Meet the Amigos ~ Summer 2018 Escuelita Volunteers

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Every summer at Amigos, we are fortunate to have a group of volunteers join us for 4-7 weeks to lead and teach in our ‘Escuelita’ (summer camp) program at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School. Escuelita volunteers teach and interact with our children almost entirely in English to help the kids continue learning and developing their English language skills during the summer. In addition to entertaining our children and introducing them to new and fun ideas, these volunteers also help give our ‘padrinos’ and ‘madrinas’ a well-deserved break during the day when school isn’t in session. This year, Escuelita volunteers offer music, art, religion, computers, science, and swim classes.

Just like our family, our Escuelita program continues to grow each year and we are very thankful to this group of 10 volunteers who have come to spend the summer with us. Read below to meet this year's Escuelita volunteers and to those 10 volunteers, ¡bienvenidos a la familia de Amigos de Jesús!

   Carly Baluarte, 21     Hometown:  Maple Glen, Pennsylvania  University/Degree:  The Catholic University of America, Economics BA and Spanish Double Major, Social Work Minor  Role in Escuelita:  Swim Instructor   Favorite thing about Amigos so far:  Other than the amazing scenery and life here in Honduras, the kids are my favorite part because regardless of everything, they have so much joy and laughter to share. 

Carly Baluarte, 21

Hometown: Maple Glen, Pennsylvania
University/Degree: The Catholic University of America, Economics BA and Spanish Double Major, Social Work Minor
Role in Escuelita: Swim Instructor

Favorite thing about Amigos so far: Other than the amazing scenery and life here in Honduras, the kids are my favorite part because regardless of everything, they have so much joy and laughter to share. 

   Carmel Stralen, 21     Hometown:  Sacramento, California  University/Degree:  Gonzaga University, Sociology and Elementary Education Major  Role in Escuelita:  Art Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  Playing games and soccer with the kids :) 

Carmel Stralen, 21

Hometown: Sacramento, California
University/Degree: Gonzaga University, Sociology and Elementary Education Major
Role in Escuelita: Art Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: Playing games and soccer with the kids :) 

   Darrell Falconburg, 23     Hometown:  Twin Falls, Idaho  University/Degree:  College of Idaho, History Major  Role in Escuelita:  Music Teacher   Favorite thing about Amigos so far:  My favorite part about being at Amigos de Jesús is getting to better know the kids and being with them after dinner in the hogares. 

Darrell Falconburg, 23

Hometown: Twin Falls, Idaho
University/Degree: College of Idaho, History Major
Role in Escuelita: Music Teacher

Favorite thing about Amigos so far: My favorite part about being at Amigos de Jesús is getting to better know the kids and being with them after dinner in the hogares. 

   Erin Broussard, 20     Hometown:  Wappingers Falls, New York  University/Degree:  Ithaca College, Writing and English Major  Role in Escuelita:  Escuelita Coordinator   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  My favorite thing about Escuelita so far is having the opportunity to make the wonderful children of Amigos laugh and smile! It fills my heart with so much joy and makes all of the hard work the volunteers put into Escuelita worth it!

Erin Broussard, 20

Hometown: Wappingers Falls, New York
University/Degree: Ithaca College, Writing and English Major
Role in Escuelita: Escuelita Coordinator

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: My favorite thing about Escuelita so far is having the opportunity to make the wonderful children of Amigos laugh and smile! It fills my heart with so much joy and makes all of the hard work the volunteers put into Escuelita worth it!

   Grace Brodeur, 22     Hometown:  Old Saybrook, Connecticut   University/Degree:  Recent graduate from The Catholic University of America, Mechanical Engineering. Will soon begin working as a Management Consultant in Washington, D.C.  Role in Escuelita:  Science Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  I've loved doing fun science experiments with the kids such as making lava lamps, an outdoor sun oven, and growing plants! 

Grace Brodeur, 22

Hometown: Old Saybrook, Connecticut
University/Degree: Recent graduate from The Catholic University of America, Mechanical Engineering. Will soon begin working as a Management Consultant in Washington, D.C.
Role in Escuelita: Science Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: I've loved doing fun science experiments with the kids such as making lava lamps, an outdoor sun oven, and growing plants! 

   Joseph Kerstiens, 22     Hometown:   Madison, Alabama  University/Degree:  Recent graduate from Mississippi State University, Business Administration and Political Science. Will begin law school this fall at the University of Tennessee.   Role in Escuelita:  Religion Teacher   Favorite thing about Amigos so far:  My favorite part about being at Amigos is seeing the sincerity of the kids' faith while also spending time getting to know them individually. 

Joseph Kerstiens, 22

Hometown:  Madison, Alabama
University/Degree: Recent graduate from Mississippi State University, Business Administration and Political Science. Will begin law school this fall at the University of Tennessee. 
Role in Escuelita: Religion Teacher

Favorite thing about Amigos so far: My favorite part about being at Amigos is seeing the sincerity of the kids' faith while also spending time getting to know them individually. 

   Katherine May, 19     Hometown:  Stafford, Virginia  University/Degree:  University of South Carolina, Nursing Major  Role in Escuelita:  Science Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  My favorite part about Escuelita is seeing the kids learn and have fun. They keep me laughing! 

Katherine May, 19

Hometown: Stafford, Virginia
University/Degree: University of South Carolina, Nursing Major
Role in Escuelita: Science Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: My favorite part about Escuelita is seeing the kids learn and have fun. They keep me laughing! 

   Leah Meissner, 19     Hometown:  Waxhaw, North Carolina  University/Degree:  University of South Carolina, Nursing Major  Role in Escuelita:  Art Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  Getting to know the kids personally and interact/play with them outside the classroom and loving everyone I've met! 

Leah Meissner, 19

Hometown: Waxhaw, North Carolina
University/Degree: University of South Carolina, Nursing Major
Role in Escuelita: Art Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: Getting to know the kids personally and interact/play with them outside the classroom and loving everyone I've met! 

   Randy Stralen, 19     Hometown:  Sacramento, California  University/Degree:  Saint Joseph's University, Music Major  Role in Escuelita:  Music Teacher   Favorite thing about Amigos so far:  Playing with the kids after dinner.

Randy Stralen, 19

Hometown: Sacramento, California
University/Degree: Saint Joseph's University, Music Major
Role in Escuelita: Music Teacher

Favorite thing about Amigos so far: Playing with the kids after dinner.

   Sara Salazar-Ramirez, 27     Hometown:  Florence, Texas  Current Profession:  Kindergarten Teacher  Role in Escuelita:  Computer Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  My favorite part of Escuelita has been getting to know each of the children with our awesome "All About Me" slides in computer class! 

Sara Salazar-Ramirez, 27

Hometown: Florence, Texas
Current Profession: Kindergarten Teacher
Role in Escuelita: Computer Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: My favorite part of Escuelita has been getting to know each of the children with our awesome "All About Me" slides in computer class!