Tech Week or Boot Camp?

Posted by on Aug 8, 2012 | Comments

Muscle pains, headaches, schedule changes, nerve-racking events, long walks under the sun, endless phone calls, adding to my pulperia’s credit tab, host families’ craziness, waking up early and going to sleep late are some of the things that could describe the behind-the-scenes in the live of a volunteer hosting tech week.

Between July 23rd and July 27th I had the tremendous opportunity of hosting 10 Peace Corps Trainees (PCTs) in Guaitil as a current volunteer and 6-month extender.

In 2012, two groups of future PCVs arrived and one of those groups is from the program I belong to which is Community Economic Development (CED). This group is known as Tico 24 and is comprised of people with diverse ethnic and educational backgrounds as well as work and travel experiences. Yet, there is one thing that brought them together and that is BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT.

During training, the new groups of future Peace Corps volunteers have to participate in something called ‘Technical Week’. This is a full week where PCTs travel as a group to an assigned site from their training communities to live and experience the work of current Peace Corps volunteers and get a taste of the ‘toughest job they’ll ever love.”

Before I give an brief overview of the week, Tech Week is supposed to cover three core competency objectives which aim to help the PCT to:

  1. Integrate into the community,
  2. Facilitate community development, and
  3. Demonstrate professionalism and spirit of service.

Most importantly, PCTs are supposed to participate in activities that help them apply the skills they developed or strengthen during training in order for them to fulfill Peace Corps’ business sector competency goals such as:

  1. Prepare youth for the world of work (ex: comp class, English class, etc.)
  2. Promote business development (ex: apply an assessment tool to local micro-entrepreneurs)
  3. Support organizational development (ex: do a SWOT analysis with women’s coop, facilitate an organizational assessment tool for a committee)

DAY 1

Trainees had lunch at a women’s coop in Santa Cruz and learned a bit about their work.

Women’s group let the trainees serve themselves and enjoy Guanacaste’s typical dishes.

 

Group is received by the local microfinance bank [ECGuaitil] with a Welcome Cafecito.

Board of Directors introducing themselves to trainees!

DAY 2

Trainees helped beautify my site’s women’s coop (COOPEGUAYTIL R.L.)

Emesha and Jossie painting the bars of the coop’s pottery shop

PCTs performing Organizational Assessment Tool to ECGuaitil, microfinance bank

DAY 3

At the school Wednesday morning to celebrate Anexation Day of Nicoya to Costa Rica (Cultural Activity)

BOMBA! “Del Guaitil cayó un pintor, para pintar su hermosura, pero los vio tan viejos y feos, que se le cuajó la pintura” Uyyyyyuyuuyu Bajura!

 

DAY 4

 

Trainees beautifuying the elementary school’s lunchroom

 

Danny and others painting the bars

Jossie teaching a computer classes to a senior

 DAY 5

Teaching English to first graders

Teaching English to 3rd graders

It was my first time hosting such a large group and boy it was not an easy task.  These were some of the activities the trainees did during their tech week and I hope they enjoyed what I was able to offer.  They also had the opportunity to learn about Chorotega pottery-making process on Friday and enjoyed the beautiful pieces the artisan from my community make. It was truly a pleasure having them visit my Guaitil and they know they are welcomed any time.

For more photos, please go to http://on.fb.me/OMB6wi

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