. “Recuerda que regalar un juguete es regalar una sonrisa” (Remember that giving a toy is giving a smile) — quote from a Colectivo Yú Guelnaban post on Facebook.

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While Santa Claus is making inroads into Mexico, it’s tonight’s visit by Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltazar that children anxiously await.  Los Reyes Magos (the Three Wise Men) bring gifts in Mexico, Latin America, and Spain.  Tomorrow, January 6, is El Día de Reyes (aka, Epiphany) and children will scramble to see what the Magi brought them.

Special markets have been set up; puestos upon puestos selling toys, sporting equipment, and any and everything else kids desire.  Friday, it was quite a scene on the Alameda, as for the 22nd year, a toy drive, sponsored by El DIF Municipal and Grupo Radio México, was in progress.  And, naturally, there were payasos (clowns) to help the kings collect.

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According to reports, the Kilómetro del Juguete (kilometer of toys) collected 2500 items on Friday, alone.

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From doll buggies to…

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to skateboards…

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The toys will be distributed to disadvantaged children this afternoon in the Plaza de la Danza, in a program that begins at 5:00 PM.  There will be music (of course!), contests, entertainment, and local celebrities.  Last year was a hoot!

My upstairs neighbors and I have been without running water since yesterday afternoon.  So, we’re just hoping Los Reyes Magos bring us water — preferably today! 

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