La Mansión is a small community located 15km outside of the town of Nicoya, on the Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste. There are numerous small businesses, many of which are run out of peoples’ homes. Many people travel for work; to Nicoya to work for larger businesses or to Samara or many other Pacific coast beaches to work in tourism or transportation. More and more students are pursuing college degrees in nearby Nicoya or Santa Cruz in order to broaden their horizons and English plays a large role in that.
La Mansión is a small town within a larger Canton (also called Mansión). There has never been a JumpStart camp in this Canton. There are so many smaller Unidocentes (schools with one teacher for all students) that feed into CTP Mansión; so many schools that only receive English classes once a week; some that have their schedules shifted so often that learning English has been set aside. I work with a teacher that travels around to 4 small schools within the Canton to teach English each week. Many of these students become frustrated with English because there is such a small amount of time allotted for English; it makes it difficult to build confidence or truly retain information. Many become despondent about their education or cannot see its worth. If these students could only make it to high school—at CTP Mansión—, to this much bigger pond, they could see all of the opportunities available to them during and post secondary education.
As a community that houses a large high school composed of students from all over the Canton, I see JumpStart as an opportunity to get many of these students in one place, to mingle, to learn, to grow together, and become more confident in their future studies. This camp will keep many students interested in their education and provide them with an opportunity to focus on English and thus open their minds to their impending high school English classes and even extracurricular English activities… where again, they will find me! I can aid in this transition even more because I can see these students from sixth grade lessons, to JumpStart, to high school extracurricular activities. Eventually, in my stead the dream is that other teachers will step up and take over the JumpStart camp and provide the same support, consistency, and enthusiasm regarding English studies.