12-y-o on top of the world!
Even though she had beat back the challenge of 56 other students from eight primary schools across Jamaica, en route to impressing a very select group of experts on children art from Mexico's Ministry of Culture, Eboqunie Taylor seemed quite overcome at the presentation ceremony last Friday.
"I'm a little bit nervous," the sixth grader at Drews Avenue Primary and Infant School, Kingston 20, shared with The Gleaner while at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 21 Dominica Drive, New Kingston.
"I'm feeling very excited. I can't wait to go to Mexico. I'm going to try to see if I can get along with the rest of the students in Mexico [and] learn some new words," Eboqunie further admitted.
The 12-year-old and her mother, Kaceta Morris, are slated to leave for Mexico City on Friday for a week of cultural and recreational activities, as guests of the Government of Mexico, designed to provide some insight into and appreciation of Mexican culture.
"Oh, today I'm feeling so blessed. She has won this competition and made me feel so elated. Never expected, never won anything before [so] it's just a joy to me that she has come this [far] and done something that I'm very proud of her," a smiling Morris told The Gleaner. The beaming mother could hardly contain her excitement at the prospect of their trip to Mexico.
"I never travel before, it's my first trip. It's her first; we kinda nervous. We have our passports already, I don't think we are using visa. We are getting tickets today. Everything is ready to go for next week Friday. Well, inna my heart full, it full. First time leaving my home to somewhere different, hope I have a beautiful experience to come back and share with friends and family," Morris gushed.
Eboqunie is the third of five children for Ms Morris, and the family and entire community of Drews Avenue were lifted by her top-place finish in the 2016 Children's Painting Competition, sponsored by the Government of Mexico as part of the commemorative activities of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and friendship between Mexico and Jamaica.
In March, the embassy invited primary-school students aged 9 to 12 years to submit drawings or paintings on the subject, 'Mexico, a Caribbean country'. A jury composed of Mexican experts in children's art from the Ministry of Culture selected the winning painting based on artistic technique and originality.
Eboqunie's entry, titled 'Colours of Jamaica and Mexico', blends the maroon, green and white of the Mexican flag with Jamaica's national colours - black, green and gold - in an artistic interpretation of the unity and cohesion between the peoples of two different languages and cultures.
For her efforts, the sixth grader will also attend a four-week training course at the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts, courtesy of the Jamaican Government, during the summer holidays.