Sometimes a hug is all you need

It’s nice to know you’ve earned your fee. But sometimes it’s enough just to get a hug. This week we got lots of hugs. We were volunteering at a very special school in Mexico. It’s for bright kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Halina St James with some of the children

The children put in a half-day at regular public schools around Zihuatanejo. Then they spend the rest of the day at the Casa para Ninos del Pacifico School. Here, they get a meal, and courses ranging from art to computers to social and health issues. The children, whose ages range from 7 – 13, also get psychological help, help with homework, and support with clothing and school supplies.

The school was opened in 2000, thanks to the support of local hotels. And it’s kept alive by donations and gifts.

Neil Everton in a classroom

Our role as part-time volunteers is to work with the kids on their conversational English. Whether you are working in English or Spanish, the key to good communication is the same: keep it simple. These children understand that – and it’s a joy to see the delight on their faces as their fluency and confidence increases.

At the end of a day the smiles on their faces are all the thanks you could desire – so the hugs are a real bonus.

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