HONDURAS - June, 2018
When Honduran political unrest forced the cancellation of the winter, 2018 trip, a second trip was scheduled for June, 2018.
The members of the June team consisted of Connie Frisbee Houde, Shelsea Ochoa, Judy Toner, Justo Gonzalez , and Scott Reinhart. The trip’s objectives primarily focused on gathering information and local input regarding the sewing project and how to support the schools. Also, and always an important trip objective, seeing and being seen by our Honduran partners. Everywhere we went we were told repeatedly how important it was for the inhabitants of the mountain to see our faces, walk with us, and work together to make life better on the mountain.
The June 3-10 trip was especially work intensive. Three members of the team spent the first three days hiking to individual communities/schools that make up the lower villages, while the other two members did some much needed painting at the clinic. The lower villages crew enjoyed the hospitality of Norma & Jose’s home and also attended a lower villages community meeting (w/Joel). Throughout the week, Connie and Shelsea spread the light by distributing solar lights to schools and homes. Judy’s school supplies helped to address a significant need. Actively utilizing their Spanish fluency, Shelsea and Justo not only translated for those of us who were “uno-lingual”, but immersed themselves into interfacing with our Honduran friends. A long line of mothers and their children were provided blessings courtesy of Reverend Justo. The entire team attended a community ceremony celebrating the Sewing Program’s first graduation class. The inspiration and driving force of the sewing project, Connie, spoke at the graduation. Our team, which was self-referred to as the FOTM (Fellowship of the Mountain), enjoyed our evenings actively engaged with others and ourselves in planning how to continue the great work of NY/Help Honduras.
WHAT WE LEARNED:
> The Sewing Project is making progress. Better communication (US-Honduras) would greatly improve the rate of progress. Connie’s leadership skills and passion for this project has energized all those involved. The Sewing Project has the potential to greatly improve the lives of all members of the tribe.
> After visiting many schools, meeting with teachers, it was agreed that all teachers would benefit from an in-service (lesson design, student assessment, etc.)
> Teachers expressed interest in the creation of school supply accounts at stores in Yoro
> The lower villages have many needs and are hoping that, with our help, they can begin to address those needs.
PLAN OF ACTION:
> Return to Honduras (tentatively February, 2019)
> Explore Communication Improvements
> Expand the Sewing Program to more communities
> Provide a one day in-service at a gathering of the teachers
> Explore creating school supply accounts for teachers/schools
Thank you to all of you that have provided support to NY/Help. Please know that your contributions are definitely making a difference.