Recent Posts

July 12, 2014

Ben‘s service work is at the base of Volcán Mombacho, an inactive volcano and cloud forest we visited as a group in May. “My service assignment is very laid back,” says Ben. He works in the mariposario (butterfly farm) and orquideario (orchid garden), where he helps clean the structures and chats with his coworkers about butterflies and “theories about other insects.” He adds, “If it rains substantially the day before, we go out and catch butterflies. If not, we generally sit in the office and talk, which is great for learning Spanish and more about insects.” Ben is an environmental…

Read more »

July 12, 2014

Kara is living and working at a family-run pottery workshop in San Juan del Oriente, a town where ceramic making has been the culture for over 500 years. Given the heavily ingrained tradition, her days are filled with learning about and working with pottery. She also gets plenty of time to read, talk to people, and walk up to the nearby Mirador de Catarina or down to Laguna de Apoyo. Kara helps at all stages of the pottery-making process, whether finishing the rough clay surface of a piece, applying the many layers of a base coat, painting, or simply watching…

Read more »

July 11, 2014

David is in Chichigalpa, Chinandega, where he is living with “a great host family.” His service assignment is assisting an English teacher at San Luis Gonzaga School. “There are five levels of classes there, and my schedule with each is different, depending on the day of the week,” he says. “I usually pronounce things in English for the class or read things so they can practice listening. I typically also find a good amount of time to strike up conversations with students and practice my Spanish. Because of the school’s schedule I’ve had more days off than I would have…

Read more »

July 11, 2014

Alyssa and Daniel are both in Pearl Lagoon on the Caribbean (east) coast of Nicaragua, where the whole group traveled to in mid-May for four days. Alyssa divides her time between two different schools: a public primary school in town and a preschool in the neighboring Miskito village of Awas. At the public school, “I do something different every day,” says Alyssa. “I have administered reading tests, taught classes when the teacher has had to step out, and observed various classes as well.” At the Miskito preschool she helps teach the three-year-olds and makes materials to use in class. Daniel’s…

Read more »

July 11, 2014

Brian and Jared both work on coffee farms in San Ramon, a rural municipality in the mountains northeast of the city of Matagalpa. Brian reports, “This has been my third week on the farm, and so far things have been pretty fun!” His family consists of his parents, Carmen and Vicente and siblings Wilmer, Byron, Levy, Bismark, and Ericka. (During our final field trip before the students went on service, we visited Vicente’s farm, having read about the lengthy struggle to retain his land and to practice organic farming despite intimidation and even violence at the hands of powerful moneyed…

Read more »

July 11, 2014

Martin and Alisa are in El Lagartillo, a remote community in the northern mountains of León. On weekday afternoons they teach English classes to a group of children ages 8-11. The classes are voluntary, so the number of students varies each day from a handful to several dozen, but this doesn’t deter Martin and Alisa. They create and plan each day’s lessons together and co-teach these interactive sessions. On the day we visited, they used a diagram of Alisa’s family tree to teach the words for members of the nuclear and extended families. Our presence seemed to inhibit the students…

Read more »

July 9, 2014

Anna is living and working in La Garnacha, a campesino community just south of the city of Estelí. Her host family, whom she describes as “wonderful,” runs an organic farm in this mountainous area. She writes, “Most days of the week I hike down to the farm, work [in the field] until early afternoon, and have a 30-40 hike back up to my house.” On Fridays she accompanies her host father in to the farmer’s market in Estelí, where they sell the produce grown on the farm. “I have learned a lot about agriculture [and] living without running water,” she…

Read more »

July 9, 2014

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…

Read more »

July 9, 2014

Last week and this week we have been traveling to visit the students at their service locations. We’re not quite done with the traveling and visiting, but we’ve got much to show and tell! We’ll start with Brad and Anika, who work and live in the mountainous northern department and city of Jinotega. The organization where they are volunteering is Los Pipitos, a national agency that assists people with disabilities and their families. Brad and Anika divide their time between working with adults at the Pipitos office and children at the nearby Centro de Educación Temprana (Center for Early Education),…

Read more »

July 3, 2014

No, it’s not the World Cup, but it was quite an evening only three weeks ago now (it seems much longer ago than that), when GC students and Carazo host families joined a local soccer team in Diriamba for a series of brief matches that left us smiling, breathless and hungry. Organized and officiated by Alisa’a host dad, Rafael, the games were a big hit for those who played as well as those who cheered from the sidelines. Afterward we invited the Diriamba team and host family members to join us for a well-earned pizza dinner across from the central…

Read more »

Page 3 of 1812345...10...Last »