April 21, 2010

What have we been up to here?

Let me give you a little overview of the past few months and then in the next few posts I'll go into more detail.
  • Moving into and becoming a greater part of the local community: We have staff members involved in some of the local councils. We attend the local activities and really have been getting to know both the community as a whole and building relationships with individuals.
  • Fixing up the ADE Center: We were donated a house to use by some of our neighbors. There was a lot to fix up, but it's come a long way. We host our school there, groups and even some of our staff has been living there. (Before and after pictures to come).
  • Starting the first secondary school in the region: On February 10th, we started the ADE Colegio (ADE Educational Institute). We have 9 local students, almost all of whom would not be going to school if it weren't for this opportunity.
  • Hosting a group of college students for spring break: We had a small group of college students from various universities join us for their spring break to both learn and serve in this incredible environment. They worked closely with our students and had many new and unique experiences, while serving the people here.
  • Building partnerships both nationally and internationally: Through many meetings and visits, we've connected with many different groups that will benefit both sides of the partnership. These include - the Biology Department at the University of Costa Rica, the Ministry of Education in Costa Rica, the International Development Masters at Eastern University, high school and college Spanish teachers in the United States, and many more.
  • Teaching English to kids and adults in this community: Every Tuesday and Thursday night from 5pm to 7pm, some of our female staff teach kids and adults English. This has been a great way to offer a unique service to people here that is a recognized need from the community.
  • Having interns serve with ADE: Interns have come to offer their time and expertise in various ways, including working on fixing up the center, teaching English, writing up stories on ADE, and putting together plans for future projects.
  • Conducting the local census: In partner with the local development association, we have conducted and begun to work with the census of the area. This has helped already through seeing the needs of the community and will help in the creation of a disaster prevention plan for the whole region.

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