Monday, October 26, 2015

Full speed ahead! New Projects are in the house

This week we planned out the schedule for the next 3 months to come.  We are keeping some and adding on other new projects to our list. The aime is to widen our spectrum of participants, by including not only básico and primary school kids but also by making the adults into a target audience as well! The idea is for Li Ch’utam to take as wide a community as possible under their wings.

Check out our new “Summer School” schedule (although of course, here it's autumn...):

·         Daily activities: The afternoon extracurricular activities with the primary school children are still a big item on our list. We will diversify the offer by including, on top of the usual classes to teach them maths, Spanish, arts&crafts and sports, other new specialised workshops based on our volunteers' personal talents! One of our specials is Georgia's jewellery-making class, where we show the kids how to make bracelets out of different materials we find locally. The back-bone of all those activities is a combination of teaching basic skills and spending a fun time with our youngest participants.

·         Computer classes for basico kids: Once a week we offer the básico kids the chance to learn basic computer skills based on their school curriculum. Word, Excel or PowerPoint are the name of the game!

·         Computer classes for men: Computer classes again, but this time it is all about the adults in the village, and mainly men. Similar to the computer courses for básico, the point is to give them a chance to learn and practice basic computer skills necessary for working or studying and to give them a chance to apply them in their daily life, ultimately enhacing their livelihoods.

·         English lessons: After one thousand questions in the likes of “Qué es en inglés?” we decided to start an English course aimed at middle school students from Mercedes and La Constancia. At the end it is always helpful to have a fundamental knowledge of English. That makes the difference in their studying and work life and offers them great opportunities for a open-minded future.

·         One-on-one Literacy tutoring project: Or how to “learn how to teach“ aimed at training the middle-school students to teach literacy to the younger kids who are still struggling with basic reading and writing skills.  It's a nice way to give something back to the community: we train a handful of students, who could then start by helping their younger brothers and sisters at home…

·         Chocolate-making-project: “Mmmmmhm, qué rico!“. If your hear people in Nueva Mercedes say this in the next weeks, then our chocolate-making-project was a success! Our plan is to harvest cacao beans buying them in the houses of the local villagers, toast them, grind them and produce delicious chocolate with various flavours (vanilla, cardamomo, raisins, milk chocolate, peanuts, chile, rice...and many more!) The participants will simultaneously acquire a practical skill and learn about their own ancestral traditions (Mesoamerica and Maya culture in particular is the cradle of chocolate, as we know it today!)

·         Vegetable Garden Project: With any luck, soon we will hopefully see a variety of fruit and vegetables sprouting up in the gardens of local families of Nueva Mercedes. We decided to re-kick-start the project which was conducted last year with our previous team of volunteers (Ewa and her team), in collaboration with Edwin, the agronomer of the local finca. The ultimate aim is to help families, and especially the mothers, to supplement family income and give them tools for a healthy and balanced nutrition.
To inform our target audience, we did a village round to broadcast our schedule and make sure that everybody gets the message: we are here for you, to work with you and help you improve your future! It seems that everyone, including the volunteers, are excited and looking forward to the weeks to come!

1,2,3 – he, ho let's go!

Written by: Anne

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