By Kelly Solano (NCAI Kindergarten Teacher)
This semester five NCA International students are receiving vocational training through a new elective course at ESVO (EScuela VOcacional), a vocational training program on NCA Nejapa’s campus. In a period of 16 weeks students will learn the art of blacksmithing, welding, carpentry, and mechanics. The course offers practical life skills in a positive environment -- something these five students have thoroughly enjoyed.
“It’s fun working with my hands,” stated one NCAI Senior. “I wanted to learn more real life skills...to be more independent.” As the course offers an introduction into four trade areas, students are encouraged to construct, build, weld and repair everyday objects- each made with their own unique craftsmanship.
Dave Boone leads the class, along with a local Nicaraguan teacher and two college-aged assistants. When interviewed, each of the five NCAI students mentioned how much they enjoyed working alongside their Nicaraguan teachers. “I feel like I can talk to them about anything,” said one student. “I like the environment here. We get along with our teachers and have fun conversations while we learn.”
This type of positive environment is what Boone and other ESVO members encourage. “I’ve seen these 5 guys grow more confident in their abilities. Not everyone fits into the same box, and if we want to offer holistic education, then this is a great option for students who enjoy working with their hands.” There is hope among students and teachers that more elective classes like this will be offered in the future.
Published on November 19, 2018. Written by Kelly Solano. Photos by Will Van Zoest.