Gioconda Belli, Ernesto Cardenal, Ruben Darío or Sergio Ramírez: Many important writers come from #Nicaragua! Do you love reading and would like to share your passion for books with children and young people? As a volunteer in the Minibiblioteca, a mobile library in the colonial city of León, you help to animate people to read! Here you can read the review of Anna from Munich.
I am Anna, twenty, from Munich and spent nine months in Nicaragua working on the Minibiblioteca project. I had an incredibly good time there that I will never forget.
Anna, have you been able to speak Spanish before traveling to Nicaragua?
Since I went to Nicaragua without any knowledge of Spanish, my first were exciting and sometimes challenging. But the Nicas were all very nice and I communicated with hands and feet. I was very happy about having decided to take 2 weeks of Spanish lessons at the
beginning. I learned a lot not only about the language but also about the culture. Over time, my Spanish got better and better, through the daily life, my host family and, of course, the time I spent in the project.
What were your tasks in the project?
My tasks in the project were a little different than expected, but I nevertheless I liked it very much. I have been mainly involved in childcare and the afternoon care of about 30
children (6-12 years old), a side project of the Minibiblioteca.
What was a typical daily routine in your project?
The children come to Center after school to do their homework. Usually, we first do a short short meditation / relaxation exercise with them. During their homework time, we would usually take a short break to serve the kids a small snack since the children do not always get something to eat at home. When everyone has finished their homewerk, we would start with the afternoon program. Volunteers can individually contribute to the program depending on their interests and may carry out own workshops with some of the children.
The Minibiblioteca offers a wide range of activities, among them English lessons, handicrafts, gardening, reading club, ballet, flute lessons, theater, chess, traditional dance, science experiments and math games.
I gave a workshop on recycling several times a week. We made handcrafts with recycled materials and I also tried to sensitize the children to environmental issues and to explain aspects of environmental protection in a vivid and exciting way. I also prepared and realized some of the other workshops together with the team. In general, I supported the team in everything they needed help with: courses, worksheets, planning, organizing and carrying out projects, tidying up and cleaning the center.
How was the cooperation in the team on site?
The staff and the Project management of the Minibiblioteca are all very nice. I felt like an important part of the team, participated in all meetings and felt very welcome at all times.
During my time in Nicaragua I learned a lot from the lovely children (although sometimes working with them can be quite exhausting) as well as from the staff. I was so sad to say goodbye to this wonderful country and to its great people at the end of my stay.
What did you do in your free time?
Apart from my work in the project, the time in Nicaragua was great! I often spend the weekends on the beach with fellow volunteers or with explored the country by taking a bus somewhere. I have made many great friendships with locals, other foreign volunteers and my host family.
Do you miss Nicaragua now that you are back home?
Now that I’m back, I miss so much about Nicaragua, for example, the Comedor around the corner, where we ate regularly or bought a bag of freshly fried Platanitos (plantains) on our way home, climbing volcanoes, enjoy salsa dancing in the bars as well as „bolsitas“ (frozen water ice from small plastic bags), or hitchhiking back home from the beach on an old pick up truck.
But most of all I miss the lightheartedness, the stress-free life and the warmth of the people there. Many of them although they own very little, always share everything with you.
It is impossible to summarize the nine months in such a short text, but in the end it was a wonderful experience, full of precious moments that I will never forget.
Read more About Anna’s Project here.