Hola fellow blog followers, it’s Allysa here! I can’t believe we just finished up day four of our incredible trip in El Progreso! I have learned so much so far from this experience, and it is definitely making me think twice of how privileged I have been in the United States. The children of the public school of whom we are painting the mural for are the ones that have impacted me the most. The first day that we toured the school was a major eye opener. Although the school may not be in the best shape, the teachers really focus on providing the children with a high quality education. I was not expecting the students to know some English! It’s definitely a lot of fun learning more Spanish from students as well as helping them learn more English. The group and I were also very surprised that the next day the students still remembered our names!
So many times throughout my life and being at UW Oshkosh I find myself guilty of complaining about homework or wishing summer would come by faster. Seeing these students and listening to the education panel really brought to my awareness of how selfish that sounds. Primary education is hard to come by here in Honduras, and it is also an extreme rarity that students will ever get to the university level of education. Throughout our time here, it is easy to see how much appreciation youth put into their school. They work hard in the classroom, as well as cleaning up the school on their own since there isn’t a custodial staff.
While taking a break from painting the empowering mural for the children, Christina and I had a chat about the behind the scenes issues regarding youth in Honduras. Christina is an OYE intern here from a Virginia university for Social Work. I connect with her very well in having the same major and discussing social injustices in this country. She mentioned how young children have to work to provide financial support for their families instead of going to school. Some children may be given a basket of food and would not be able to come home to sleep until they sold everything. The average family household makes about $3,000 in U.S. dollars per year. In many cases, children need to stop going to school in order to help support their family.
Painting the mural I believe will help inspire youth to stay dedicated to receiving an education and making a difference in their own country. Even people who do not go to that school and pass by it on the street on a daily basis may be inspired by the mural. I like to think we are being true role models for the children and helping them develop and reach their own goals throughout their life! One of OYE’s quotes is “Mi Voz Es Poder” which means “My Voice Is Power”. We all need to continually keep this in our minds and hearts by realizing even one person can make a difference.