My internship experience by Andreas Loeser
Actualizado: 30 de sep de 2019
This past summer, I had the privilege of working with El Origen and its dedicated team of educators. Each class I sat in on surprised me with the engagement their art-based and culturally inclusive curriculum fostered. Students are given an education that will help them earn a living in the challenging economy of La Guajira and also engage with their cultural heritage. I believe the latter is one of the key components in the success of this program because this gives the students a way to connect to the material.
When I first arrived in Riohacha and started working with El Origen, I was nervous. My Spanish was not very good and I couldn't see how I would be of any use. However, when I visited the community for the first time my fears were dismissed. I was able to make the kids laugh just by being goofy and Yubelskis, El Origen's resident Spanish teacher, was a huge help to me by teaching me Spanish. The kids and young adults of Poromana taught me some Wayúu. After awhile the language barrier slowly came down and I was tasked with teaching classrooms full of talented students, which would've been difficult had it not been for the older students taking the initiative to teach the younger ones.
This learning by osmosis extended to the soccer pitch, the walks around the community, and picnics by the river. I'm already missing the sunny days I spent in the communities and I hope I had as positive an impact on others as they had on me. I’m excited to see what the future holds for these bright students.