Drea and Jake are stationed in the city of Matagalpa at two different service organizations.
Drea spends her days at Infancia sin Fronteras (Children without Borders), a Spanish NGO whose focus is “to create the conditions for development and peaceful coexistence of peoples; and lessen the effects of war and natural disasters on the civilian population.” Within this framework, the organization focuses on children and mothers, “the most vulnerable social groups” in society. Programming at the Matagalpa facility includes after-school activities such as music lessons and arts and crafts.
”On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays I make piñatas with the kids and other volunteers,” says Drea. “We use paper mache ballons, cardboard sheets and tissue paper to make all kinds of shapes ranging from carrots, bells, minions, angry birds and stars and cars. On the other days I work with my other boss painting or carving wood prints with the students or help make paper.”
Jake works at a grade school in Matagalpa, where he gets to interact with a different grade each week. His first week was with the first graders, and his second was with the fourth graders. When we visited him, he was finishing up his third week, which was with the sixth graders. Jake says he helps with disciplining students “if they get too rowdy,” assists with various subjects, and organizes exercises and plays with the kids at recess. We got to see him in action when we arrived, as he and a large group of boys were in the middle of an intense game of recess soccer. Jake says the best part of his service experience (besides recess) is “forming relationships with the students.”