Luzie and Daniel, two energetic youth who speak Spanish with a German accent, are reading stories to children in the library of Malacatoya, a disadvantaged community north of Granada (Nicaragua). Their enthusiasm and affection for the children fuel the love of reading among approximately 100 young readers. Luzie and Daniel spend the day in Malacatoya, and play games, sports and music with the children.
Luzie Turwitt, 22, from Hamm and Daniel Lange, 18, from Freiburg are volunteering for twelve months at Casa Tres Mundos, a cultural centre and music/art school in the heart of colonial Granada. Casa Tres Mundos has a strong and enduring connection with Germany and Austria. It was founded in 1989 by the Austrian Dietmar Schoenherr and the Nicaraguan Ernesto Cardenal. Most of the funding has come from the association Pan y Arte (Bread and Art) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Luzie and Daniel are sponsored by the German government agency Weltwärts that manages the volunteer program in collaboration with NGOs and the churches. Casa Tres Mundos has welcomed approximately 75 young volunteers from Germany during the past 15 years.
As volunteers, Luzie and Daniel are involved in programs offered by Casa Tres Mundos to children and youth in its central location, in barrios around Granada and in Malacatoya. They write articles, lead singing and instrument lessons (flute, guitar), teach crafts and give German language lessons to children. They value the freedom given them as volunteers and the opportunity to learn about teamwork. For Luzie, this experience is directly relevant to her university studies in education and her future career as a teacher.
Luzie and Daniel are impressed by the diversity of arts programming offered by Casa Tres Mundos, including instruments lessons, choir, visual arts (painting, drawing, engraving, crafts and graphic arts), theatre and dance. They say that the Casa is a special place with a lot of creative energy from music students, visitors from abroad and performing artists in the evenings. According to Daniel, Casa Tres Mundos offers a rich cultural environment for the people of Granada, a place of learning, sharing and exchange. He especially values the outreach program “Lo Creo” (I believe) that provides free arts education to disadvantaged children in barrios on the outskirts of Granada and seeks to fulfill Casa Tres Mundos’ mission of culture for all.
The volunteers are also involved as singers of the choir of Casa Tres Mundos . They both love singing and being part of the choir group, making friends with Nicaraguan choir members and performing during concerts. Through the choir, they have discovered initiatives such as Musica en los Barrios that promotes music in Managuan neighborhoods. They are adapting well to the different reality of life in Nicaragua, including how to speak Nicañol!
Luzie and Daniel believe Casa Tres Mundos is a very important organisation because the arts are a fundamental part of a broad and comprehensive education and a key to developing children’s personality. Children and youth learn about music and the artistic traditions of Nicaragua and other countries. They develop self-confidence and connect with other cultures and peoples. For these reasons, Luzie and Daniel believe that Casa Tres Mundos is one of the most important cultural projects in Nicaragua and that it should be supported by different people and organisations. They are both contributing a great deal to and benefitting from their involvement as volunteers with Casa Tres Mundos. We wish them a rich and rewarding experience until their return to Germany in August 2018.
Odette Langlais, volunteer, Friends of Casa Tres Mundos, Jan 2018
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