Santa Tomas, a.k.a “Señor Bigote,” has returned to Granada this holiday season to continue the tradition that was started two years ago by Valeria Caraballo and her husband Franco. Together they own and operate the Hospedaje Valeria. Each year for Christmas Valeria buys and distributes toys to the children of the barrios of Granada that otherwise may not be able to recieve anything.
Last year Tod Phillips, a native of Manzanita, Oregon, was asked to play Santa. He had such a wonderful time that he has returned for another holiday season.
Seeing the need for a way to bring joy to more young faces in Granada, Phillips put out donation jars in his small town of 500 people. Due to the generous donations of the people in Manzanita, “Santa Tomas” and Valeria will be leaving the Hotel Valeria at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve to travel the streets of Granada to hand out holiday cheer.
They will travel by coach to pass out tickets that can be turned in at the hotel later this evening for a nice gift. In addition to the gifts for the children, they will also be giving mothers buckets of food containing rice and beans in a resealable container that can be used later to store food safe from pests. They will also get a bag of fruits and vegetables.
If you see them be sure to give a nice wave and a smile as this is all they ask in return. They will help more than 500 kids and mothers this year and hope to continue this tradition for many years to come. The people of Nicaragua have a warm and friendly way about them and we should all remember this when we are asking them to let us visit their home.