A day in the life of a Program Coordinator

I’m preparing for my trip to Monte Cristo, Manguita and Cotoca. We will go in a speedboat, and it will be 11 hours on the river Ibare. I hope to be lucky and see many bufeos (freshwater dolphins). Doña Raquel, Rosa and Silvia are a staff of the Municipality of San Andrés, and they will travel in the boat as well. This time we will be visiting the communities due to the “Half Term Evaluation Day”. We will see the progress of the students after 3 months of starting the projects. I have many expectations, as this year we have implemented computer classes in Manguita and Cotoca. So now everyone can access technology, and through them, we teach language and maths.


Last Thursday I spoke on the radio with the teachers. After coordinating the activities for the Evaluation and (as is customary every time I go to visit) they give me a list of commissions. I expected to be asked for supplies, but surprisingly the request from Monte Cristo was for us to bring a sports suit! At that moment I thought, “if only they knew that I can’t even play with a beach ball!”. But I figured I would give it a try.


This year the students of Monte Cristo will be taught how to develop productive projects. This will serve them in the future so they can write documents and thus seek financing for the improvement and social welfare of their community!


Next up was Manguita, and the teacher asked me to bring a “formal suit”. I wondered what the teacher had in store for me; he is very creative and works with primary school children. In May when we observed classes with Ian, the children in 1st grade used dots (.) for addition problems. A month of classes later the “littles” (as he calls them) have advanced greatly; now they do it with numbers.


And finally with Cotoca; this morning the mother of the teacher brought to my house a box with tablecloths, glass goblets, flowers, and dresses for her. Vanesa, our project teacher, teaches elementary and junior high school children. Just like in Manguita, this year we started computer classes. It sounds interesting to organize teachers for the day.


I’m excited because in a few hours we will be able to see the progress of the students. I am sure that the parents, as well as we the “Alma”, will be very proud to see the commitment, the efforts, and the desire to succeed of the children and young people who live in these communities.


Program Coordinator for Bolivia