Quinnipiac University College of Arts and Sciences

Peace Corps Experiences

In Students, Teaching on October 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm


by Kelsey Ives, ’10

As a TEFL volunteer—teaching English as a foreign language—I am part of a pilot program to increase the English comprehension of students, the Costa Rican English teachers with whom I co-teach classes, and the community where I live. I spend my time working in three elementary schools. I walk to two of my schools and live right next to the third. The days are long and I often come home worn out by the rambunctious children.

As a secondary project, I teach English to a group of indigenous coffee pickers who have come to my region for the harvest. I am also working with my community to build a Learning Center to teach classes on environmental conversation, community and peace building, and English.

I live with a wonderful host family that I intend to stay with for the duration of my service. I am warmly greeted wherever I go, and the entire community has been so gracious inviting me into their lives. This first year of service has been one of soul searching, inner reflection, and observation of my community. There were days I didn’t think I was strong enough—but slowly an elusive progress has been taking shape! This Learning Center project will be the crux of my service and, hopefully, an example of sustainability and community volunteerism. Although rainy season has brought dreary storm clouds, my days in Peace Corps are always filled with adventure, opportunities to learn, and moments of gratitude.

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