Volunteer Profile: Jack Jacobs

Jack Jacobs

The following is an interview with Jack Jacobs, a native of Manchester, England, who volunteered to teach English at the College for the first semester of 2018. Jack reflected on his time at the UAC-CP with External Relations Coordinator Nora Harless.

Nora Harless: How did you find out about the Carmen Pampa Fund’s English teaching volunteer program?

Jack Jacobs: I completed an English Teaching course after graduating university, and was searching for someplace to teach English in Latin America. Carmen Pampa stuck out to me because it was something completely different, located in a rural area. It seemed like an exciting opportunity to experience a completely new culture.

NH: What expectations did you have prior to coming to the UAC? How were those expectations met or disproved?

JJ: I expected it would be challenging – adapting to a different culture. I felt an element of isolation at the start, and then experienced a feeling of community from those around me as the semester went on.

NH: What were some the challenges you faced in teaching English as a second language in rural Bolivia?

JJ: There were people of different [English speaking] levels in the same class, which was difficult, from a teaching standpoint. It was hard to find material that was suitable for everyone. Also, at times it was difficult to keep the students motivated. They would lose interest, or not see the importance in learning English in Bolivia, as all of their peers speak only Spanish. Instilling in them the importance of bilingualism and cultural exchange was key to keeping my students motivated to learn.

NH: If you had to give one piece of advice for someone coming to live and work in Carmen Pampa, what would it be?

JJ: Try to socialize with the students, because it won’t make you feel quite as lonely. You’ll get used to a different way of life, and you won’t feel quite as isolated. You also have a lot to learn from them, and them from you.

Posted in
Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

© 2020 Carmen Pampa Fund. All rights reserved. | P.O. Box 131145 St. Paul, MN 55113 | Phone: (651) 641-1588 | info@carmenpampafund.org