2022 - Spanish - Term 2 Newsletter Articles

June 22, 2022

2022 - Spanish - Term 2 Newsletter Articles

June 22, 2022

Loren O’Sullivan, the Director of NPH New Zealand, shares her journey of volunteering with the NPH kids in Central America.

When I finished my university as a qualified French teacher, I decided that I wanted to volunteer for at least a year in Latin America. I stumbled across a great organization called NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos). NPH works in 9 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, supporting vulnerable children and families through education, nutrition and medical care.

I applied for a position as an English teacher and was accepted to NPH Honduras. Before arriving in Honduras, I knew little about the country and culture. I was joined by a great bunch of international volunteers, mainly from Europe and the United States, and my nickname soon became ‘Kiwi’.  

The NPH Ranch where I was based, is a beautiful property, 40 minutes from the capital Tegucigalpa. Living on the Ranch felt like living in a gorgeous little village. On the Ranch there are a number of children’s homes, a volunteer house, a clinic, a primary and middle school. There is even a dentist and surgery centre on-site. While NPH serves children who can’t live with their biological families, they also help children who live with their families in poverty and other at-risk situations.

My role as an English teacher was very challenging. However, after a few months I gained more confidence with Spanish, and began to understand the unique culture of the NPH Ranch - El Rancho Santa Fe. My English lessons started to improve and slowly I started to fall in love with the big family that is Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos. 

There are such a wide range of volunteer roles with NPH – physios, tutors, nurses, therapists, communications officers, visitor coordinators, and even more. The volunteers became my good friends, my support network. On the weekends we spent time together, exploring the Ranch, going for hikes, or heading into the city.  

Each volunteer has a day job, as well as an hogar (home). I chose the baby home because I wanted something very different from my day job teaching teenagers. The babies were such a delight to work with. In the evenings I helped the caregivers to feed the toddlers, bathe them and put them to bed. Before heading back to the volunteer house I washed the dishes with some of the older children.

I enjoyed my time volunteering at NPH Honduras – I decided to extend for another year. The hardest thing about being a volunteer is saying goodbye to the children you love so dearly.  

Coming back to New Zealand I taught Spanish for a year at Sacred Heart College in Auckland. I became so involved with fundraising for NPH that I eventually became the Director of the Charitable Trust. I have been doing this for 6 years now and I love it!  

Before the pandemic we organised 2-week visitor trips to our homes for New Zealanders. If you’re interested in finding out about taking your senior Spanish students to one of our NPH homes, please get in touch.  

I am also happy to visit your Spanish classes and share my experiences with your students (in English or Spanish). I hope that my talk with motivate them to continue with Spanish until Year 13.  

Please contact Loren: info.nz@nph.org or check the website: www.nph-nz.org

Our Spanish Carnival

Our Year 7/8 Spanish class has been learning about how many Spanish speaking countries prepare for lent by throwing a carnival.  

In class we watched a video of a carnival in Bolivia and noticed all the fabulous colours, masks and costumes. We thought that the colours and the costumes were very bright and the dances and music were vibrant and fun so we decided to have a carnival of our own.

We started to prepare by designing colourful masks and labelling the colours and materials in Spanish. Next we started to make the masks with all the colourful materials we could find. Then we formed into groups and started to come up with a funky dance to Spanish music that we could use in our carnival parade.

In the end, the class carnival turned out to be really fun and exciting. It was also cool to have a taste of what a carnival feels like in Spanish speaking countries. We also loved the little snack of chips and lollies we had at the end of the carnival. We really hope that we get to do it again next year.

By Emma Lawson and Chloe Livingston, Woodford House

STANZA: Spanish Teachers Association of New Zealand

¡Hola a todos! I would like to introduce STANZA or the “Spanish Teachers’ Association of New Zealand Aotearoa”.

Spanish remains a growing language here in New Zealand and we are delighted to be able to support Spanish teachers in any way we can. This means that suggestions for activities and new initiatives are very welcome, as everyone teaching Spanish in New Zealand is a potential member of our group, and of course, an ambassador of very rich cultures and language.  

We are a small executive of dedicated people, and sadly, we are about to lose one of our hard-working and long-standing members this year. Constanza Tolosa, our treasurer and secretary, needs to dedicate time to other projects. We know we will be able to rely on her advice as we move into the future and would like to take this opportunity to thank her for the amazing work she has done and continues to do on behalf of all Spanish teachers.

In farewelling Constanza, we hope that some of you will offer to play an active role in our executive, which currently consists of myself, Gloria Vázquez, Constanza Tolosa, Virginia Frontan and María Lamberto. The Spanish Embassy, and in particular our advisor, Clara Gómez-Jimeno, have also lent support to our events and we could not do without them. The time commitment does not need to be extensive - we meet formally once a year and normally communicate through email. You can choose to put just one hour a month into our work. Any level of commitment is welcome and is up to you.

Currently we  

  • maintain a website: www.stanza.org.nz;  
  • organize competitions for students with prizes and certificates: The Debate Competition in Term Two and the Speech Competition in Term Three;  
  • organize activities for teachers: The Encuentro de Profesores in February;  
  • represent teachers of Spanish with the Ministry of Education and NZQA;  
  • create practice NCEA-style exams each year for Levels 1, 2 and 3;  
  • provide some support for members’ initiatives E.G. the immersion weekends for students;  
  • provide some support for teachers to attend workshops and conferences.

Without the continued interest of our members we would not be able to do any of these things, and so I would like to thank you all for your ongoing support which provides a lot for many of our teachers and students of Spanish.

