Jan is a former cruiser and Canadian who now resides on one of the islands across from Bahia del Sol, El Salvador. She purchased her property in 2004. It was just 3 acres of wild, tropical land. It took her 5 weeks and 5 men helping with machetes to clear a space for her house, but today it is a school for the local kids to learn English. And, for the cruiser kids and adults to learn Spanish!
|Naome, Tania, Bianca and Alex|
|Monika and boys|
Every Monday and Thursday she has a group of El Salvadoran children come to her home for lessons after school. These kids are so sweet, many of them terribly shy. But after a few visits with them, they climb out of their shells. Jan asks the cruisers to come visit so that the kids get practice.
|Mick off s/v Knee Deep (aka Jace) opening the cholla nut the only way possible!|
|Carolyne and Abby of s/v Andiamo III|
Jan has come up with games to help the kids reach out a bit more. Passing a ball in a circle – the tosser says a word CATORCE! – and the catcher repeats the word in English FOURTEEN! The tosser says BLUE! - and the catcher replies AZUL! The tosser yells QUIEN! - and the catcher must say WHO!
Or Jan has a list of colors. The list of colors in Spanish is given to the English speakers and the list in English to the Spanish speakers. Groups are formed and then each group ventures off onto the 3 acres to write down anything and everything they find in those colors.
VERDE - GREEN
Grama – Grass
Hoja – leaf
Llina – Flipflops
Guineo – Banana (it was unripe and still on the tree)
ORANGE – NARANJADO
Shirt – Camisa
Mango – Mango
Bird – Ave
Flower - Flor
Yesterday, Carolyne and I were the only ones to show up and with only three El Salvadoran girls to show, it was a perfect fit. For 3 hours we practiced our Spanish and helped the girls with their English. I brought quesadilla, a type of cheese cake made here in El Salvador and we shared in the snack.
|Her Jocote tree - similar to a plum|
|Cashew nuts almost ripe|
|Cashews just budding|
The class erupted into a water fight when Jan introduced water balloons! The girls played until sundown, giggling and running and soaking wet. And all the girls wanted to get together again today – for the fun of it.
|Jenny, Daniela and Carolyne armed!|
|Jan instigating lots of fun|
If you want your kid to learn another language, this is the way to do it!
Jan hosts a chicken dinner each Wednesday night. It costs $10 per plate and the proceeds go to her school. Next week she wants to take the kids to San Salvador to the Children’s Museum, Tin Marin.