Greetings from Granada: Volunteering with Oasis

As many students know, engaging and building connections within the Bristol community by participating in service learning and community opportunities is very important to Roger Williams University. In my two and a half years at Roger Williams, I have participated in numerous community service and service learning activities and events and have loved every moment of it. 


While studying abroad, I was presented with the opportunity to work with a local agency within the Granada community, and I jumped at the chance. Last week I started working with Caritas, and it has been an amazing experience.


Caritas is an international charity and relief organization that is affiliated with the Catholic Church. In Granada, many people utilize the services that Caritas offers, as the organization has four sub-organizations that cater to many different types of people. The sub-organization that I am working with is called Oasis. Oasis is a residence for the elderly and the handicapped, and it is a very family-oriented organization. Everyday, there are a variety of programs offered for the residents that include occupational and physical therapy, arts and crafts, bingo, movie nights, and more.

I volunteer two nights a week, during Bingo on Monday and during arts and crafts on Wednesdays. There is another American student from a different program who is also volunteering with me. Our responsibilities vary depending on the day, but have so far included checking bingo cards and doing the prep work for arts and crafts. 


Although I have only been volunteering for a week, we have been welcomed with open arms. On my first day, I was greeted with a round of applause from the residents and a room full of people eager to learn English. Many of the residents have asked me what their name is in English and have learned simple phrases like “please,” “thank you,” and “goodbye” because they want to talk to us in our language. Volunteering at Oasis gives me yet another opportunity to practice speaking Spanish, especially since the residents can only say a few basic phrases. 


Not only do I speak Spanish with the residents, but also with my coordinator, Cati, who is an occupational therapist and is amazing at her job. All the residents love her, and she really cares about each and every one of them. I am excited to have this opportunity to volunteer with Oasis and I look forward to getting to know the residents better.