Sing Peace Around the World! 9/21/09

By Eleanor Zucker

On Monday, September 21, 2009, the children, teachers and parents of Otoch Paal Montessori gathered to celebrate the United Nations International Peace Day. This event was organized in concert with Montessori schools around the world. A ceremony at the school began at exactly 11:05 EST, in which everyone sang the same song:

Light a candle for peace, light a candle for love,
Light a candle that shines all the way around the world,
Light a candle for me, light a candle for you,
That our wish for world peace will one day come true.

Sing peace around the world.
Sing peace around the world.
Sing peace around the world.
Sing peace around the world.

The singing in each locale was timed precisely so that the song of peace would be sung continuously for 24 hours around the world, starting in New Zealand, end in Hawaii, sung by 80,000 children in 35 countries. In Akumal, candles were lit, and after the song was sung several times in Spanish and English, the children helped release two doves of peace.

Events such as Sing Peace Around the World help raise the awareness of Otoch Paal families that they are part of a learning community that extends beyond the school and the town. It grows out of the Montessori educational philosophy, which seeks to help children grow into socially responsible and responsive citizens, rather than simply teaching them how to read and write.

You can hear the Otoch Paal community singing and see a video at:

More information about this inspiring international event can also be seen at:

Stay tuned in to future editions of Sac Be for the continuation of our article series: “What is Montessori Preschool?”

To see a Montessori preschool in operation, come visit Otoch Paal Community Center in Akumal Pueblo. Otoch Paal welcomes visitors who are interested in seeing how a Montessori center operates. Classes are in session from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visitors are asked to come between 9 and 10:30 a.m.

How you can help. As a non-profit community-based learning center, Otoch Paal does not generate sufficient funds to pay for all necessary school improvements. Monetary donations and donations in kind are always welcome. Donations can be made directly at the school. Or more information can be found at: Or contact the school director, Graciela, at:

Directions to Otoch Paal: The school is located near the back of Akumal Pueblo, on the Northern edge of the town. It can be reached by following the Pueblo’s main street (avenida) to the fourth block on the right hand side of the street. After passing the secondary and kindergarten schools (which are on the main street), turn right at the corner where the kindergarten is located and continue to the next corner. Otoch Paal is next to the kindergarten and the entrance is at the far corner, near the town’s edge.