The Peace Project is an after-school program for the kids that live around Laguna de Apoyo. This is a place where children can do their homework, learn English, learn how to type and have fun with their friends in a safe environment. Jonathon and I were both excited to check out the program, volunteer, meet the kids and talk to the coordinators about what they need and what we could do for them.
They had a hostel for volunteers to stay in as well, so we decided to stay one more night in the Laguna–but for a very different reason than before. We were here continuing the business development on how to give back to this country.
We arrived in front of the hostel with our huge backpacks and a large box of goodies. Two huge dogs greated us at the gate as we walked in towards the reception booth. An American girl yelled out hi to us from the deck above and asked us if we were looking for dorm rooms.
We both said that we were and that we wanted to volunteer as well. She smiled and walked us to the dorms so that we could put all of our stuff down. She informed us that the kids were going to get out of school around 1pm so thats when they would need us to be upstairs to volunteer.
The dorm rooms were very cute, painted with bright colors and with some of our favorite inspirational quotes in both Spanish and English. It was a comfy and low key envionment–perfect for us to gather our thoughts and do some work before deciding on how to get our Visas renewed.
We grabbed a quick delicious Nica lunch down by the lake–complete with tostones (fried plantains), gallo pinto (beans and rice) with pollo asado (bbq chicken).
Right after, we went straight upstairs to talk to the other volunteers and coordinators of the program before the kids got there. The directors of the program were two girls who were 25 years old, from the States. They were both fluent in Spanish and were in charge of teaching the kids English, making sure they got their homework done and creating a fun program for the kids to enjoy each day. They were enthusiastic, smart and super helpful with any questions we had.
At 1 o’ clock the kids came running in, excited to be done with school and hang out with everyone. The majority of them pulled out their homework, which consisted mostly of English homework, so JB and I immediately helped them out.
After they finished their homework, I got to read The Giving Tree to a sweet little girl in Spanish. The Giving Tree was one of my all time favorite books when I was a little girl, so it was really special for me to be able to share my favorite childhood book with another little girl in Spanish. She loved it just as much as I did.
After reading and homework was done, the kids could then practice their typing skills on the computer through a typing program they all knew how to work. They loved the typing challenges and games, which reminded me of the days in elementary school when I would play the typing games all day long because they were fun. It was really nice to see a very simliar program teaching the same things here in Nicaragua that I got to learn in the United States.
When the kids completed their typing challenege for the day, they started coloring and drawing together. One little girl and I became instant buddies and she drew me a beautiful picture that I keep with me in my journal everywhere I go.
Next up were the English lessons, which was obviously something we could definitely help out with. We were excited to see how these went and eager to help out the Peace Project in any way we could.