One of the things I wanted to do while in Nicaragua was volunteer. I volunteered with a women’s group called Contemporary Women of North County for the 5 years leading up to our move and its a passion of mine to help the less fortunate. From research, I knew that there were many NGOs (non-governmental organization) already established in Nicaragua. My hurdle was going to be that I lacked in Spanish, so the options to help were limited.
Once moved into San Juan del Sur, I started to put feelers out for non-Spanish speaking volunteer opportunities. Luckily, I mentioned my desire to the right person and only 24 days after moving, I was “interviewing” for a volunteer position at Barrio La Planta Project. As it reads on their website, “The Barrio Planta Project is an education initiative created to empower low-income children and adults living in Nicaragua. Through supplementary schooling with an emphasis on English as a Second Language and the creative arts, BPP provides means for international communication and exposure to enriching cultural activities that enhance confidence and facilitate community development.”
I started “working” April 7th with the preschool/kindergarten class. Its only 2 1/2 hours twice a week, but its been great fun getting to know the local kids, feeling comfortable saying “hola” to the parents as I pass them on the street, and learning Spanish from the students. The kids are learning English and so I am free to speak my native tongue with no embarrassment.