May 12, 2019

Hello Family, Friends, and Strangers!

I have arrived in Antigua, Guatemala! I am staying in the volunteer house of Los Patojos, an arts school dedicated to keeping students in school and out of gangs. I have visited both campuses, one still under construction, and the other busy and thriving with kids of all ages eager to learn!

Today I began working with two girls, ages 12-14, on a dance to perform for television crews coming to the school on Wednesday. Although I had a different idea in mind, the girls were very passionate about doing something “strong and fast,” so I did a last minute change in choreography and we have a great dance going! Tomorrow my goal is to do part of my original idea for choreography and have two short, different dances prepared to perform. I think this will be a great challenge for the girls, to have choreography that they are maybe less comfortable with.

I also get to teach my first full class of little ones tomorrow! If you know me, the babies are my favorite. I am excited to get them moving and learning new things! My goals at Los Patojos are to create a class that they are interested in taking while also challenging them and encouraging them to try things that may be very new to them!

I am spending the week at this amazing school before relocating to Guatemala City and starting classes at Fundacion Margarita Tejada. I have so much to look forward to as my project continues!

 

May 23, 2019

After teaching a week of dance classes at Los Patojos and taking a week of Spanish classes, I have moved on from Antigua to Guatemala City.

I arrived at Fundacion Margarita Tejada, a school for people with Down Syndrome, Monday morning for my first day. I sat in on and helped classes that day and Tuesday to be introduced to my students before I started teaching dance classes on Wednesday.

Fundacion Margarita Tejada is unlike any school I have ever been in. The teachers and staff there are dedicated to creating the perfect learning environment for all of the students there.

My teaching schedule is three days a week, I am teaching dance classes Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I am in classrooms on Tuesday and Friday. I have only been teaching my students for two days and I am already falling in love with all of their different personalities! I have classes of people from 6 years old to 50 years old. Planning for such classes is definitely a learning experience, the youngest and oldest age groups being the most tricky to plan for. I am so excited to have the opportunity to learn and grow with my students, as this is a learning experience for me too!