Have you ever done a service project of some kind? Either with school, family, or an organization? One group that often gives back to the community is the church, so today we’ll be looking at specific service projects that a youth group can do on an outreach trip.
When I was younger, I was in youth groups that had outreach projects both locally and abroad. You may not have to travel far, though, to be of service in a project where someone speaks Spanish!
If you do end up traveling abroad, it’s best to be prepared before you leave. Outreach trips offer many different types of projects, but we’re going to look at five common ones.
But wait—before we begin, let’s go over some basic phrases that you will need to know!
|¿Cómo estás?||How are you?|
|¿Cómo te llamas?||What’s your name?|
|¿Cuántos años tienes?||How old are you?|
|¿Hay algo que necesitas?||Is there anything you need?|
|¿Puedo orar por ti?||Can I pray for you?|
|¿Cómo puedo orar por ti?||How can I pray for you?|
|Cuéntame de ti.||Tell me about yourself.|
|Cuéntame de tu familia.||Tell me about your family.|
These basic questions allow you to get to know another person and pray for them. From my experience, people don’t really mind what language you pray in, but you do need to know how to ask to pray in Spanish before you do so!
Now, what are five common outreach trips you can do with your youth group?
Ministerio de indigentes
This first outreach ministry is probably one of the most common ways to serve the community, and many groups (not just youth groups!) are working in this area. Through this outreach project, you serve the homeless by visiting them on the streets, bringing them hot beverages, and serving in a soup kitchen. Some keywords and phrases are particularly relevant for this type of service:
|El albergue||Homeless shelter|
|¿Necesitas más?||Do you need more?|
|¡Aquí tienes!||Here you go!|
Visitar los hospitales y los hogares de ancianos
This next serving opportunity is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a crucial service needed all over the world! Visiting hospitals and nursing homes will present your youth group with a lot of chances to pray with people and keep them company. Some vocabulary you might encounter in these situations are as follows:
|el hogar de ancianos||nursing home|
|la sala de emergencia||emergency room|
|la unidad de cuidados intensivos||intensive care unit|
|a sala de espera||waiting room|
|¿Por qué estás en el hospital?||Why are you in the hospital?|
|¿Estás esperando a alguien?||Are you waiting for someone?|
|¿Hay alguien aquí contigo?||Is there anyone here with you?|
|¿Cuál es tu memoria favorita?||What is your favorite memory?|
Ministerio de niños
Probably the most popular outreach project is working with kids! It doesn’t even feel like work when you get to sing songs, paint faces, and play games with kids from the community. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a complete Sunday School lesson in Spanish, but I can start you with some commands and activities!
|¡Juguemos un juego!||Let’s play a game.|
|Hagan un círculo.||Make a circle.|
|Repitan después de mí.||Repeat after me.|
|Les voy a contar una historia.||I’m going to tell you a story.|
|Vamos a aprender sobre…||We’re going to learn about…|
|¿Quieres colorear?||Do you want to color?|
|¿Quieres que te pinte la cara?||Do you want me to paint your face?|
|¿Qué te gustaría?||What would you like?|
Our next outreach activity is evangelism! A lot of people do this differently; you can set up a booth and talk to people that walk by, preach in the streets, or talk to individuals you meet. Whichever way you decide to it, you’ll need some key phrases to help you get to the heart of the matter quickly and with ease. I suggest having a bilingual or Spanish Bible with you to share some passages and messages without having to know all the complex vocabulary.
|al aire libre||open-air|
|Dios te ama||God loves you|
|Dios tiene un plan para tu vida||God has a plan for your life|
|Dios te perdona||God forgives you|
|¿Crees en Dios?||Do you believe in God?|
|¡Te relacionas con Dios?||Do you have a relationship with God?|
Last but not least, we have another incredibly popular service opportunity: construction! Again, this can be done both locally and abroad. I have a list of common tools and phrases to help get you through the construction process without hurting yourself or building something incorrectly!
|la cinta métrica||measuring tape|
|¿Puedes medir eso por favor?||Can you measure that, please?|
|¿Cuánto mide?||How big is it?|
|Pon eso aquí.||Put that here.|
|Sostén esto.||Hold this.|
|¿Me puedes ayudar?||Can you help me?|
|¡Cuidado con la cabeza!||Watch your head!|
Is Your Youth Group Ready to Go Now?
Do you feel ready to go on outreach with your youth group now? Even if you are just doing a service project by yourself, I hope this vocabulary can help you prepare to talk to any Spanish speakers you may run across. Of course, this vocabulary is not at all complete. Thankfully, we have classes with native Spanish speakers who can help you prepare for conversations in Spanish! Try a free class today and enjoy your outreach!Read More
The holiday season always runs strong in Latinoamérica. A large portion of us are Christian (around 80%), and there’s no shortage of decorations, food, and jingles all around the country since early November. We have lots of fun traditions that are important to our culture, like building a miniature model of the Nativity Scene, eating tamales with the family, and setting off countless fireworks at midnight. I’ve had foreign friends tell me how crazy our celebrations are, and they’re not wrong! In my family, we have food, prayer and family reunions from the morning of the 24th all the way to midnight on Christmas. Depending on where you are, you can go out in the streets filled with families having posadas, which is a much more crowded version of Christmas caroling.
La quema del diablo
In Guatemala, there’s a holiday called ‘la quema del diablo,’ or ‘the devil’s burning.’ Every year on September 7, people take out all of their old things to donate or get rid of while cleaning house. There are lots of little devil píñatas on the street, which people buy and then burn as a sign of cleansing the spirit. Controversy always arises with this holiday because people tend to go overboard, burning garbage and rubber, as well as large amounts of paper. Lots of PSAs roll around reminding people to be careful around fire and not to contaminate. But it’s not all bad! Some families celebrate by doing a night-time barbecue with friends, which is still burning something — only this time, it’s delicious! Overall, it’s a beautiful tradition, although I hope we can find a cleaner solution someday.
The New Year tradition is very similar in Latinoamérica when compared to the US. We have parties, countdowns, and fireworks for everyone! These few months sure are full of interesting things to discover. Learn more about New Year’s in Latin America here.
Holiday Words and Phrases
Whether you’re in a Spanish-speaking country, or you got invited to dinner by your Spanish-speaking friends, here are some festive words and phrases for you to practice:
Now you’re ready to go to that dinner and have a great time! Regardless of your country of origin or religion, this is a time to be together with your loved ones and eat yummy food, of course! If you want to get better at Spanish, grab a free class today at HSA and get ready to get jolly!Read More