Jul 28, 2016

Spotlight Volunteer
1) Introduce yourself:
-What is your name?
Michel Antoine
-How old are you?
I’m 26
-Where do you come from?
New-York (U.S.A)
-Why did you decide to do some volunteering?
I wanted to help others who are less fortunate than myself. I wanted to make a difference. I also wanted to improve my Spanish.
-What was your Spanish level before coming?
My Spanish level was between intermediate and advanced. I feel that my Spanish has improved a little but it is still not where I want it.
2) What are you doing here in La Esperanza Granada?
- What job are you doing? (teacher,….)
1st grade teacher assistant
- In which school?
Nueva Esperanza
- How many weeks are you staying here?
4 weeks
-What are your first impressions (of the school, the children,…)?
My first impressions were feelings of sadness based on all of the things that the children don’t have. The desks, books, pencils, erasers were all in very poor conditions; or there was a lack of these items. I also felt really excited to help out as much as I can. Despite these children not having a lot, they find ways to entertain themselves, like chasing after animals in a harmless and playful manner.

One surprise for me was the variation in academic levels in the same class. Some children can read short stories while others can’t identify letters and numbers. I wish there were more resources for these children.

May 20, 2016

Student Spotlight 2!

This time we had a nice conversation with Marta, a twelve year old kid attending the third grade in Nueva Esperanza school.

When she starts mentioning her family’s members the list seems endless: they are eight brothers and sisters and the ninth will be born in a month! Under the same steel roof, in this house in Pantanal Community, Marta is living with her parents, six brothers, (three older and three younger), a younger sister- nearly two-, a sister in law and a niece. Animals aren’t missing of course: three dogs, a rooster and some chickens complete the picture.
“Yes, we are a lot! But sometimes we are even more when grandparents and uncles come to visit!”
She keeps on smiling and the crowded atmosphere of her house doesn’t seem to bother her.

Her father works fixing electronic devices such as fans, mobile phones and televisions; the older brothers have a job as well: one of them makes and sells bracelets in La Calzada street, in the center of Granada, another one works in the coffee harvest field and the third one makes shoes. Her mum usually stays at home where of course she has a lot of work to do(!!), but last year she worked in a farm in coffee harvest, too.

Every afternoon, Marta, as the older daughter of the family, helps her mum with domestic chores, especially cooking beans and selling them in front of their house. “Now that my mum is pregnant I can do it by myself!  I can cook very well!”. But more than her ability in the kitchen, what Marta really cares talking about is how is likes school and how she never forgets doing her homework in the afternoon. “I study every day because I really want to improve!”.

What’s her dream? She would like to be a doctor: “One day I will be a doctor and I’ll work in a hospital!”.


Esta vez hemos hablado con Marta, una muchacha de doce años que asiste al tercer grado en la escuela Nueva Esperanza.

Cuando empieza a nombrar los miembros de su familia la lista parece interminable: son ocho hermanos y hermanas y la novena va a nacer dentro de un mes. Bajo el mismo techo de zinc, en esta casa en la Comunidad del Pantanal, Marta vive con sus padres, seis hermanos (tres mayores y tres chiquitos), una hermana menor -casi dos-, una cuñada y una sobrina. Los animales no faltan, por cierto: tres perros, un gallo y unas gallinas completan el dibujo.
“Si somos muchos! ¡Pero algunas veces somos aún más cuando mis abuelos y mis tíos vienen a visitar!”.
Ella sigue sonriendo y no parece que la atmosfera abarrotada de su casa la moleste.
Su padre se ocupa de reparar instrumentos electrónicos como abanicos, celulares y televisiones; los hermanos mayores trabajan también: uno de ellos hace y vende pulseras en la calle La Calzada, en el centro de Granada, otro se ocupa de recoger y cortar café y el tercero trabaja en una zapatería. Su mamá habitualmente está en casa donde por cierto ya tiene mucho que hacer (¡!), pero el año pasado trabajó durante algunos meses cortando café en una finca.
Por la tarde, Marta, como es la hija mayor de la familia, ayuda a su madre con las tareas domésticas, sobretodo cocinando frijoles que venden en frente de la casa. “Ahora que mi mamá está embarazada lo hago yo sola! ¡Cocino muy bien!”. Pero en vez de hablar sobre su habilidad como cocinera, Marta prefiere contar cómo le gusta la escuela y que nunca se olvida hacer sus tareas por la tarde. “Estudio todos los días porque quiero seguir avanzando!”.
¿Cuál es su sueño? Le gustaría ser doctora: “Seré doctora un día y trabajaré en el hospital!”

Apr 11, 2016

Student Spotlight!

The very first Student Spotlight is on Raundy! Raundy is a 6 year old student at Escudo who has a reputation of being an excellent student. When we asked a teacher about a prized student, without hesitation, he quickly left and came back with Raundy who shows off the softest smile.

Raundy´s favorite subject is Spanish, and is sport fanatic who dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. Along with the dream of becoming an athlete, he hopes to become a carpenter like his dad.

Raundy is an only child in his family which consists of his Mom and Dad. In the small family, the positive influence that Raundy´s parents play in his life is undeniable and can be displayed in every aspect of his life. For example, Raundy grew up watching his dad work as a carpenter, which nurtured his dreams of also becoming a distinguished carpenter. And his mom is no less of an important figure either. She is a stay-at-home mom who acts as the most important teacher in Raundy´s life. Along with being in charge of housekeeping, she makes exercises in the house to ensure Raundy is excelling in his studies.

Along with his classmates, Raundy hopes to visit the United States soon, and loves to eat chocolate and fried chicken.

Fun fact about Raundy: He is contemplating when to break up with his girlfriend. 

Mar 14, 2016

First Impressions of Nicaragua

Katherine Currier is a volunteer traveling from the United States. She is spending 6 months as a volunteer with La Esperanza as a member of our English teaching teams.  Here´s what she had to say about her experience, five weeks in -I have really enjoyed my time thus far with La Esperanza, Granada. Some things I have noticed:1. Plastic bags are used in many different ways. I asked for a coca cola and received it in a plastic bag. 2. Since Granada is a small city, bicycles are an excellent mode of transportation. 3. There is an incredible amount of energy in the city especially in the kids and the marketplace.4. Working with the kids can be a crazy-making experience but it is tremendously satisfying when you make even a small connection with the them. 5. It feels great to be here.¡For the niños!