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English teacher for ten days

BOLIVIA | Monday, 26 April 2010 | Views [721] | Comments [3]

Two weeks in Santa Cruz proved to be long enough to relax a bit, meet several local people, do some reading, get sick a couple of times, get some torrencial rain and swim along the streets full of water... and also, to teach english (when sickness and weather conditions permitted).

My students were around 30 kids, with ages from 3 to 12 years old... in a poor neighbourhood of Santa Cruz. These children had either lost his father or his mother, or their parents had divorced (in Bolivia, the father don't give economical support to the mother, the law is not really applied in practice here)... So these kids can have a very difficult childhood... and a lot of chances of getting into delinquency... Luz del Mundo is an NGO who is trying to help them, and learning english is part of the solution, as it gives them better potential to find jobs when they grow older.
Before I arrived to Luz del Mundo, I wanted to prepare something, so I asked about the kids and their english level... the answer, they had different ages and different levels... at first I worried how could I teach them, but as I couldn't find a way to prepare it, I stopped worrying and decided to improvise... I like to improvise! At the end of the day, things not always happen exactly as expected, neither we can always predict them, and that's where we most need to be spontaneous and creative...

So there I arrived. The children were very happy to see me, they called me "teacher", and a 3 year old kid took my hand... I was like "WOW!"... they wanted me to play with them, and I played football and chess. Later I started the english lesson. There was a blackboard, but it was not really a classroom... the kids had no paper and would not take any notes, some were doing the homework from school, while the smaller ones were playing around... Then I was glad I hadn't prepare much! I could have got angry or dissapointed as conditions weren't at all as expected... So I improvised a lesson and managed to get the attention of some of the kids, mostly the older ones. Next day I focused to get the attention of the small ones, asking them to draw things and telling them the english word... and so days passed, teaching and playing with them, one day the small kids drew pictures of me and gave it to me as a present, that was really cool... and in the last day they all sang a tipical song of Santa Cruz..
One day I met Pablo, a wise and honest man, around 60 years old, he told me many stories... When he was born, his mother was a poor girl of 16 years old, and his father was married with another woman. So he went to an orphanate created by some spanish priests and nuns. He received so much help from them, he told me, that he always tries to help people when he can... When he told me that, I imagined him that he was once like one of my kids, and thought that maybe my kids one day will become as good as this man, and would tell similar stories...

To be honest, I don't know if the kids have learned much english with me... but meeting this man I felt that my time with them was worthy...



Espectacular!! Julito ! que linda experiencia...!!! te felicito!
te mando un beso!

  Anita Apr 26, 2010 9:34 PM


Hola Julio.
First, I hope that everything goes well...I follow your trip in distance.
It seems to be an amazing experience. Have fun man and continue to update your blog.
C U nico

  Nicolas Roux Apr 27, 2010 5:51 PM


Thanks all for your comments!
I like to see them and to share my experiences with you guys!

  julio_martinez Apr 28, 2010 12:39 PM

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