Last Monday children here started holidays that will last until mid January. We have decided to run activities for them. Every day from Monday to Friday in the morning we have activities with different grade on the specific topic. For the first two weeks it’s “travelling around the world” where we talk about countries from different continents, showing photos, talking about differences comparing to Guatemala, food, dancing and doing crafts. The next two topics will be: “nature” with animals, plants and a bit of ecology, and “cultural activities” with art, theatre, sports etc. In the afternoon we have classes for everyone, Monday and Friday computer classes, with educational games, Tuesday and Thursday literature – reading books together with different exercises helping in understanding what is read, Wednesday movie watching. We have started on Monday, for the morning activities sometimes we have 10 kids sometimes no one is coming.
When they come they are eager to learn and do the activities even though they are rather shy. In the afternoon there are much more kids coming (15-20). They like doing math or writing exercises on computers and the games we do apart. During literature classes we only do activities connected with reading and writing. Every child coming starts reading a book and we try to help if any problems. There are also some exercises like reading small texts and guessing what is described. All of the kids try to read and with those who don’t know reading and writing we seat apart showing them letters writing with them and trying to read simple words/books. There is one child already doing progress in our classes in reading.
To help us in the activities with small children but also to create young leaders in the community, we have asked few young people to help us in activities for kids. We have 3 people (one boy and two girls). They help a lot especially with 5-6 years old kids and first grade translating from Spanish to Q’eqchi everything we say. So the team of volunteers here actually has 5 people now: Astrid, Celia, Deborah, Ewa and Waldemar. All the volunteers are doing great job. :) We will have regular meetings where we plan to discuss past week and plan activities for the coming week. One of them is studying in high school in Telemán but the rest cannot continue studying because of lack of money. Wishing for REAL right to education for all kids…
Apart from work with kids and young people we have started talking with parents. We visit families to ask about what they know and think about Lichutam, what kind of activities they want us to do. We ask them about their kids, if they know Spanish on communicative level, can read, write and count. We also ask about their needs (of adults) and activities they propose for themselves. Families we have visited so far are quite positive about an idea of activities with adults. Some of them just want to join the ideas we have and others propose new once. We already have people interested in: writing, reading, Spanish, computer classes, gardening (vegetables mainly), weave, English, workshops on topics like health, children growing, home budgeting, addictions prevention, family planning. There are people in the village who could run some of these activities. It would be great to start the first of them this year.