This is my second year in Guayabitos and after spending 4 months as a tourist last year, I made the decision to become more involved in the community. Being that I retired from the school system in Canada, it seemed like a logical step to join the KinderAide team and I am very excited!

I was not sure what to expect the first day and I must say had a few butterflies. I don’t speak Spanish, they don’t speak English, Yikes!!! What was I getting into? We were greeted by Cynthia, a lovely young Maestra with a gentle manner and beautiful smile. The small one room school is very welcoming, brightly painted on the outside, a perfect setting for small four and five-year-old niños.

As I was standing by the school door watching the children arrive with their mothers and I was so impressed with the kids clean and matching uniforms, the girls with their hair braided and decorated, the boys combed and slicked down, obviously of great pride to their parents. Out of the blue, one young boy came running up and threw his arms around me for a big hug, whoa what a welcome. As with all children everywhere some were shy, peeking from under their lashes and some were over the top hanging from the shelves, banging the drums and blowing the horns with great vigor. The noise level inside the small brick building was at times deafening but when it came time for school they all settled down as much as that age can and we had a wonderful time with songs and stories.

I look forward to a great year teaching English to these little kids and I am sure I will learn far more from them.

Written by Arlene Pratt

Photo: Arlene (left) and returning KinderAide volunteer Diane Simser (right).

About KinderAide: KinderAide was established in January of 2011 by Jane Fellows. It is an independent, non-profit group of volunteers whose primary goal is to help children attending kinder schools in La Peñita in their quest to learn English, with the assistance of volunteer teachers and donated school supplies. To learn more, visit the KinderAide community website.

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