First Guácima Camp

When I met English teacher Reiniery Amador from Liceo de la Guácima, I immediately felt his enthusiasm and resolved that he´d be the ideal teaching partner for this ambitious project. We completed our Pre-Camp training at Peace Corps Headquarters and came back home loaded with materials and the hope of doings things right in our first Jumpstart Camp- La Guácima. We both appreciate being able to teach youngsters and to live in this traditional, yet blossoming Alajuela area with lots of potential for economic growth and development. Just like in many San José neighboring towns, La Guácima shows a contrasting reality: small public schools and family-run businesses yuxtaposed with amazing real estate development projects, sometimes unaffordable to many local people. Our school Once de Abril, for example, lies in front of Ciudad Hacienda Los Reyes, the best golf community in the entire Central Valley, where an average property´s area is 13,000 ft2. Children here are used to attending school surrounded by the still sounds of nature and the screeching tires of amateur speedy drivers who feel nostalgic about the old race track days. In this setting, Reiniery and I have encountered twenty monolingual Jumpstarters who are pure dynamite. Over the course of these four weeks, they will meet my twelve Saint Paul College Teaching volunteers ranging from ages 12 to 17. The latter are bilingual teenagers eager to do their social outreach hours during the summer. Who knows what awaits them?  As I feel about my coworker, I certainly hope they begin new friendships and enjoy wonderful experiences together.