This is the second in a series of profiles of our ayudantes. Ayudante means ‘assistant’, and is the name we give to the young people receiving university scholarships through La Esperanza Granada. Alongside their studies, the ayudantes are long term interns who give 5 hours of their time every weekday to support La Esperanza Granada. Our ayudantes are so much more than assistants – they are critical to our success. More information about our ayudante programme is available here.
Enoc is one of our newest ayudantes, and began his internship with La Esperanza Granada just 9 months ago. He is based in Mercedes Mondragon school, where he teaches English to the children alongside some of our international volunteers. This can be challenging, with classes routinely containing up to 35 children, but Enoc enjoys it. He cites one key factor to their success - teamwork.
“Everything about our work in the schools is done together. We plan our lessons together, and teach alongside each other. Even when we are able to divide the kids into groups for different activities, we are still working to the same plan.”
Enoc knows what a difference a strong ayudante and volunteer team can make – he was in the 6th grade at Nueva Esperanza school when La Esperanza Granada volunteers started to work there, and remembers how it changed things.
“They introduced lots of new activities, games and sports, which really helped to keep us interested and engaged. The teachers just don’t have enough time for that sort of thing, but it makes a huge difference to the kids.”
After primary school, Enoc found himself drifting, struggling to adapt to high school and losing interest in his studies. A high school sponsorship from La Esperanza Granada gave him the opportunity to change school, re-engage with learning and embrace a more optimistic outlook.
“The new school was totally different. They taught a wider range of subjects, gave us more support and really sparked my interest in learning again.”
Enoc is now in his first year at UCAN University in Masaya, studying software engineering and learning how to code, build databases and more. He has always been interested in technology (and has also taught computing for La Esperanza Granada), and this course has provided the opportunity to take his understanding to a new level, and turn his interest into highly employable skills.
“The opportunities in Nicaragua are getting better all the time. Once I have finished my studies, I hope to find a good job that makes the most of the skills I’m learning now.”
When asked if he has anything else he want to add, Enoc has only one thing on his mind:
“I just want to say thank you for the opportunities I’ve been given through La Esperanza Granada. Without the support of my sponsors, I wouldn’t have finished high school and could never have dreamt of going to university or working alongside volunteers from all over the world. I’m delighted I’m able to give something back by working for La Esperanza Granada whilst studying, and I hope to help support many other kids like me to go on to high school and university.”
Enoc’s unprompted enthusiasm is a good reminder of why La Esperanza Granada is here – to support young people to get the education they need to take control of their lives and realise their potential.