Our first day volunteering in Calderón

Today we woke up and ate breakfast and had our team meeting at 7:45. We got on the bus to go to the daycare center. When we arrived in Calderón, I noticed many mothers carrying their children beside the streets. First, we went to daycare center #2 and Maggie showed us around all the classrooms. All the kids were waving and saying “hi” to us. We got to see work done by the past volunteer group. They painted the outside of the building lime green and blue and orange.

After the short visit to center #2, we walked to center #1. Center #1 is right in the middle of a produce market with many fruits and vegetables that we had never seen before. Maggie showed us some tree tomatoes that we had talked about earlier. When we went inside the daycare center, we went inside all the classrooms to meet the tías. Then we chose what area we wanted to work with. My dad and I chose the two- to three-year-olds. In my classroom the tía was Alexandra. I was surprised by how much English she knows. The kids in the class were very sweet, adorable, and clingy. In the morning my class worked on drawings of the sun. At the kids’ lunch time, they are very messy. Some of them eat very quickly and others are stubborn and have to be spoon fed. One of the boys threw up and was crying, but the tías just wait to take care of crying kids because it’s a way of learning. Then the kids wash up and go to the nap room. One boy kept trying to go to the baby room to nap and then we realized that he had just graduated from the baby room and had never slept in the normal nap room.

After all the kids settled down, we went to lunch a few blocks away at a café. On the streets there was many people selling things and the car exhaust was very stinky. Back at the daycare, after the kids woke up, we put on their shoes and combed their hair. One girl had super messy hair with ponytails and butterfly clips that I had to comb out. Then the kids went to play at the little new playground on the side of the building. The kids were tripping all over each other and playing around. We had to help kids get on the swings and catch them at the end of the slides. By then, the day was almost over and while the kids waited for their parents, my dad, Suzanne, and I cut out letters for folders with Tía Alexandra. After all the kids left, we went back to the hotel and ate dinner and went to bed.

Entry submitted by: Katie Horne

Message for the Day – Maggie Bjorklund: “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 


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