Here are some of the positive feedbacks we have received from volunteers. You can view more on our Workaway profile.

Nicole (Switzerland), February 2016

What did you like about volunteering with El Nahual?

I spent a month with El Nahual and this experience seriously changed my life.

What I liked a lot is how motivated the kids are to learn new things and how fast they take you to their heart. I am also deeply impressed and touched by the effort and the heart Jaime and his entire family daily put into giving those kids a (better) life perspective.

I can only recommend to everyone to volunteer with El Nahual!

What advice do you have for future volunteers?

Most volunteers will be surprised that they can independently decide what and how to teach. It wasn’t easy in the beginning for me too as I had to think out of the box, but then I recognized the great potential of this approach. My advice: be open for this unique chance to find your own way to teach those very thankful kids.

Seb (Australia), March 2017

What did you like about volunteering with El Nahual?

I liked the feeling when students answered questions or read out written answers and you could tell they had learnt something from you. There was certainly motivation at least in the senior classes to improve, and with such small classes this was quite possible.

Ella (Sweden), April 2017

What did you like about volunteering with El Nahual?

What I like the most about El Nahual is that my experience there has given me so much on so many different levels, all from cultural to educational to personal matters. You can really tell that the school driven by good-hearted people, which makes it a place where everything possible!

What advice do you have for future volunteers?

When I first came to El Nahual my Spanish skills were basically non-exciting. Therefor it was sometimes difficult to communicate with the students, my host-family and teachers in the way I wished to. So if you want to get the most out of the experience and if you want the students to get the most out of it as well, I would recommend you to get your Spanish studies started before you arrive. If not, Jamie, Betty, the families and the students are all really understanding and patient!

Geran (Australia), May 2017

What advice do you have for future volunteers?

Of course there are plenty of exciting challenges and priorities for volunteers to target and overcome in the future:
1. Revise the ESL curriculum - it would be fantastic for an experienced ESL teacher to come and revise the curriculum based on their assessment of the students' capabilities and objectives.
2. Improve the marketing and advertising of the school's Spanish lessons. With so many Spanish schools close by to hostels etc, travellers do not consider coming to El Nahual even if they do not have enough time to volunteer. It would be wonderful if a volunteer could help El Nahual with improving their chances of recruiting more travellers to learn Spanish.
3. Given these students are thinking about careers, it would be great for a volunteer to organise to bring locals who work in the tourism industry to talk about their jobs and explain why English is important. There are plenty of travel agents, hotel/hostel managers, restaurant managers who would love to give career advice.

 

 

 

 

Frank (USA), March 2016

What did you like about volunteering with El Nahual?

I enjoyed spending time with the kids, both teaching and just hanging out with them. I found the staff and the other volunteers really fun and interesting, and I felt that we were doing some meaningful work. I also liked how flexible Jaime was in terms of letting volunteers be creative and teach whatever skills they thought might be useful.

Fiorella (Austria), November 2016

What advice do you have for future volunteers?

No one will tell you how and what to do with the children, which is a great chance for you to find the best way on your own to work together with the kids in the most efficient way. Be creative, think out of the box when teaching english, buy some items that make the english lesson exciting and fascinates the kids from time to time. Give them some good reasons and examples why english is essential for them and make them enjoy learning the language (also by practising songs with them). Sometimes such a large freedom and flexibility is very exhausting, because you have to plan everything on your own, but therefore you can teach the way you think is the best and can achieve way more (for the kids and for you) than working of a course of instruction, which makes the children loose their enthusiasm for the english language/for learning in general.

 

Mike (USA), March 2017

What did you like about volunteering with El Nahual?

I have volunteered twice at El Nahual, April 2016 and March 2017. 

What I love about El Nahual is the spirit of joy and of family there, it is definitely not an "institution".  It is rather a place where you hear the laughter of children and sense that people really put their heart into this place.

As a volunteer,  you have the opportunity and the freedom to be creative in helping students learn English.  Really, the "sky is the limit"  as the saying goes.  You have basic guidelines of what the Guatemalan system lists for goals in English for each level, but you as a volunteer have the freedom to be creative in how to best teach the students.  Working with volunteers from different countries and backgrounds is also fun and enlightening.

What advice do you have for future volunteers?

Come with an open mind, realize that we are guests, here for a short time to assist, not to judge or impose.  Nothing is perfect.  We have an opportunity to interact and share.  I would encourage volunteers to talk with the director, Jaime and his wife Betty, hear some of the stories of their 16 years of El Nahual, their love for these children, the changes they have seen.  I absolutely will be returning once again for another experience of life in El Nahual.