Our focus is on education at a very basic level. The majority of our volunteers work with young children. Because of overcrowded schools, half of the primary school students attend school in the morning, and the other half attends in the afternoon. The early grades attend school in the morning, starting at 7 am and the higher grades in the afternoon, starting at 12.30 or 1pm. Ayuantes, ‘assistants’ in Spanish, are sponsored local students who attend university on the weekends and assist our volunteers during the week. There is an ayudante in each school, and also one working with each English team, one helping in the office, three working with the children with the computers etc. For all positions, we prefer that volunteers have at least an intermediate level of Spanish.
Internships: We are happy to host internships in all the positions below and complete any paperwork required by your college.
As a Kindergarten Assistant you work with pre-school aged children attending school in the barrios of Granada. Together the teacher, you encourage learning through games and crafts. This work is especially rewarding since the kids are extremely friendly and open-minded. This position is available from February to November. You should have an intermediate or better level of Spanish to be able to play and chat with the kids. Kindergarten assistants work in the mornings, Monday to Friday from 7.30 am till noon. Friday’s classes often end early.
GRADE 1 TUTOR/CLASSROOM ASSISTANT
As a Grade 1 Tutor you work with students in the classroom and help them with reading, writing, math, etc, and help them keep up with the work assigned by the teacher. This position is available throughout the Nicaraguan school-year which starts in February and ends in November. You will be working closely with the students, however, you will have an ayudante with you who will be there to assist you with any questions. You should have an intermediate or better level of Spanish in order to understand the problems the kids have and assist them. Grade 1 Tutor/Classroom assistants work in the mornings, Monday to Friday from 7.30 am till noon. Friday’s classes often end early.
PRIMARY SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER
As a Primary School English Teacher you teach English to primary school students in the schools where we help. We teach English in grades 4, 5 and 6. You will work in a team and teach in two schools per week, alternating each day. You will also have an ayudante with you who will help you with the students and teaching. English team volunteers work Monday through Thursday and have a planning meeting together on Friday mornings. Depending on which schools you would be working from 12.30 – 4pm or 1 – 4.30 pm. This position is available from February to November and requires an advanced or better level of English as well as a basic or better level of Spanish.
SUMMER SCHOOL TEACHER/ASSISTANT (DECEMBER AND JANUARY ONLY)
During December and January, La Esperanza runs a summer school program for the children living in the barrios (kindegarten and grade 1 level). During this time, volunteers and ayudantes take full responsibility of creating, planning, and teaching lessons. For the summer school, we are happy to accept volunteers for only three or four weeks, or longer if you wish. Depending on the grade you will work with, you should have a intermediate or better level of Spanish. We also run some special English courses during the vacation months of December and January.
COMMUNICATION AND PROMOTION:
As a Communication and Promotion Assistant you help our Operations Director Pauline, a long-term volunteer, maintain and improve our online presence (Facebook, blog, website, etc.), and aid in developing the organization through volunteer and donor recruitment. This position is available throughout the year. We prefer a minimum time commitment of 8 weeks in order to get to know our operations and the way we work. An intermediate or better level of Spanish is useful, but it is not vital if you are a good communicator.
GRANT WRITING AND FUND RAISING:
Grant writing is a bit of a specialist task, but as our organization grows it is an area we need help with. We don’t specifically ask people for money as part of our ethos, but it is good to be able to offer fund raising ideas to those who want to help, and work on possible ideas. We would prefer a three month or longer stay for this position. Spanish is not vital, but would be a great advantage.
HANDYMAN (HANDYPERSON) JOB:
There are constantly repairs needed in the volunteer houses as well as in the schools. We have tools etc. on hand, and it is a great help when we have a volunteer willing to take on general handyman work. An ideal position for someone who wants to help and hasn’t yet mastered Spanish, or would rather help in general without necessarily working directly with the children.
You can volunteer long-distance with La Esperanza Granada by providing on-line help, such as translating documents, promoting the organization, updating volunteer listings, etc.
PART-TIME VOLUNTEER (GRANADA RESIDENTS ONLY)
If you are living in Granada and have spare time each week, there are various ways in which you could work with us on a part-time basis. From teaching computers in the schools to taking children for dental visits, we would welcome your help.
There is no limit to the numbers of volunteers we need for positions such as kindergarten assistants, grade 1 tutors/assistants, English teachers, or vacation month teachers and assistants.
If you didn’t see something that fits you in the outlines above, but think you have something to offer just let us know, maybe we need you and just haven’t thought of it yet!
Besides your time commitment and a certain level of Spanish, the only major skill we require from our volunteers is a willingness to help others and to enjoy being part of the La Esperanza Granada team.