This morning, as part of our working like a local day, we went to Bejuco Aplastado to work alongside members from the community. These men, and one woman, form a brigada or brigade. We worked with La Brigada Verde (Green Brigade) and other community members to help them lay the foundation for a fence around their baseball field. We were originally supposed to help them clear the cacao fields but due to impending rain plans changed to keep safety the top priority. We learned that many of these community members often go to bed hungry. They also make less than $1.25 USD a day. We all put lots of effort into helping the locals. Many of us were shoveling dirt and if we didn´t have a shovel we used our hands – gloved of course. All of us admire the workers; they always put family first and value their work not just for the money but for improvement it makes on their community.

In the afternoon we had English tutoring. Some of us, like me, taught basic English to adults. I found it extremely refreshing and rewarding to share my knowledge with people that were so eager to learn. Teaching the class was without a doubt a highlight of the day; it was genuinely an enjoyable experience. I had help from Andrea and Brian, who are both fluent Spanish speakers. Speaking English, which is a skill that comes so naturally to me, is something that is so valuable to our students, and they were so friendly and positive. Teaching them really made me happy.

Unlike Aliyah, I taught basic English to children. Thanks to my friend Jerry, I could switch classes and tutor kids instead of teenagers. Teaching younger children was one of the main reasons I was excited about coming here and I was really proud of how it went. I’m not going to say the kids loved me but I was able to connect with them. It made me glad knowing that I could offer something to them and that they learned from my knowledge. My partners- Yaya and Jonathan- were also there to help me. They are great people to work with, I could see that they both enjoyed being around the kids as much as I did. Although they don’t speak Spanish fluently, I noticed their dedication and enthusiasm. Still, this required plenty of patience I didn’t even know I had in me. Kids running away, talking to each other or horsing around. Somehow, I was able to keep a smile throughout the whole class. I think I found a new passion!