This is a guest post by Ana Cecilia in our Counterpart Diaries Series:
October 12, 2015
Hello, My name is Ana Cecilia Vásquez Rugama.
I am 39 years old. I have worked at Guillermo Cano Public Institute as an English teacher for the last eight years. Also, I have experience teaching in elementary school. Nowadays, I work with students from 11 to 14 years old in seventh and eight grade in the morning shift. I am a very responsible and creative teacher. All the time I encourage the learning of English as a second language among students who do not have the opportunity to learn in another place due to low economic resources.
I live in Estelí city. It is located in the northwest part of my country, Nicaragua. My city is also known as the capital of tobacco because it represents the main economic activity. Most of the population depends on it.
I am married. I have one daughter, she is 16 years old ,and on son, he is 14 years old. In my house my mother, Edita, and my siblings are very important to me. We enjoy sharing time together.
In 2013 I had the opportunity to participate in the Teaching Excellent and Achievement Program (TEA) in Montana. During 6 weeks I learnt a lot about American culture and methodological strategies to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL). I shared and learnt experiences with teachers from different countries. They were wonderful and unforgettable experiences. Thanks to God for this present.
When I came back to my country, I decided to change the way that i was teaching and tried to motivate my coworkers to do it, too. Then I heard from the Ministry of Education about the presence of new Peace Corps Volunteers in Estelí who want to help us in our English classes. I didn’t think twice; I filled out the letter because I had decided to improve my skills in this language, my classes, and my teaching process.
This is my first opportunity working with Peace Corps Volunteers. My experience with my counterpart, Emily Nilsen, has been wonderful. I have learnt many aspects about myself that I didn’t know, such as how to lead a class talking in English more than 90%! My counterpart is a wonderful, patient, and creative teacher. I enjoy co-planning and co-teaching with her. I have to learn a lot. Now, I feel more confident about my teaching style and I am sure there are more things to discover with her.
Teaching English is my deal. It is my job. All Nicaraguan students must have the opportunity to learn it and then use it to improve their lives.
One thing I want people to know about Nicaragua is that my country is a real paradise. It has beautiful, natural resources. We are very proud to live in a small, warm and awesome land. We are pure “pinoleros by the grace of God.” The people who live here are very friendly, honest, and hardworking. Every day they wake up deciding to fight for getting their dreams.
To live in Nicaragua is an adventure. It’s worth it!
[To be continued…]