JumpStart Finca Naranjo: The first two weeks!

The Naranjo Jumpstart English camp is off to a great start, gracias a dios.
First, thank you to all of you have who donated to the camp. I am
grateful for all of the support both from you all in the US, and from
people in my community here.

Through local in-kind and cash donations, we were able to cover the
costs of snacks, transportation and school supplies. Contributors
include: the town development association, the Naranjo synthetic field
and restaurant, the Coopeagropal palm company, the bus company and the
high school. In November, Jumpstart parents made empanadas, picadillo,
arroz con leche and ice cream, and sold them at a fundraiser soccer

Most importantly, my co-teacher Raquel is donating her time this
summer vacation to teach at the camp. She’s doing this, even as she is
a single mother of three young daughters.Not only have adults supported the camp, but the students are also extremely motivated to be there.

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For me, a highlight of the camp so far was actually not English class.
Friday in the second half of camp, we take a break from English and do
activities aimed at preparing the students for high school and beyond.
Last week we asked the students to reflect on their goals for 10 years
from now, in multiple sectors: education, work, health, home and

Among the group of 20 seventh grade students I learned that we have
future doctors, teachers, tour guides, forensic scientists and
business owners.

Hearing the students talk about their futures reminded me that they
are each more than what they appear to be. Some are still tiny. Boys
and girls can have a hard time working together, nervous about how
they appear to the opposite sex. They play hide and go seek at recess.
They’re strongly motivated by candy and stickers.

But when they talk about their goals, I start to see them more as the
adults they’re becoming. Most aren’t even 13 yet. Still, they have
clear ideas of what they want for their futures. I hope this camp will at least play a tiny part of helping them to reach these goals.

-Elise Kigner, PCV in Finca Naranjo