Friday, May 2, 2014

Update after 3 months

During the last 3 months many things happened in the village and in Li Ch’utam.

Anna got selected for a different project and left at the beginning of March so there are just 3 of us here in the village: Albert, Dodo and me. In March the weather changed and the heat makes us working slower than before. Adding health problems of some team members the work slowed down much below European standards J. However all the projects planned for 2014 started and we are in the constant evaluation process.

Primary school

School utilities arrived at the beginning of April (almost 3 months from the beginning of classes) and school classes start looking friendlier. Our cooperation with teachers is getting better. Each of us is supporting its teacher/s at least once a week – I do literacy classes, including interpretation of pictures and getting familiar with the book and introducing music to sports classes with first grade students, Albert is helping with 7 second grade kids who still cannot read and Dodo is supporting reading classes of 3rd and 6th grade.

We continue after school activities, focusing mainly on literature, trying different methods or teaching how to read but also how to understand the text and interpret. 

Unfortunately books are in terrible condition. I even wrote a story about a broken book who was crying so that they understand that they should take care of books but it seems it didn’t help. And it’s not just about Li Ch’utam books, schools books are even worse threaten. And another thing is that these 40-60 books we use all the time kids know by heart, would be great to have some new once.. With Spanish and mathematics we try to use games and practice the knowledge kids got during morning classes. Once a week kids learn using computers and Friday is always art and sport day.

Secondary school

Computer classes are going very well. We already did 8 hours of computer course for 4 groups, all together 36 students. They are familiar with history of information technology, can use the basics of computers and are learning typing. Next course in the coming week.

We continue with homework help for our students and English classes for La Constancia students.

We have noticed that secondary school students come to our house to do homework or to learn English or for whatever they need but they are not involved in Li Ch’utam’s activities. Hopefully within few weeks we can finally organize an event for them to connect our work with the community and its needs.

Adults activities

In March we have started vegetable garden project for women from the village. There are 15 women involved in the project. Our master of harvesting is Edwin, our local fourth volunteer J, agriculture engineer working on the plantation in Mercedes. On the first meeting of the project we have explained how to grow vegetables: how to prepare land, how to plant, how to take care of the plants and how to harvest them. During the second meeting we already had seeds and there was planting presentation. After that each family had to plant their seeds. 

After few weeks we visited each garden with all participants giving advices on how to improve the crops. 

All the participant are very much involved and are taking care of their vegetables, sometimes they are coming to our house asking for more seeds. And are already eating their first vegetables!!!

Between volunteers we have already been discussing that we still miss men from the village in our activities and that makes it more difficult for us to understand the community. Few men who are our friends here wanted us to organize computer course for them. I hope that with 4 volunteers on board we can come back to this idea.