Children's Literacy Class

Josh's Experience as a Summer Intern

As a summer volunteer with Manna Project International I have been able to help make a difference in community we work in. One of the community members I have had the opportunity to work closely with is Agdiel. Agdiel is a special needs student who has difficulty speaking. In my time here I have worked with Agdiel on his pronunciation and vocabulary. Although, I have only been here three weeks I feel Agdiel has improved since I first started working with him. Opportunities such as this are one of the reasons I applied to Manna Project International, and am glad I did so.

-Joshua Snow
 Nicaragua Summer Intern 2012
 Manna Project International

Update from Nicole ... "an incredible community."

When I arrived in Nicaragua as a summer intern two weeks ago, I was not sure what to expect. Since then, I can honestly say I have been floored by the intensity of Manna's connection with the community. I feel like Manna Project is the definition of holistic community development and the mission of "communities serving communities" truly is being met.

I am involved in a number of programs including English classes for all ages/levels, the child sponsorship program, sexual and reproductive health classes, computer classes, horse therapy for children with special needs, and women's exercise. Because I am a medical student, I have also had the unique experience of shadowing doctors in the clinic in La Chureca. It is really quite impressive how all of these programs work together to develop assets within the communities where we work and bring each of them closer together.

In addition to helping with programs, I have been able to spend a lot of time with the people in the community in a more casual setting. During our first week here, each of the summer interns went and had dinner with a family at their house. This is something new Manna Project is doing to immerse us in the community. It was incredible to experience the families' generosity and hospitality firsthand. It also shows how much these people love and appreciate Manna.

I have also been doing an English-Spanish exchange with one of the community members. We meet for four hours each week and practice English for her sake and Spanish for mine. When I was at her house on Friday, she explained to me how much Manna has helped her over the years and talked to me about a lot of past Program Directors that have impacted her life. She also told me that our meetings/exchanges are helping her more than I can imagine and she thinks if we keep practicing, she will be able to get a job at a call center (a dream job for many people here). It was heart-warming and encouraging to hear just how big Manna can be to the people it serves.

This week, I plan to do a homestay with one of the families in Cedro Galan. I am sure it will be an awesome experience and only further my feel for the fabric of this incredible community.



As we have been working for the past few months here in community we have been noticing in our english classes that some of the children that we work with have been having trouble reading and writing. Sometimes when a child is having particular trouble in an english class we will resort to explaining a word or concept in Spanish, only to have it still be misunderstood. This has been something that has been bothering us for a while now. So, after much brainstorming we decided to re-start the children's literacy class. In December 2009 the literacy class was converted into a homework help class, a program that has since been cancelled due to a low attendance rate.
Creating this class has been an especially daunting task because none of us have any previous knowledge or experience with teaching literacy. However, we recognize literacy's importance and we are trying to address it none the less. We started by having a couple of meetings, creating goals, researching literacy, and developing a plan of action. Last week we made flyers advertising the class, which we handed out as we walked around Cedro Galán. As we were advertising last week Alba Flores, a young adult in the community even volunteered to help with class too.
On Monday we were thrilled when 13 kids came to the first class and we're hoping to be able to sustain that number.

children's books, just waiting to be read

Maria hard at work learning the alphabet