The Chapala police force again celebrated Three Kings Day by distributing apples to children along the Malecon and in the downtown area of Chapala.
Unlike in North America, where gifts are given to children on Christmas Day, in the Mexican culture the traditional day to give presents is on Three Kings Day, a day that acknowledges the arrival of the three wise men to Bethlehem bringing gifts of gold frankincense and myrrh to the newborn Jesus.
The apple initiative was first undertaken last year as a novel way to acknowledge the significance of children to everyone, particularly given that they represent the future. The initiative provides an opportunity for interaction between the police and the public in a positive manner, one that is enjoyed by the participating officers, the children, and their parents. Two of the officers who participated in Operation Apple each have three children at home but given the duration of their shift, they could not be with their own children to celebrate the day. Thus, they took considerable pleasure in bringing smiles to the faces of children in the community whenever they handed out an apple with the accompanying comment “Happy Three Kings Day.” Although the leadership of the Chapala Police Department has changed from last year, the current administration thought that the initiative was important enough that it be repeated this year.
In keeping with last year, the remaining apples were distributed to children in one of the local schools on January 7, the day that students returned to classes after their Christmas vacation and to the local orphanage.