Showing posts from 2011

A volunteers blog:

Below is an entry from Lauren Slater's blog - a wonderfully readable account of volunteering in Nicaragua - ( for more of Lauren's great blog)

Las Escuelas de Granada Posted 3 weeks ago Working in the schools here is both an exhilarating and frustrating process. I absolutely adore the kiddos with whom we work; they are excited to learn, they take great pride in their studies, and they are eager to demonstrate that they have learned something new.
The culture of the schools here certainly has its opportunities for growth. School is often cancelled without much notice: because of rain, because it’s the day before the day before the day before the holiday, because the teachers want to have a meeting, or just because.
When school is in session, the students are eager to get everything correct on their worksheets and to always have the right answer. As soon as they are done, they throw their papers in the air and yell “te…

Painting the new high school:

George Spencer school from Nottingham, U.K. have a group visiting us at present.  They are staying in the school Nueva Esperanza, and working with some of the children there, but also painting the outside of the new building for the high school which will open next school year, in February, 2012.

Great group of young people, maybe some of them might come back to be long term volunteers later in life - but for the present they are doing a great job there.

 Another task completed in this past week is to put lids/seats on the latrines in the schools of Jose de la Cruz Mena and in both of the San Ignacio schools.  We will check on the others soon to see if any more are needed in the other schools where we work.

Volunteers in Granada, Nicaragua:

Time to catch up as nobody has written our blog for a while - but we are still busy working as volunteer here in Granada, Nicaragua.  Lots of Spanish volunteers at the moment (total 42 overseas, 12 local), and other nationalities including German, Dutch, French, Canadian, Australian, U.S., U.K. to mention a few.  Yesterday we received our first application from Russian volunteers.  We should make a montage on the wall of the office with flags of all the countries where our volunteers have come from - if you're reading this, especially if you are from a country other than the main ones listed above, and have volunteered with us please send us a small flag for the wall.  Lets find out how many countries we can claim!

Hope and acceptance

I came across this blog from late last year on my own blogspot and thought I would share it here. A few weeks after this was written we managed to set up a successful Skype link between one of our schools and Barbara's school in the USA. Perseverance and patience paid off!I guess it shows that quiet determination and acceptance are important for our volunteers. Today's frustrations lead to even greater rewards tomorrow... by Ciaran TierneyHope and acceptance Sometimes in life, things just don't go to plan . . . and this week I think I learned a lot about hope but, especially, the need for acceptance.
And I've had a few of my own prejudices challenged by someone way younger than me.
This week, my first as a volunteer with La Esperanza Granada, saw me visit rural primary schools outside the city on three different days.
During the first two, the rain bucketed down and many of the children were absent, unable or unwilling to make the journey through potholed roads.…

Volunteering puts 'crisis' in perspective

Former volunteer CIARAN TIERNEY returned home to Ireland recently after five months in Central America, of which he spent ten weeks with La Esperanza Granada. Here he writes for his newspaper, the CONNACHT TRIBUNE, about his experiences in Nicaragua.

Not many people return home for Christmas with a heavy heart, but so rewarding was the experience of volunteering in Nicaragua over the previous three months that my feelings were mixed as I made the long journey back to Galway last month.
Volunteering in the Central American country, the final third of a wonderful gap year, proved to be one of the highlights of my life. It was amazing how the part of my career break which I had feared the most turned out to be the most rewarding.
Having become a professional scuba diver in Thailand and improved my grasp of Spanish in the Basque Country, I felt it was time to give something back in the final third of the year. But I had read so much about crime and poverty in Central America that I almost…

Summer school at Elba Zamora

Summer school is great because it is the time of the year where the volunteers get to be the classroom teachers. Instead of tutoring one on one, we have the chance to run lessons with a group of students, testing both our creativity and patience. For me personally, it is wonderful in the heightened consistency of both class content and student attendance as we are now "in charge", writes current volunteer NAVI MADRUGADA.

     A group of 7 volunteers take the chicken bus out on their daily route to Elba Zamora, arriving at 9 am to begin teaching summer school classes to the neighborhood children. They meet ayudantes Chilo and Belkys and begin the day.
     The volunteers have split into groups to work with different grade levels, currently with Sally and Sandra leading the 4th through 6th graders in one classroom, Lium, Matt and Lisa working with 2nd and 3rd graders in another classroom, and Francie, Lara, and myself (Navi) working with the 1st grade students outside.