Making a difference
Recently ,after starting this Bogota blog, I’ve become aware of an excellent project based here in Bogotá that aims to help school children learn English as an extracurricular activity. The objective is to provide these children with native and competent English speakers (which are not a possibility at some of the more disadvantaged schools) and aid their learning in a fun an interactive setting. This type of volunteering is incredibly rewarding especially when you see the difference you can make to these childrens’ education. Their enthusiasm and friendly, inquisitive nature is infectious as are their smiles! I’d urge anyone in the area to give it a go and get involved!
The project is named “A LA PLAZA” but also goes by the name “GRINGO LINGO” as it urges backpackers to participate in a responsible selfless activity and use their language skills to help others who need it. It´s basically a cultural exchange, connecting people from around the world with children from local communities in Bogotá. The sessions are informal and based around playing games and competitions in English in order to make learning enjoyable and encourage immersion. Planning and structure are evidently a factor but the sessions are left flexible and open to variation.
The meeting point is at La Pinta Hostel (cl. 65 #5-67) just off Carrera 7 (La Septima) in Chapinero. The session location varies depending on the day (for example some days the project takes place in Suba) and typically you will spend 1.5 hours with the children before returning to the meeting point. A LA PLAZA provides all the transportation to and from the different project sites as well as all lesson planning and material for a modest sum of 15,000 COP (approximately $5).
The only other thing volunteers need to bring is enough energy to keep up with the children!
I’ve lived in Bogotá for a few months now and wish I’d got involved earlier, it’s always important to try and see a different side of the city you live in or visit!
For more info: