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Nicaragua: La Bastilla - What happens when the school is closed for holidays?

At the Colegio Técnico Agropecuario La Bastilla a 2 months holiday for the students doesn’t mean that all classrooms and the boarding school are closed up and left to the antsy Nicaraguan spiders. On the contrary, not only do students here spend 2 weeks out of 8 taking care of one of the production areas, furthermore every week 3 to 4 prospective students spend a practical week in order to see if they like the school and its hands-on approach.

Last week we had 3 students helping to feed the chickens in the coop, collect and clean the eggs, prepare them for the weekly sales trip and keep the whole area clean. All of them also got up to have a go at milking the cows at 5am, followed by serving dinner at the Ecolodge. Though the week was a long one and labour-intensive, they left with a smile on their faces and are set on returning for the start of the new school year in February. 

Our 3 prospective students with Elier - 1st year student

While the second group of students is going through the same experience, another bunch of visitors daily finds their way onto the school grounds:

The happy bunch

The youngest ones, children between the ages of 0-12 whose parents are currently harvesting coffee at the La Bastilla Coffee Estate spend their day with student Karen, who picks them up at 5.30am and returns them back to their families at 4.30pm. Starting with morning hygiene and breakfast the kids get to not only play and draw, they also learn how to write and get basic reading lessons. This way, they get prepared for starting at the Primary School and have a meaningful pastime. Because the older children are in charge of younger ones, they additionally get a bit of training in responsibility, which goes beyond taking care of their younger siblings.

 

So, this way the campus isn’t deserted between December and February, it is in a certain way even livelier than during the school year, and we hope that some of those little ones will soon be part of La Bastilla’s students!


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