Spanish Schoolhouse’s mascot, “Periquito Azul,” is a favorite with all the students! This friendly blue hyacinth macaw has been a part of the SSH family since our very early days, and it all started with a little song. One of our first teachers played a song about a little blue parrot for her class, and the students loved it so much that other teachers began using it in their classes. Before long, it became the SSH theme song! (Click here to listen. Earworm alert!)
“Periquito Azul” really came to life a few years later when we introduced the plush version! He began traveling to visit each student at home throughout the year when it was their turn to be “Estrella de la Semana,” or “Star of the Week.” At Circle Time, the “Estrella” has the chance to share what they did with Periquito. іQué divertido! How fun!
As we realized how much the kiddos enjoyed him, we began to imagine “Periquito” as one of our students. Thus, you’ll see him throughout the year with his backpack, discovering creative play areas in the Centers, and celebrating the seasons and events of the school year.
Periquito in the Wild
Why do we feel such a connection to the hyacinth macaw? This beautiful bird is Latino! It’s native to eastern and central South America, which are regions of rich, natural beauty. Here’s a little background on the real bird to share with your kids:
Hyacinth macaws are the longest and largest of all the parrots. They have extra strong beaks which help to break open nuts and seed pods. Can you believe their beaks can even crack open coconuts?! Despite their majestic size, these birds have a gentle, calm nature, so they’re sometimes called “gentle giants.” They appear to always have a smile on their face. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with this cutie?
Unfortunately, loss of habitat and illegal trapping have endangered their survival. Conservation efforts are underway through international protections, research, education, and protected breeding. Spanish Schoolhouse participates in conservation/education through The Hyacinth Macaw Project, an effort of the Wildlife Conservation Society Brazil. (Click here if you’d like more information.) We sincerely hope that this magnificent bird will be around for many generations to come!
In the meantime, Periquito Azul is alive and well in our SSH classrooms, bringing a touch of the Latin world and a lot of fun to our school days!