9/25/09 75 °F
After a week of spanish classes for four hours a day and much searching for volunteer opportunities around the lake, we have finally found a good place for us to help out. It seems that some ¨volunteer opportunities¨here are kids held captive at spanish schools in the afternoon so spanish students can spend two weeks experimenting on them by ¨teaching¨ënglish¨¨guitar¨or ¨insert any other half developed skill here.¨ The organization we are going to work for is a center for kids with disabilities (everything from autism and blindness to spina bifida and any other developmental or physical disability). Kids come to the center in San Juan but the center also reaches out to kids around the lake whose parents cannot transport them due to cost, time, or lack of resources. Since the school system here barely accomodates regular kids, these kids might not get many chances to connect with the larger community. We will be working there until the end of their academic term, which is December 15th. We also got set up with a small inexpensive apartment owned by one of the parents who is very involved at the school. We have only worked one day so far and still do not know all the details, but we will be working one-on-one to help the kids with their therapy, playing games, and just being available. It is exciting to finally move out of the hotel and make some real connections in San Juan!