What Do Genesis Volunteers Do?
A typical day starts with Ricardo picking you up in downtown Antigua, which is where you will be living. Hop in the 4-door pickup and spend about 35 minutes driving up over the mountains of Guatemala to the South of Antigua, with breathtaking views of volcanoes Acatenango, Agua, and Fuego. As you approach San Andrés Itzapa along a dirt road off the main highway in Chimaltenango, you will start to see tiny smiling faces jumping onboard with you as Ricardo picks up the kids that live farther from the project. Finally, with a loaded truck, you will arrive at Project Genesis to begin the day's programs!
The day starts with classes, broken into a few different age groups (dependent on number of volunteers). You will work with a group of 5-20 children and administer a lesson of your choice, usually continuing in the theme of the week or the lessons from previous days. Ricardo is available to help you if you should need ideas of what to do, but it is best to come prepared with some age-specific activities. Ricardo will tell you which age group you will be working with when you begin your first day. Lessons include math, English, reading, science, and writing. It is also highly encouraged to run artistic activities such as drawing, theater, or music.
Once classes the kids will be very excited to go outside and play. Typically the older ones will play fútbol (soccer) in the dirt field, and many of the younger ones will play games, draw, or read. You are welcome to help facilitate this play-time in whatever way you will enjoy most! The kids love to play with the volunteers, and you will often find yourself being dragged by a tiny hand to play jumprope or foosball!
Volunteering with Project Genesis is a ton of fun, and it is also very demanding. As a former volunteer, I can tell you that you will fall in love with these beautiful little ones, who are so full of joy and energy even in the midst of much hardship. In the end, they are the ones that will be teaching you, although you may not realize it until after you return home.