I am volunteering for 4 weeks (2 already done) at this small school in a pueblo at the foot of Volcan Agua. I get a bus each morning at 7.20 and it costs me 3.50 quetzales each way. The buses have amazing capacity! Like "how many people can you fit into a mini?" type of capacity. I am usually very squished and either sitting on a wooden box in between seats or crushed by some very plump person. It is only a 15 minute ride though so it's ok, despite wheel squealing corner taking. We drove back the other day in the rain and there were no windscreen wipers and the windows were steaming up too! Health and safety not really an issue here. The school is a project run for children of poor families. They teach them to read and write, about hygiene, provide them daily nutrition (a rice pudding type drink) and let them play and be children again for a while (as most children have to work or look after siblings from a very early age). They come into school about 8am and go straight to the classroom to pick up their toothbrush, a teacher gives each child a squirt of toothpaste and they clean their teeth every morning. There are three classrooms in the project and I am in the largest one which has 6 to 8 year olds in it, all with varying degrees of ability. Some are able to make letters, others can hardly hold and pencil and are too shy to even make a mark on paper. Even drawing pictures takes a huge amount of encouragement and it seems they are not happy to produce something that isn't perfect. The Danish volunteers in the other classroom taught the boys a Michael Jackson dance for Professoro Julio's cumpleanos (birthday). They were brilliant but it was a bit odd to see them in this context...how they got to see Michael Jackson I don't know...they could have just been taught the moves! (More likely) These pics were taken on a day they all made "goods" to sell at a pretend market. They made monopoly type money to give to the other children in the school and had a market day. On my first week I was taken to see how the families live in this pueblo. Families of 6 to 10 live in one room, dirt floor and bamboo or Tin sheets for walls. Those families lucky enough to get a house from one of the various volunteer construction projects, get a house (usually one room) made of breeze blocks, so at least they have something more substantial. In this rainy season the kids get sick a lot. I am amazed at how happy the children are, they never cry!..... The project is an eye opener and I am glad to be there.