So as children are going back to school in many parts of the world, the children here are settling in to the last semester of the year, with close to three months till their ‘summer’ holidays come.
We have completed the building of a new classroom in Escudo as of today. This classroom is oustandingly the best in the school, and the best of any that we have seen. It is built to the new national standard, and is the first that we have built with the supervision and advice of the architects from the Ministry of Education. It is lovely, though a little sad that we could have built two classrooms of the older style to accommodate twice as many children for the same price – but of course this is one of the costs of progress.
We had some visiting groups with us earlier in the month, students from Chew Valley school repaired desks, repaired and painted the bathrooms and painted a classroom at the school Pablo Antonio Cuadra, and Collingwood School students gave a fresh coat of paint to the Nueva Esperanza High School. We also had a team of five French scouts, led by Claire Rouzet who did lots of the finish work at the Pancasan Learning Center now virtually ready, just awaiting the furnishings to be built.
Heard of a unique idea for fundraising this week. Ton Hendrix of Nica Friends has been asked by some of his acquaintances to help them learn Spanish – so he is doing it for a fee – the fee being a donation to help La Esperanza Granada. This could be a great way for former volunteers to keep up your Spanish, and help others who may become future volunteers. As you would not be charging for lessons you would not need to be a licensed teacher – your ‘students’ would simply be making a donation and you would know that the kids here will be getting the benefit.
Most of our volunteers are now working in the learning centers – with just a few at Pablo Antonio Cuadra. We have lots of children attending the centers and though there are some teething problems in general it is a great success. Volunteers here at the moment are Ana Mendingutxia Balil, Felix Osterloh, Thore Pieper, Maria Sanchez Chapinal, Paula Porras Lara, Clement Langlet, Lazslo Samu, Roser Masso Virgili, Maria Esther Parrado Gonzales, Blake Welling, Marielene Stenz, Rose Braisher, Irene Sanchez Cebrian, Alejandro Diaz Santos, Irene Andrea Lope, Sara Ortega Gomez, Shelly Smith, Miriam Eyre, Antonia Grosshoff, Maja Klostermann, Amanda Lesch, Enrique Toquero Lebredo, David Cruz Quevedo, Lidia Carbo Sanchez, Amanda Guthu and Ginger Lawrence.
Donations were received from Emilio Martinez who sent $35, Mariska Lievaart who sent $258, Jim Ludden who sent $1000, Anita Rogers who sent $15, Ray Breswick who sent $100, Elisabeth Zinck who sent $184 and Karla Moggeridge who sent $20. Alejandro Diaz sent a box of notebooks and colours, and Ana Mendigutxia and Irene Andrea brought lots of materials for the learning centers that the kids will really appreciate. Special thanks too goes to Esther Parrados who brought a whole suitcase full of books in Spanish, storybooks and texts, 150 in all, and some story CD’s too. We also received a big shipment of toys for Christmas through Asociación MAYAS in Spain, there are over 4500 that will will distribute to the school children as part of an attendance incentive.
Here is a link to some great photos taken this month: https://www.flickr.com/