Life in the Aldea, by a volunteer, tutor of children.

In the morning, the tutor of “casa” wakes the children at 5:15 am. Everyone – at one’s own pace – gets up, pulls up the mosquito net and makes one’s bed. They all put on a tee-shirt and shorts for their morning obligations: cleaning the bedrooms, the “sala”, the “vereda”, the bathroom and take the plates up to the “comedor”, and wash them after eating.

When the children have finished their morning obligations, they leave their shorts and tee-shirt to put on their uniform that has been washed and ironed the day before. With polished shoes and the hair well combed, they go up to the “comedor” to have breakfast at 6:30, where they meet the other “casas”. After breakfast, the children go down back to the house to brush their teeth and finish to put the copybooks in the bags.

At 6:55, they are all in lines in front of the gate, so that Doña Mirella checks the clothes. One of the tutors accompanies them to school. At Naranjillo, the “secundaria” pupils go by themselves to the secondary school, while the tutor leads the little ones to the “primaria”.

When the “school” responsible is back in the Aldea, the volunteers go to the “chacra”: work in the fields, either with a machete, or to harvest the cocoa fruits and empty them from 8 to 10. After that, each tutor stays in his/her “casa” to finish the cleaning, wash his/her clothes, read, write or have a nap.

From 12:30/1pm, the “primaria” children come back little by little. At 2pm, the “secundaria” children arrive too. After changing clothes, they all go to the “comedor” at 2:15. After lunch, the children also have obligations in the Aldea: the “comedor”, the workshop, the storeroom, the toilets and showers, the “quemadero”, the dogs, the pig...

At 3:15, all the children are back in their houses to do their homework until 5:15. The children sit down in front of the big table and the tutor checks the copybooks and helps them to do their homework.

At 5:15, it is time for everybody either to wash one’s clothes or to garden. On Wednesday evenings, they have no obligations and thus the boys play football and the girls play volleyball. Around 6:30, they take a shower – using water from the well. Then, they have some time to finish their homework or to play.

At 7pm, one of the tutors heats the dinner.

At 7:30, everybody is eating with enthusiasm!

At 7:50, we go back to our “casa”. The children brush their teeth and polish their shoes. Then, they put on their pyjamas to pray all together.

At 8:30, Mirella recalls that it is time to swich off the lights! All go for their little “pichi” before sleeping.