Earlier this month, from June 8-15th, I had the pleasure of going to Oaxaca Mexico, with my brother and a few other volunteers, to help set up computers for the kids in the underprivileged areas with the non-profit, Kids on Computers.
Arriving from the airport was a bit of a hassle, as my Spanish had not yet come back to me, but I was able to at least ask how to get to the hotel. On the way in, I was able to admire the homely and very busy feeling of the city, similar to LA, but the people were more intimate and genuine when speaking with each other.
Being in Oaxaca, and especially at the new school lab we set up in Oaxaca City, was such a great feeling. We were immediately welcomed, and on the first day there they had the whole school have a festival, in our honor, as well as presenting us with a plaque for Kids on Computers. The whole time there, they treated us like family, fed us every morning, and some nights even fed us at their house.
During the first 4 days we set up the laptops and a local network. We later taught the teachers and students how to use them. Some of the teachers weren’t familiar with the programs (Tux Math, Tux Type, Khan Academy, Wikipedia, GCompris, and other games), or English, but with my fair amount of Spanish and their fragmented English we were able to work together and really get them moving quickly.
The latter 3 days we went to restaurants in our area, visited the local stores and practiced our Spanish with the local people. We also had the pleasure of visiting the school on Saturday, to finish up some inventory, and were able to player soccer in the streets with the kids that lived around there.
I had such a great time with the people there, and loved the people I was working with too. I hope I’m able to come back next year and see all the kids again, and hope that they all remember me.