By Cheryl Van Dijck (President, STANZA)

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2022 - Spanish - Term 2 Newsletter Articles

Loren O’Sullivan, the Director of NPH New Zealand, shares her journey of volunteering with the NPH kids in Central America.

When I finished my university as a qualified French teacher, I decided that I wanted to volunteer for at least a year in Latin America. I stumbled across a great organization called NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos). NPH works in 9 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, supporting vulnerable children and families through education, nutrition and medical care.

I applied for a position as an English teacher and was accepted to NPH Honduras. Before arriving in Honduras, I knew little about the country and culture. I was joined by a great bunch of international volunteers, mainly from Europe and the United States, and my nickname soon became ‘Kiwi’.  

The NPH Ranch where I was based, is a beautiful property, 40 minutes from the capital Tegucigalpa. Living on the Ranch felt like living in a gorgeous little village. On the Ranch there are a number of children’s homes, a volunteer house, a clinic, a primary and middle school. There is even a dentist and surgery centre on-site. While NPH serves children who can’t live with their biological families, they also help children who live with their families in poverty and other at-risk situations.

My role as an English teacher was very challenging. However, after a few months I gained more confidence with Spanish, and began to understand the unique culture of the NPH Ranch - El Rancho Santa Fe. My English lessons started to improve and slowly I started to fall in love with the big family that is Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos. 

There are such a wide range of volunteer roles with NPH – physios, tutors, nurses, therapists, communications officers, visitor coordinators, and even more. The volunteers became my good friends, my support network. On the weekends we spent time together, exploring the Ranch, going for hikes, or heading into the city.  

Each volunteer has a day job, as well as an hogar (home). I chose the baby home because I wanted something very different from my day job teaching teenagers. The babies were such a delight to work with. In the evenings I helped the caregivers to feed the toddlers, bathe them and put them to bed. Before heading back to the volunteer house I washed the dishes with some of the older children.

I enjoyed my time volunteering at NPH Honduras – I decided to extend for another year. The hardest thing about being a volunteer is saying goodbye to the children you love so dearly.  

Coming back to New Zealand I taught Spanish for a year at Sacred Heart College in Auckland. I became so involved with fundraising for NPH that I eventually became the Director of the Charitable Trust. I have been doing this for 6 years now and I love it!  

Before the pandemic we organised 2-week visitor trips to our homes for New Zealanders. If you’re interested in finding out about taking your senior Spanish students to one of our NPH homes, please get in touch.  

I am also happy to visit your Spanish classes and share my experiences with your students (in English or Spanish). I hope that my talk with motivate them to continue with Spanish until Year 13.  

Please contact Loren: info.nz@nph.org or check the website: www.nph-nz.org

Our Spanish Carnival

Our Year 7/8 Spanish class has been learning about how many Spanish speaking countries prepare for lent by throwing a carnival.  

In class we watched a video of a carnival in Bolivia and noticed all the fabulous colours, masks and costumes. We thought that the colours and the costumes were very bright and the dances and music were vibrant and fun so we decided to have a carnival of our own.

We started to prepare by designing colourful masks and labelling the colours and materials in Spanish. Next we started to make the masks with all the colourful materials we could find. Then we formed into groups and started to come up with a funky dance to Spanish music that we could use in our carnival parade.

In the end, the class carnival turned out to be really fun and exciting. It was also cool to have a taste of what a carnival feels like in Spanish speaking countries. We also loved the little snack of chips and lollies we had at the end of the carnival. We really hope that we get to do it again next year.

By Emma Lawson and Chloe Livingston, Woodford House

STANZA: Spanish Teachers Association of New Zealand

¡Hola a todos! I would like to introduce STANZA or the “Spanish Teachers’ Association of New Zealand Aotearoa”.

Spanish remains a growing language here in New Zealand and we are delighted to be able to support Spanish teachers in any way we can. This means that suggestions for activities and new initiatives are very welcome, as everyone teaching Spanish in New Zealand is a potential member of our group, and of course, an ambassador of very rich cultures and language.  

We are a small executive of dedicated people, and sadly, we are about to lose one of our hard-working and long-standing members this year. Constanza Tolosa, our treasurer and secretary, needs to dedicate time to other projects. We know we will be able to rely on her advice as we move into the future and would like to take this opportunity to thank her for the amazing work she has done and continues to do on behalf of all Spanish teachers.

In farewelling Constanza, we hope that some of you will offer to play an active role in our executive, which currently consists of myself, Gloria Vázquez, Constanza Tolosa, Virginia Frontan and María Lamberto. The Spanish Embassy, and in particular our advisor, Clara Gómez-Jimeno, have also lent support to our events and we could not do without them. The time commitment does not need to be extensive - we meet formally once a year and normally communicate through email. You can choose to put just one hour a month into our work. Any level of commitment is welcome and is up to you.

Currently we  

  • maintain a website: www.stanza.org.nz;  
  • organize competitions for students with prizes and certificates: The Debate Competition in Term Two and the Speech Competition in Term Three;  
  • organize activities for teachers: The Encuentro de Profesores in February;  
  • represent teachers of Spanish with the Ministry of Education and NZQA;  
  • create practice NCEA-style exams each year for Levels 1, 2 and 3;  
  • provide some support for members’ initiatives E.G. the immersion weekends for students;  
  • provide some support for teachers to attend workshops and conferences.

Without the continued interest of our members we would not be able to do any of these things, and so I would like to thank you all for your ongoing support which provides a lot for many of our teachers and students of Spanish.

By Cheryl Van Dijck (President, STANZA)