Teaching street children in a youth centre helping children from challenging backgrounds
Volunteer teaching and supporting children in this project that provides a safe space and care for school children from the age of six, living in one of the tougher neighbourhoods of Puerto Vallarta. The children are not homeless but come from poor backgrounds, with parents on a low income that they may work extremely long hours to earn, or possibly being involved in crime, prostitution or drugs.
The children attend school for half the day, but typically would be on the streets with no parental supervision for the remainder of their day. The centre provides a safe place to hang out, a meal at lunchtime and a friendly meeting place.
The limited local staff and resources mean there are few additional activities organised. The presence of proactive volunteers can establish new and different activities, whether it is providing English classes, homework support, or recreational activities such as art & crafts, music, dance or sports, which they would otherwise not have access to.
In total there are some 60 children attending.
Read about Beth’s experience volunteering and helping teach English to the children
All types of participation from volunteers is welcome; teaching English in particular, helping with the children’s homework, giving training in IT on the 8 computers they have, plus more recreational activities such as dance, music, drama, sports, art & crafts (face-painting and puppetry are quoted as being in demand). It is a wonderful, positive project with the open opportunity for a volunteer to make their own impression.
The children and staff speak Spanish so it is a perfect opportunity for volunteers to become fluent in the Spanish language.
This project is suitable for volunteers interested in teaching English, working with street children or with experience in social care.
This is a great project offering volunteers the opportunity to support the education of the children and to lead a variety of recreational activities, including singing, dance, music, sport, craft and art. There are also weekend activities that you could get involved in.
The timetable is very flexible and can adapt to include any sessions that volunteers want to lead, which would be enthusiastically welcomed by Captain Alberto, who enthuses over the diversity of activity for the children.
In addition to teaching, volunteers are needed to help with meals and other pastoral / caring type work. The children put on concerts (mainly singing) and you may be asked to help with these.
There are also workshops for parents, to encourage them to earn their own money and to promote self-help. These are usually through crafts or sewing.
The existing staff are full of passion and work extremely hard to provide the structure and resources they do, while trying to finance it as well.
Volunteers can make a huge impact by supporting the educational activities, giving more time to the children and helping them develop. The energy and talents of volunteers then brings a new dimension to the activities at the centre and the lives of the children.
Beth is a volunteer from the USA who went to help teach English in Mexico, living and working as part of the community. Her preparation and adaptability made her placement a real success.