A new article was published in Mexico City about my project! Check it out! (SPANISH) Grilla en el poder – Gold Award news article
Here is a news article published by the Empire Tribune for my project!
(Correction: my curriculum was for students in Mexico only, not Africa. Must have been a typo.)
October 19, 2018
So, the organization I did my project with was Hogar Infantil. They have two board of directors, one in Mexico and one in the U.S. Everyone was extremely impressed with my project, so I was invited to the U.S. Board of Directors gathering they had tonight. They have never opened it to the public before so it was an honor to be invited! I got to meet some of the donors that contribute to Hogar Infantil as well as most of the U.S. directors.
I have been putting all my Gold Award paperwork, receipts, and pictures inside of this giant binder, so I took my Gold Award binder as well as project pamphlets to hand out! I discussed my project and future plans with everyone at the gathering. Everyone was amazed with my project and thanked me for the educational program that I am providing to the kids at Hogar! I was also invited to the annual Board of Directors meeting on Saturday morning!
October 20, 2018
This morning, I attended the board of directors meeting for Hogar Infantil! I spoke about my project and first impressions that I had about Hogar Infantil as well as gave some feedback about reaching out to potential donors and providing innovative ways to learn English for the ESL students! Many great ideas were discussed!
In the near future, I will be helping Hogar Infantil with writing newsletters for the ranch as well as web design and blogging. I am excited to build a greater relationship with this organization and continue with my project beyond Girl Scouts!
This past week…
I gave presentations to the Stephenville Lions Club and the Cross Timbers Business and Professional Women group. Check out the photos below from those presentations!
October 9, 2018
Today, we left “the ranch” about 3:30 A.M. for the airport! We made it back to Mexico City and then transferred airlines to fly to Houston and then onto Dallas!
Check my next post for a reflection and update on my final project paperwork!
October 8, 2018
(NOTE: Permission has been granted to post these photos.)
Today was super fun! We started the morning by jumping on the school bus with the secondary school kids and meeting the director of Hogar Infantil. We went to school for about an hour and met some more kids (not associated with the ranch) at the school!
We went to La Sima de Cotorras, which is a giant sinkhole in Chiapas, after eating breakfast with the director of the ranch. We introduced each other and talked about the educational program I created for my Gold Award project! After, we headed back to the ranch to rest and shower.
At 4 P.M., we went to the main building on the ranch to attend English class with the little kids. I met with the English instructor and we sat up for my presentation. I presented my book and everyone absolutely loved it, especially the director! I was able to talk to the kids (in Spanish) and give them advice for learning from my book as well as general advice about academics and what jobs in the U.S. are looking for in a job applicant. The kids asked me questions as well! During this presentation, I explained the design of my curriculum as well as talked about the Gold Award project.
Afterward, we had a huge party with lots of cake and English practice!
To end the night, we went out for dinner with the directors of Hogar Infantil in Mexico at a delicious, local restaurant!
October 7, 2018
We made it to Hogar Infantil this afternoon! On the way, we stopped to buy some jugs of water and use an ATM. We settled in our cute guest house and walked around “the ranch”. We got to meet some of the kids and play with some adorable kittens on the tour!
After unpacking and showering, we headed to the courtyard to play some football (soccer) and eat dinner with the kids! The kids are EXTREMELY friendly and everyone here at “the ranch” are very welcoming! I wish I could stay longer!
Me and the kids ended the night with a glow stick party! Check my next post for details about my project presentation!
October 6, 2018
I apologize for the delay in my blog posts for my take action trip. I have been busier than expected during the trip, but I am having lots of fun!
We arrived in Mexico City on October 6! We spent the night with family on Saturday and then left early the next morning to go to the airport to fly to Tuxtla Gutierrez, which is where the children’s home is located. See the next post for Day 2 information!
My curriculums arrived today! They turned out perfectly and are all packed and ready to go on the plane Saturday.
