Volunteering in Education, Oxaca, Mexico, by Kaya Brennan
Monday, February 20, 2017 - 14:32
Kaya Brennan won a Volunteer Arbaod scolarship from Cork Institute of Technology and went for an 8 weeks volunteering programme in Southern Mexico
Arrival into Oaxacan life. Oaxaca is such an amazing city. Although my arrival into Oaxaca was at a time of unrest I still fell in love with the place. There was road blockades put up by the teachers everywhere, and lots of marches and strikes but no real violent riots after I arrived.
Unfortunately my work as an art teacher in schools had to be cancelled as schools were closed as result of the strikes. But I was working with two young boys with learning difficulties in ‘Fundancion Kinich’, Jesus and Santiago, which was a new experience for me.
However it was only two hours a day so I also joined another volunteer Silvio teaching english at a bigger school near Monte Alban. That was exciting work and the children were great to teach and really wanted to learn.
I also went on to teach art at a summer course for children organised by the same foundation ‘Fundancion Kinich’. I had arrived at the end of the school term so children were on their summer vacation from a few weeks after I arrived. They have their vacation from around July – August (ish) in Mexico .
But it was crazy that a strike could have school out for so long. They had said that a previous strike had gone on for two years . It is a crazy thought that if you are a child at the time of the strike it could mean that you could be seriously under-educated with lasting impact on the rest of your life .
The ‘Richard Flores Magon’ school was such a special place and I was so happy to have been able to work in a Mexican school, even though only for 2 weeks. The staff were so welcoming and me and Silvio were invited to the graduation cermony where the children preformed dances for all their family and staff. It was an amazing celebration to be witness to, and they even presented me with a beautiful gift.
I wish all those children the best luck in their futures and hope they achieve what they want from life.
Read Kaya’s full Blog; https://mymexicanlife2016.wordpress.com/