A day in the life of our volunteers

Arriving into a new country is always daunting when you have no idea what it will be like. This was no different for Roser and Miriam, who are both in Nicaragua for the first time. Roser who is from Zaragoza, Catalonia stayed with us for 6 weeks as a break after completing her masters in Law whilst Miriam from York, England is here for 4 months as part of her year abroad in her English and Spanish degree. What is your typical day at work like?
Miriam: Normally I wake up about 6.30 and go to the centre at 7.30 to teach my group of 6-8 children english. I have the younger children so I try to teach english in a fun way whilst focusing on how they speak, instead of just vocab lists. I come back at about 11.30, eat lunch and then in the afternoon I usually go to choir or orchestra in Casa de Los Tres Mundos. In the evening I usually do some sort of dancing or I go to the language exchange at ABC school.
Roser: I wake up very early (6am) because the sun is so bright through my window. The sun…

Why the children need our help

Why the children need our help
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, which also has its effects on the education system. Although a National Education Plan was made in 2000 to work on educational insufficiencies, the there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Walking around in Granada you see children on the streets, playing or helping their parents work. They sell sodas, bread and pastries. Schooldays only take place in the mornings or afternoons. Usually the younger children have classes in the mornings and the older ones in the afternoons. So it’s only half a day. On top of that, an average school year is only 200 days, a lot of which are public holidays.
To go to school children wear a uniform and need basic school materials. Often their parents can’t afford this. Due to the lack of money most public schools may not have the materials to teach certain courses. They may lack desks or basic school books. Also classes are really big, there often is only 1 teac…

Our Learning Centres

Recently at La Esperanza we have launched our new learning centre initiative, with centres located in both Sabaneta and Escudo. Children attend our centres voluntarily before or after their school day and the theory behind this is that these extra couple of hours each day will not only help the children improve their progress at school, but also their confidence and abilities generally. For 3 hours every morning our volunteers teach English, and for 3 hours in the afternoon they teach a mixture of art, mathematics and Spanish.

Both Marie, 22 from Germany and Blake, 20,  from the USA are English teachers in the centre and both previously worked in our initiative within Nicaraguan state schools.

Marie are there many differences between working in the centre and the school?
In my first week, I was in Pablo Antonio Cuadra school and there were 50 to 60 children in each class. It was a very different experience. Whereas here (in the learning centre) you have more space and the classes are sm…