I received an in-kind donation of pencils and notebooks for the children at the organization so I will be taking those as well as some cool American flag pins for each kid to keep!
At the organization, there about 90 kids in total. Many of the children come from tough childhood experiences and backgrounds. I do not want to give out tons of information about the organization that I am working with as I want to respect the privacy of the children that are there.
The organization I am working with is located in the state of Chiapas in Mexico. It is primarily a children’s home where children that come from tough backgrounds can have a safe place to live, grow, and get an education. All the kids have one thing in common: poverty. I think the mission of this organization is excellent and positively influences many lives each and every day.
I had some excellent questions come up about my trip! The first question was, “Why did you write your curriculum in Spanish?” I actually debated whether I should write it in Spanish or English. The goal of my curriculum is to teach them job skills in English. However, I went ahead and decided to write the main parts in Spanish because I had to consider their level of English. All the activities require you to complete it in English and the examples are in Spanish/English to improve understanding of the concepts. I feel like it was essential to write it in Spanish because I really wanted them to fully grasp the business skill concepts and then work on understanding it in English. As a bilingual, for me at least, it is always easier to learn something in my primary language first, then transfer it to the other language. Furthermore, my book will only act as a supplement to their current English curriculum, so I did not want to make it too advanced for them (after all… they are kids!)
The next question was, “Do you foresee any danger on your trip?” I do not foresee any danger. Sure, anything can happen at any time. As a seasoned traveler and having traveled to over 20 countries, I firmly believe that your safety primarily depends on you and your actions. I realize there are a lot of immigration problems in the Latin American countries and Chiapas is extremely close to the Guatemalan border. In my opinion, you can stay safe by taking simple measures such as watching your personal items, not wearing expensive jewelry, staying aware of your surroundings, etc. We will be staying at the organization in a rural area that is very safe and away from the main city that we are flying to. (Also, a lot of terrorism and attacks do happen at the tourist areas near the beaches and along the coastline of Mexico. I want to note that the area I am going to is not a giant touristy area.)
Last minute thoughts…my trip is October 6-9. I am ecstatic to embark on another humanitarian service trip (AND EARN MY GOLD AWARD, OF COURSE)! Each summer, I enjoy exploring new countries and doing projects like this on an international level. I have been invited to a dinner with the U.S. Board of Directors for this organization on October 19, so I am very excited to share what I have done for the organization and learn about future opportunities that might be available with this organization!
This past Thursday, I was the guest speaker at the Stephenville Rotary Club.
The Rotary Club is “a local club of business and professional men and women that is a member of a world-wide organization of similar clubs (Rotary International) devoted to serving the community and promoting world peace.”
This summer, I went to Nepal for a medical internship and was able to see some of the work that Rotary International was doing for the earthquake damage from a few years ago, so it was really cool to actually attend one of their meetings and gain an insight about what the Rotary Club is about. Click the link below to see the PowerPoint I am using to speak at different clubs about my Gold Award project!
The meeting was amazing! I was honored to be a guest speaker for the club! Something funny that happened at the club… so my curriculum is mainly written in Spanish and once the people in the club figured that out, they started asking about my project in Spanish! I totally did not expect this to happen! I was glad to see other bilinguals in the room! LOL!
In case you missed my last blog post, my trip to Mexico (for my Gold Award project) is officially October 6-9. I will be staying with family on October 6th in Mexico City and arriving at the organization on October 7. Flights to TGZ only leave in the mornings or afternoons. I should have an internet connection in the area so I will be posting every day on this blog. If for some reason the connection is not reliable, I will definitely post when I return to the states.
In my next post, look for details about my trip! I will be giving some information about where I am going and the plan.
Upcoming meetings/events for my project:
- Empire-Tribune Stephenville newspaper interview will be sometime this week
- October 3: the books will arrive from the publisher!
- October 6-9: Take Action trip for my project
- October 16: Gold Award presentation @ local club
- October 19: Lions Club presentation
- October 19: Special event! (see next post for more details on this)