Volunteer Interview© First Name Mary
© Nationality Canadian
© Age 27
© How did you find out about La Esperanza?
Via the Internet – searching under NGO’s in Nicargua
© What attracted you to working with La Esperanza?
They seemed like a well-organized, up-to-date, information is readily available with regards to information on the school structures and teacher opportunities, there was a lot of information with regards to investment into the community and transparency about the cause and assistance within the community.
© What do you think your best skills are for being a volunteer?
Realistic Expectations and openness to learn ‘more than teach’
© What is your current volunteer role with La Esperanza, briefly describe your typical day.
Teachers Assistance in pre-school
My typical day is to wake up at 6.30am as I teach in the morning walk to school with the group, assist the local teacher with my class, walk home around 12.30pm, make lunch I the provided apartment, take a Spanish class, head to the gym, study, dinner and pass out through exhaustion ready for the next day!
© How long have you been volunteering with us? (eg. 3 weeks out of 6)
Currently in my 3rd of 4 weeks
© Have you volunteered before?
§ Where? I have volunteered in many places in central and south America – the most relevant was Ecuador given they are Spanish speaking country
§ How long? 2 months
§ What did you do? Teach English to children and adults, after school programming, teach yoga
§ What did you like about that program to encourage you to volunteer again? The close-knit community spirit and community connection
§ How does La Esperanza Granada differ from the last volunteering program? There are so many volunteers with a huge range of experience, opinions, ages and abilities!
© Describe in 3 words what makes a good volunteer – Positive Attitude, listening more than taking, realistic expectations
© What difference do you feel you have made so far? Shared some smiles, laughter nd gave attention to the kids who needed an extra high –five!
© Did you speak Spanish prior to volunteering with La Esperanza? A little, but I came to learn more
If Yes: Do you think it is important? Yes, you feel more useful and able to communicate, you feel more engaged and more engaging to those around you.
If no: Did you find it difficult? I am still learning so it can be difficult but being emersed in the language is very useful
© Has your Spanish improved since volunteering with La Esperanza?
© Yes, given I am taking the Spanish lessons and spend 6 hours a day at least sp
© Describe in 3 words your experience here at La Esperanza
Individual –There are a large number of volunteers which makes it difficult for the organistation to engage with you individually with progress although the large numbers means you have great group around you to share your experience with though.
Challenging – Each day provides me with the opportunity to push myself a little bit further even when you don’t think you have much left to give!
Eye – Opening - Each day when I see and NGO trying to make a difference with the minimal resources to hand, an ever changing volunteer base and in an education system that sometimes seems disorganized in fascinating and inspires me to try and make a difference where-ever possible!