Thursday, February 14, 2008

El Gorrion

While in Magdalena, the site I’m working at is called El Gorrion. It’s a small community of 69 families and two tiny roads. The community was built after Hurricane Mitch, and most families living there were from a village that was wiped out by the Hurricane. The government provided this tiny bit of land as compensation, and promised to always provide for them. This sadly hasn’t always been the case, and a lot of people are without water because the government has stopped bringing water to most families. The school, which is where I work, has been open four years and goes through 6th grade. Most of the teachers are 21 or 22, and the director is a mere 25. Fortunately they are being paid by the government, but not much. Marcos, our site leader, is a Students International volunteer, is on outside support for income. He’s the music teacher on Mondays and Tuesdays, Christian morals teacher on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the crafts teacher on Fridays. Everyday lunch is provided for the students and children of the community. Most children go without breakfast, and dinner is usually pretty meager. This is a very important part of the school’s outreach, for the community would starve without it. In general, the kids are not very motivated to attend school and learn, because with the level of poverty in this community there is little to no hope for a future outside of working in the fields. There are four of us serving at El Gorrion – Rachel Giese, Sarah Muyskens , Ashley Watts, and myself. What we do is help Marcos with his classes. We help plan the lessons and activities, and also teach time to time. Every day we help serve lunch and play with the kids during recess (mainly jump rope). We walk 30 minutes to El Gorrion, up and down many steep hills, then work 9:00 – 12:30. We eat lunch with Marcos, spend time planning, then leave for the ½ hour walk back around 1:30. It’s a long, tiring, but very rewarding day. Even in this short week of ministry, I can tell we have the opportunity to make a huge impact of the school and community of El Gorrion. God’s hand is apparent in what’s being done at the school.

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