By: Misha Baudisch-McCabe
Role: Secretary, Board Member
I first got in touch with Casa – Puebilto (then Casa Canadiense) in 2008 when I was in university and looking for a placement/adventure for the summer. Casa helped set up an internship for me for two months. I then joined the Board when I moved to Toronto in 2012.
Why and how did you get involved with Casa – Pueblito?
My family has long roots with Casa - Pueblito – back in the day, my aunt was part of Trucks to Nicaragua, a precursor to Casa. My understanding is my dad even wrote the song that plays in the movie. Anywho, when I was in second year university I was looking for an internship/adventure for the summer and my family connected me to Casa. Casa was awesome enough to help me organize a couple internships in Leon for two months, so off I went in the summer on my first truly solo trip at 19 and with little Spanish.
The Coordinators at the time, JP and Cathy, picked me up from the airport and brought me to the Casa where I stayed for a few days; then off we went to Leon. I was fortunate to homestay with a fun and kind family that the Casa co-founder, Bill, had known for ages, and I interned with the government on their Yo Si Puedo literacy campaign. With my limited language skills, most of my efforts involved data entry, but I also got to go a trip to the rural parts of Nicaragua where they were trying to implement this initiative. In the afternoons, I headed to Barrio Julio 23, where I volunteered at an afterschool program for children, helping them with their homework/teaching English/math. Yes, I do have the cheesy white-girl with lots of kids photos. The children were awesome and so welcoming, with some of the older ones introducing me to their families and showing me around the beautiful city.
I then went back to university in the fall, but kept in touch with the friends I had made there (as best I could with my horrible Spanish). When I ended up moving to Toronto, I volunteered a bit with Casa at the Brunch and Auction. I was then invited to join the Board and ta dah!
What is the best thing about being a part of the Casa – Pueblito community?
Heart. Everyone who is part of this community is driven by a shared passion for social justice and changing the world for the better.
If there’s one thing people should know about Casa – Pueblito, what would it be?
It’s got courage – courage to fight the good fight, courage to keep on in the face of adversity.