Honduras Trip Report – September 2017
It’s hard to fathom the change that has taken place over the past six years in El Rosario – not only in the school we built, but in the community it serves. At present we have 110 students, 18 of whom will graduate from our first class this November. The teaching is generally excellent; we’re buoyed by the addition of two new teachers who have impacted the teaching as well as extracurricular activities.
Highlights of this trip were:
- A convocation of five people – a nurse, a lawyer, a carpenter, a teacher, and a public official – talked to our high school seniors about how to prepare to leave a small and impoverished village for the outside world. The library was packed with parents and younger students.
- A marching band had developed just in time to march through the surrounding roads on Honduran National Day. This would have been simply inconceivable even a year ago. With this demonstrated need, TCI has promised to buy the instruments – drums, wash boards, xylophones, and triangles – so that rental will no longer be necessary. The music was very exciting to hear and witness.
- ICM hosted a five school “culture day” with dancing, singing, food, and general merriment. Again, six years ago there was little joy in the village, little optimism; little to look forward to. The quality of life has taken a demonstrable step forward.
On a down note, the poorest satellite villages – El Chaquite and Guatamales – again petitioned us for food, saying “there are no fires” in these villages because there is nothing to cook. We compromised by promising to feed the 35 students in the El Rosario school from these villages both breakfast and lunch. We believe that this initiative, beyond the obvious of feeding the hungry, will slow attrition from these villages, and encourage even more students to attend school. Hopefully rains will come this fall, and with it an adequate corn and bean crop.
Perhaps our biggest challenge going forward is to assist our graduating seniors as they contemplate further schooling or apprenticeships. This will be an important discussion for TCI’s Board of Directors this fall, but a discussion born of real success in graduating such a high rate of our students.
Other initiatives included the distribution of fifty solar lights to homes without electricity, the distribution of used soccer cleats to the El Rosario teams, the distribution of sneakers to kids with long commutes, and a commitment to repair three street lights near the school.
I will return to Honduras with other Board members in late November for multiple graduation ceremonies, the coffee harvest, the final planting of the mahogany forest, the recruitment of kids for next year’s class, and a wider scope of travel as we hope to attract more students from Ocatal, Tequan, La Renata and other villages beyond our immediate sphere of influence.
– Charlie Miller