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Barrio Planta Project

June 17, 2012

BPP is a free, non-profit English and Arts school for the community of La Planta, a slum area in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. A call of fate drew me there to help with their website as a volunteer, and what came of it was a life-changing experience teaching children basic computer and programming skills.

Founding the computer program at the school was not a cup of tea, but I enjoyed every moment of it. I definitely learned the challenges of teaching, and expectations of teaching in a place with little resources, as I had planned to teach the kids first hypertext language and then move into more object-oriented programming, but soon found out many were not familiar with using mice and keyboards regularly. Adjusting on the fly (and trying not to short the circuit with all the computers plugged in) I used the computer programming language Scratch to get some basic programming skills in there subconsciously while the kids created their own short animations and games. Upon leaving, a Nicaraguan teacher stepped in as my replacement, and I continue to support BPP in all their initiatives and future projects. It’s a project that’s truly changing lives for the better.

While outside of the classroom, I continued to support myself by working remotely for ICON Worldwide in Switzerland, facing the challenges of Wednesday blackouts, but meeting all the deadlines. And…while not hanging out at the beach, I managed to teach myself a bit more about jQuery and Titanium Appcelerator.

Please check out their website here and if you find it in your heart, support their awesomeness.

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