This semester, I had an opportunity to do volunteer work at an organization called “Little Mountain Neighbourhood House.” During this Project, I could work with immigrants from different countries in Latin America. This wasn’t my first time working with people from Latin America. When I lived in Mexico, I worked with an organization called “Casa Monarca” and there, I helped migrants from different countries in Latin America that pass-through Mexico to arrive at USA or Canada. The difference between these two is that this time, I worked with immigrants that already settled in Vancouver.
During this opportunity, my job was to help immigrants from Latin America during the classes of computer literacy that took place in Spanish. Before the class began, I was very nervous. However, when I arrived, all the worries disappeared because of the comfortable atmosphere and friendly people in the organization. During the class, I confronted some difficulties in explaining computer words in Spanish since I’ve never thought about those words in Spanish. But I could successfully finish the first class due to help from the teachers in the class. For the second class, I prepared a little bit to explain in a better way. During this experience, I loved to be a teaching assistant, but the thing that I liked more was having a conversation with people from different backgrounds. This volunteer work will be an unforgettable memory, and it was an honor to have this experience. And I would love to have another opportunity like this in the future.
Juliana Kaufmanis, Spanish 206
“I helped out with a computer literacy program for Spanish speakers through the Little Mountain Neighborhood House, where we were giving one-on-one help with basic computer skills such as Microsoft Word. I learned a lot of new words that had to do with computers and clicking buttons, but also found myself appreciating the practice I got with using my Spanish in general in a real conversation setting. It was a unique opportunity having to speak Spanish, because most of the ladies in the program did not speak English very well. I haven’t come across this in my life very much growing up in Vancouver, so it was a real treat for me to be able to practice with them. The ladies in the program varied in age, and were from all over Latin America. Navigating their accents was sometimes a challenge, but it was so funny seeing all of them crack jokes at each other for the variations in words or pronunciations that they each had. All of the women were extraordinarily kind, and it was a highlight for me being able to interact with all of them. When I think about the fact that without Spanish I could not have connected with them, I just can’t help but think that it is such a beautiful thing! I also found it a humbling experience. It is easy to forget that I live in a ‘university bubble’ every day, and to connect with these women gives me a peek outside of that. I think connecting with people that you might on the surface have less in common with lends new perspectives to all, and builds a strong community. I would recommend something like this to anyone.”