CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Itzapa update from Guatemala

Kids spinning through the air and sounds of Simon and Garfunkel classics filling the school, gracias a Seño Salia, have kept things lively at San Andres Itzapa in recent weeks, which have brought some sad goodbyes along with welcoming some new wonderful volunteers.

The kids in Zunil have been focusing on the alphabet and numbers with Priti, Olivia, Lyndsay (who has moved onto Honduras), Marina and now Aisling. Four letters a week are being practiced by the students, with the letter “R” being reached this week.

The kids can all count to 20, and they are working on simple addition problems. Number games help hold their interest in math class! Over the last month, the children have had plenty of opportunity to be creative.

They especially enjoyed making hats with different fruit pictures and a collage of farm animals. Shapes and colours are taught as part of arts and crafts lessons and the corazon shape was used for making Valentines Day cards for their parents.

The teachers have been on overdrive thinking of new and exciting games for the children to reinforce their learning. The letters game has gone down a treat! The children love music and this month there was additional fun and laughter during a very competitive game of musical chairs!!! The class will miss Seño Marina who said goodbye this Friday.

Clase Fuego, under the great guidance of Mark and until recently, Andrew, has been busy practicing addition and subtraction in the hundreds. In the last few weeks they have also talked about recycling and their rights and responsibilities.

Atitlan has been working on lots of addition and subtraction! Kerry is busy trying to teach them that 2+2 written horizontally is the same as writing it vertically… apparently a challenging concept!

They have also been learning about the cardinal points (North, South, East, and West), making lots of references to the sun to help them. Alphabetical order, and family and community are other recent topics in Atitlan.

Acatenango has been busy learning multiplication tables over with Katherine, and have mastered 0 - 12 in the last three weeks. Acatenango has also been busy working on conjugating irregular verbs (thanks Marko!), learning about the compass points, different occupations and people who live and work in a community. Also, about respecting those around you, the basic food groups and vitamins as well as experimenting with their five senses. It has been a very busy few weeks!

In Clase Pacaya, the students have been working on fractions and long division, painstakingly started by Salia and taken on with Rachael and now Abigail and Kim.

Reading comprehension has also been practiced, and the students have been learning about food classifications.

Tacana is moving right along in math, recently showing that they have mastered long division. They just moved onto squared and cubed numbers. In Idiomas they have been reviewing diptongos, triptongos, and hiatos… grammer is such fun in any language!

After studying the solar system, the children enjoyed participating in a whole-class orbit! Ciencias Naturales has brought the study of different cell types, and they recently moved onto the study of bones. Profe Tony just started marking exams from last week, which look promising so far… he is proud of his students progress!

The fifth graders in Toliman have been hitting the grammer in Idiomas as well, learning the different classifications of ajetivos and sustantivos. They are completing operations with mixed fractions, learning about rivers around the world, and studying the nervous system.

They were all sad to say goodbye to Profe Pablo last Friday, and enjoyed using their English skills to make him thank-you cards!

Across the street in our English classroom, the students and teachers have been hard at work, with Carol, Bobby, Caroline, Alex and now Robert. English has put down more roots in Itzapa.

While Neil continues to go to Santa Maria with the long-term volunteers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Leslie is taking the English Teaching Workshop short-termers to do one-on-one sessions in Itzapa.

(This, of course, when we have those volunteers-- otherwise we do it ourselves.) There's been lots of talk about professions, what's in our school, giving directions around town, appearances, telling time, daily routines--different topics for each of the six classes and nine one-on-one students that come through our classroom each week.

Harry has been hard at work building his first stove this week, and two more are in store for him next week. As he finished his stove for the week on Wednesday, Harry was able to spend two days in the classrooms in Itzapa.

He jumped right in playing with the kids, and seemed to always have a smile! We were glad to have his help.

As March holds a large number of volunteer turnovers, change is in the air in Itzapa. As long as the kids are spinning through the air and the songs are flowing, things are well in the community!


How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects