Long Term Program Plans:
We are not working with orphanages in Nicaragua. In the Dominican Republic, many of the orphanage children are at the orphanage as a result of extreme poverty. The family just cannot support the children, and the orphanage is the best option. In Nicaragua, our plan is to work with those same type of impoverished families and neighborhoods, supporting and strengthening them so that orphanages are not necessary. Sort of like orphanage prevention.
Our intention is to develop Learning Center facilities and programs to support the development of children and families. Briefly, the model consists of:
- Pre-school: Nutrition program and pre-school development activities
- Grades 1-8: Spanish literacy education and English education
- Grades 9-12: Vocational Skills, College Prep, Life Skills
- College: College Scholarships
Our plan includes significant Nicaraguan involvement, and a service requirement for those children and families involved.
We have rented a great large house in Jinotega, capable of housing a team of up to 30 volunteers. We will be sharing meals & meetings together at the volunteer house.
We have recently purchased a 17 acre property on the edge of town. This property will be the site of our community center - classrooms, recreational facilities like a basketball court and volleyball court, and vocational training facilities. The property will also be used to house volunteer teams. Some pictures of the land can be viewed here:
Our plan is that you will be working part time in our Neighborhood Center in the German Pomares neighbourhood and part time in a local primary school. Currently the children are on summer break (yes, summer) but the Ministry of Education here has announced that classes will resume on February 13, 2012. You will be teaching basic English conversational classes as well as literacy skills.
The Week Schedule:
Saturday: Travel Day
Sunday: Orientation Day (Travel Day & condensed Orientation for Team Marblehead)
Monday - Thursday: Program Days: English & Literacy Classes at our Neighbourhood Center in German Pomares neighbourhood as well as English Classes at a local primary school. We will also be doing exploring in Jinotega throughout the week (coffee shop, local market, city tour, optional hike, gift shop etc.).
Friday: Culture Day – We will be visiting a great co-operative that makes black pottery in the morning and heading over to a working coffee farm – eco resort for lunch and have a chance to tour the farm and walk through a trail in a cloud forest in the afternoon.
Saturday: Travel Day
One of our 10 principles is "Communicate Love" - verbal language is not critical in making a difference. You can make a difference, no matter what your knowledge of the Spanish language is. If you don't know any Spanish, you'll have great experiences in teaching English, doing arts and crafts, and recreation. If you are fluent in Spanish or studying Spanish, you'll be great in leading and organizing the children, reading Spanish books with the kids, teaching health, etc. Everyone will have an opportunity to learn and practice Spanish.
The average low temperature in Jinotega in February is 57 degrees, and the average high temperature is 69 degrees. You will each receive O360 tee-shirts prior to the trip; please wear one on your arrival day & bring the others. In addition to the O360 tee-shirts you brought, you will be provided with other O360 tee-shirts to wear daily while in Nicaragua. You will be asked to take one O360 tee-shirt home with you and leave the others on-site. You should follow the dress code described in the Volunteer Guide. We don’t want you to be surprised with our dress code such as no shorts etc. Please note that for our Nicaraguan program, men are asked to always wear long pants when in the community and women can wear long pants to an optional church service. We have had a number of volunteers bring down scrub pants to wear while working in the schools. This is a great thing to use while serving and then donate at the end of your time. We also ask that you bring a couple different pairs of comfortable closed toed walking shoes – you will always be wearing closed toed shoes when walking outside or teaching; when it rains it will be muddy. A sweater, compact umbrella and a light rain jacket are also a good idea since our motto here is – be prepared for mist or rain…. always!!