Laura Santamaría, VOLPA in Bolivia

Question.-Tell us briefly and how did you landed at Entreculturas

Answer.-I am Laura and I arrived at Entreculturas a year ago. After spending a summer in Honduras with a cooperation project, I realized that I wanted to dedicate myself to the world of cooperation, and on my return to Madrid I heard about the Entreculturas VOLPA Training Program by chance.

Q.-Tell us about your academic and professional profile

A.-I've got a degree in child education. I've always worked in the education related social world. I went to Honduras to work on teacher's capacity building, I give Spanish classes for immigrants and I have been a volunteer in youth associations. I've also worked in leisure and free time in nursery schools.


Q.-The VOLPA Training Program, was it what you expected? What surprised you?

A.-At the beginning it looked too long, I thought that a year was too much time for training. Afterwards one realizes that that year is needed to spread the 15 days sessions and thus work well. I was surprised by the fact that the work is not so much at a technical level but rather at a personal one, and it requires time, it is a long process.

Q.-Explain to us where you are going, what are you going to do, how long will you be...

A.-I'm going to Bolivia, to a village called Cocota, that is 18 Km from Santa Cruz de la Sierra. I am going to work with an association called Mi Rancho and it has four projects; street children, girls, nursery school and a women crafts cooperative.

Q.-Which of the four projects will your work be focussed on?

A.-On the nursery school. Mi work consists in coordinating and teacher's capacity building.

Q.-How are you facing the challenge? What do you think you will contribute?

A.-I'm going very relaxed because as soon as I knew that I was going I got in contact with Mi Rancho and the people there have been very communicative with me, they have been giving me support by e-mail throughout the whole process. What do you think you will contribute?, that's a difficult question. I think I'll go, I'll see and contribute my knowledge and experience, but I believe that they will teach me a lot more.

Q.-As a teacher, why is education important to you?

A.-For two things. The first one is that it is a foundation for all the people having the same possibilities and opportunities. And the second because I believe it is an engine for social change. An educated person is someone you cannot deceive; it is a way of empowering the person, and of making the person aware of he/herself.

Good exposition. Thank you Laura