A volunteer's day at UPNicaragua

"After I finally finished my first bead they held it up with delight and showed it to the rest of the classroom, proud of their opportunity to teach me."

After learning about the struggles young Nicaraguan girls face when growing up in an environment that lacks opportunities and services for them to become successful, I knew I wanted to be a part of a change for them.

Today was my first experience with the young girls of UPNicaragua.  After being acquainted with the other mentors of the program, I participated in a welcome exercise that would allow the girls to get to know me.

I was initially struck by the girls’ willingness to learn and their interest and patience with a stranger.

Two of the young girls eagerly volunteered to show me how to make paper beads, a skill that has allowed them to become disciplined, patient and also helps them raise money to further their education and provide basic school needs. 

After I finally finished my first bead they held it up with delight and showed it to the rest of the classroom, proud of their opportunity to teach me.  We then had a break from making paper beads and had a snack.  All of the girls then proceeded to wash their cups and clean up the classroom without hesitation or complaints.  It was obvious how much they appreciated their environment.

To end the class the mentors lead all of the girls to the local gym, which was only a short walk away.  We participated in a yoga and dance routine with their beloved instructor, Flor.  During this activity the girls’ personalities shone through and it was amazing to see how they all worked together while laughing and smiling gleefully.

I am excited to learn more about this incredible program and get to know these amazing girls over the next month.