Meet the team: Tanya

“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” – Oscar Wilde
A few weeks ago I posted my first blog about our wonderful team mate Shantall who works with us in Nicaragua! This week, I would like to introduce you to the fantastic Tanya, our fabulous team member and volunteer coordinator in Costa Rica. Tanya is there from day one when you arrive in Costa Rica, receiving you froatm the airport, introducing you to your new home and project, making you feel comfortable and welcome into INLEXCA! So, who is she?

“What’s your full name?”

Hello! I’m Tanya Castro

“What is your role at INLEX/CA?”

I’m the volunteer coordinator in Costa Rica and I am also a Spanish teacher for some of the volunteers too!

“What three things are on your bucket list?”

I want to do a parachute jump, live in another country, try ayahuasca, take part in the Dakar Rally, walk the Camino a Santiago in Spain and go and visit previous volunteers in their homes! I would also like to finish reading the bible and find my true love hahahahahahah (am I asking too much!!).

“Why do you love your job?”

Working with INLEXCA is a really fun job actually, I love always meeting new volunteers and see how they develop and contribute to the development of Costa Rica.

“If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose?”

I would love to be able to read minds. (watch out volunteers!)

“What is your favorite thing about Costa Rica”?

The thing I like the most about my country is that we don’t have an army! As a people, we are really relaxed and carefree and I also like the variety of nature here, it’s beautiful.

The females, an adult and two children
Tanya with her two twin daughters

“What is your favorite project?”

Ooh…there are many but I really like La Mission, firstly because of the great work that they do, and also because of who they are, They are incredible people, completely committed to the children they help.

“Do you have any pets?”

I have a pet cat!

“If you were making a movie of your life, which famous actor would play you?”

Jennifer Aniston.

“Can you play any musical instruments?”

No, I have never learnt to play an instrument but I would love to know how to play the guitar!

“What do you do in your free time?”

In my free time I take care of my family, read and do exercise.

Working with kids, what’s so great about it?

volunteer with kids

“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Working with children can be one of the most rewarding volunteering opportunities out there. If you are passionate about giving all kids the attention, care, guidance and education they need and want to volunteer your time in communities abroad to help them, then keep reading!

Our childcare programs help less advantaged children have a chance to be just that, children, in a place where perhaps they otherwise have to grow up pretty fast. We work in community centers, schools, daycares and orphanages and have varying roles in each place.

The volunteers help the generally overworked staff with tasks like food preparation and feeding, games, chores, teaching basic lessons, reading, mentoring and, perhaps most importantly, showing the kids attention and that they are important.

At INLEX you can be sure that you will have a meaningful, rewarding impact during your volunteer experience. The experience will be a a two-way cultural exchange between our volunteers, children and staff at the projects.

However, working with children requires oodles of patience, an abundance of energy, tons of motivation and a caring personality, so why do it? Let’s see if we can convince you!

They’re great!

You may think this is a poor first argument but it isn’t, they are just great! They are open, interested, caring and adorable, simple, adorable! They will make you play like a kid again, simplify life down to what’s important again, make you laugh, make you cry and show you great love and affection, and all they ask in return is time.

They need your help

There are so many kids in the world that, for various reasons, don’t get the love and attention they need and so desperately want. This is where you come in, you can give them that extra attention, love, education, time that they can’t get elsewhere and for a child, that is priceless!

They keep you young

When was the last time you played ‘Duck duck goose’ or jump rope or played with marbles? When you were a child right? What if you work with kids? You can play these games all day long, you can feel free of the stresses of life, get back to the simple things and laugh and have fun all day long!

They show you patience

Kids don’t listen, you didn’t, I didn’t, and it’s not a thing that kids do well. When you are the kid, you don’t care but, when you’re the adult, the instruction giver, it can be incredibly frustrating! Working with children will teach you the greatest level of patience, which will serve you very well in the future!

They make you great at explaining things

Kids don’t always understand what you want them to do, of course they don’t, they are kids! But, if they don’t understand, you can’t just tell them to check the dictionary or Google-it, or use common sense! You have to sit down and explain it in the simplest terms, this can be hard to do but something that will help you throughout your life when you are explaining things to friends, family, your boss.

I could keep going, tell you a million more reason why working with kids is great! But, how about you just find out for yourself? We have opportunities in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru working with children and young adults just waiting!

Global Action for Peace Month

“Peace begins with a smile.” Mother Teresa

INLEXCA are proud members of the Federation EIL, a non-profit organization that actively sends volunteers around the world as part of the Experiment in International Living movement. This month, they are advocating ‘Building Peace through Understanding’, a month of action for global peace. As we believe this is an incredibly important message, we were excited to be a part of the movement here in Guatemala.

Federation EIL has partners all around the world and each partner is doing something in their local community to talk about and share ideas about peace. If you would like to see what Federation EIL has done around the world, search #FEIL4Peace.

As I mentioned in my last blog we took our wonderful group of Minnesota volunteers to a soup kitchen in Santa Lucia to paint a wall. This wall will be painted over the next few weeks by the local project with something that, to them, symbolises peace. The project are going to talk to the kids about global peace, how to build it and what it means for the future. Once they understand the idea, the kids will be given the chance to paint something on their new wall that, to them, symbolises peace. Every time they come in to get a healthy meal and at soup kitchen, they will be able to look at the wall and think about peace. Keep an eye on my future blogs to find out what the kids decided to paint!

This week, continuing the theme, we also took some volunteers to a local education project in Santo Tomas. Here they received a similar chat to the one given to the kids in the soup kitchen. They were taught about peace in their local community and global peace. The kids from it really interesting and engaged in the conversation, sharing their ideas of peace. Once the discussion was over, the children were asked to do different drawings that, for the, symbolised peace. It was a really nice activity which allowed the children to think about an important subject, something I think the world will agree, we desperately need to be talking more about.