A look into the Bronx, New York basement of Nilda Garces reveals what might be best described as a United Nations of puppets. On every wall there hangs a cluster of puppets—“little people,” as Garces calls them—each one dressed in traditional garb from across the globe.
For almost four decades, Nilda has been using the puppets locally in her shows and classes for education, recreation and therapy. A self-taught puppet maker, Garces started with shows for kids in the Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Gardens, as well as for her own three sons and their classmates.
In addition to exposing young people to the world’s cultures and peoples, her efforts aim to preserve the innocence and creativity Nilda fears kids are losing in the digital age.
The wonder and creativity of childhood days can refresh an aging soul.
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen
the righteous forsaken. (Psalm 37:25)
As Your children, Father, we give thanks for Your abiding