Today was our last full day here. We spent most of the day in Tela, which is a city located north of El Progreso on the coast. In the morning we went to the Botanical Gardens. The trees were huge! We tried some of the native fruits, which were muy deliciosa! The garden was founded by a man named Wilson Popeneo. The garden is about 17 kilometers, and is very eco friendly and supplies 7 neighboring communities with water.
In in the afternoon we went to the beach. Even though it was raining we still jumped in the ocean and swam for a bit. The water was warm and we wanted to soak up every second of our last day here. At night we went to a restaurant called Las Tejas. We ate traditional Honduran food which of course was amazing! Many of our friends from OYE joined us. After dinner we went to the Hotel Plaza Victoria where we had a goodbye dance party. It was bittersweet.
Tomorrow we are getting breakfast and heading to the airport. This has definitely been an experience of a life time. Thank you Honduras for all the amazing memories.
Day six in Honduras has taken us to new heights! We traveled for an hour and a half in the back of a pick up truck, up a mountain in the rain through the rainforest. Unfortunately we hit some really slippery spots covered in clay and rain, and had to get out and walk some way in order to get the truck up the mountain. It was an amazing experience, and once we reached the top, we were greeting by the family of an OYE scholar. The scholar’s father took us for a hike through the forest and introduced us to his coffee farm. The farm was on the side of the mountain, shaded by huge trees included Mahagony.
We learned about the current struggle farmers are facing due to the invasive fungus that has significantly reduced the yield of coffee beans that are normally harvested. Even though these people are faced with these challenges, they still managed to provide us with a delicious meals and smiles throughout the misty day. The top of the mountain was full of fog, and while we didn’t get the typical immaculate view of the valley we still got a unique image of the mountain on a rainy and misty day.
To finish off the day, we returned to our service site to say our final goodbyes me and take some photos with the kids one last time. The mural on the building makes it look so much more kid friendly and provided the building with a sense of identity and uniqueness.
Today we worked on our services projects. Half of the group went out into another community to distribute vitamins and parasite medications, while the other half continued to work on the mural. We ate fried rice and watermelon for lunch. Eating watermelon in 90 degree weather definitely made us forget that it’s January and very snowy back home.
Today was an amazing day, filled with lots of sun, lots of paint, and delicious foods. Before the team split up, we toured a couple schools in the area near our volunteer site and experienced an environment much different from the way we learn for careers back in Oshkosh. The first school we attended provided student with trades skills, such as electrical, welding, and metal work in general.
To end the day we were lucky enough to enjoy a meal prepared by an OYE students mother. We sang and ate merrily through the night and were sent back to the hotel with high spirits and full stomachs. The alternative break group is very greatful for today!!
Hola amigos, today we went touring the city of El Progeso. Our first stop was at Rocio’s cafe and we all got our coffee fix in. La cafe es muy deliciosa! We saw a beautiful park and the government building. In the center of the park is a large clock, which symbolizes progress (El Progreso, the city of progress).
After touring the city, we listened to a presentation by a Honduran political activist named Hector. The presentation was very eye opening and included lots of information on the history of this beautiful country.
In the afternoon the group broke off into the two smaller groups for the service projects. The first group stayed at the clinic and worked on the mural outside the nutrition center. They also got to play with the kids. The second group went out into a community with the directors and some of the staff at the nutrition center to distribute the donations of tooth brushes and tooth paste, along with medicine for parasites and vitamins. It was quite apparent that there is a huge need for these items, and the experience was again very eye opening.
In the evening, a scholar from OYE and his family made an amazing Honduran meal of beans, eggs with tomatoes, and chicken all wrapped in a tortilla. After dinner, we listened to music and were taught different dances.
Today the team had a long eventful day. We had our first encounters with the nutrition center, the place where we are doing our service projects, and divided up into groups based on two separate tasks. Half of us are going out in the community and providing information and medication to the families who are in need of medical attention. This group working all day building a trifold and other information to present to the residents of El Progreso, in a colorful and positive way. The other half of our group spent a good amount of time outside, preparing the front of the nutrition center to be painted, by cleaning, sanding, and priming the wall,gate that encloses the center. Everyone is very excited to show our finished product of the mural that we will be helping to create on the front entrance of the nutrition center, but there is still a lot of work to do!
Along with our first day of service, we met a lot of animal friends, and experienced a cohabitance with dogs and cats in a way we are not used to back at home. We ended our day with a delicious meal at Claudia’s, one of the OYE scholars, and a dip in the pool back at the hotel. All in all, the day was eventful, exhausting, but positive and memorable to say the least!
After a long night and day of traveling we can say we are safe in El Progreso, Honduras. Our journey began last night at 10:30pm where the team met at Reeve Union and loaded all the luggage of donations on the bus. By 2:00am we were in Chicago’s O’Hare airport with smiles on our faces.
We left O’Hare at 5:00am and had a short layover in Houston. We arrived in San Pedro Sula at 12:00 and were welcomed by OYE Program’s coordinator Amanda, our awesome bus driver Israel, and other OYE volunteers. We checked into our hotel and had a fantastic lunch of traditional Homduran meal of chicken with an amazing mustard sauce, corn mashed potatoes, rice and a salad.
Although we were a little tired from travel, the team was eager to get to OYE and meet the staff and kids. We got a tour of the facility and did introductions with the staff. We attempted to use Spanish (which was quite funny) and in the late afternoon we headed over to the futbol (Spanish for soccer) field where some of group members played a game with the kids in OYE. The rest of the group sat on the side watching and cheering them on.
After the game we headed to the super mercado to pick up any last minute things. We ate a delicious dinner of beans, spicy sausage, eggs , cheese, wrapped in a tortilla shells, along with fried plantains.
We are looking forward to starting our service project tomorrow, but for now, these tired travelers are ready for bed. Stay tuned for more posts.
Our names are Nerissa and Olivia and we are our team’s bloggers for our week in Honduras. We, along with the rest of our team, are getting very excited to leave on our trip. We will be helping with the program OYE, Organization for Youth Empowerment in the city of El Progreso. OYE is a program that helps give school age children a good education and helps them become leaders. The mission of the program is to help students break the cycle of poverty and create a better future for their generation and their community. Our team will also be helping at a children’s nutritional clinic, and we’ve been taking donations of toothbrushes, toothpaste, children’s vitamins, shampoo, baby wash and powder, and baby wipes. So far, we’ve filled nine suitcases (each almost 50 lbs) worth of donations!
We leave for Honduras in approximately three days, so we have asked our team members to say what they are most looking forward to on the trip:
Becca: The hot weather and experiencing a completely different part of the world.
Lukki: Experiencing a new culture and learning from the OYE students.
Alaina: Learning and experiencing a new culture and a different part of the world, along with meeting new people.
Christina: Going outside of the country and learning all the fascinating parts of the different culture.
Jenna: Getting out of my comfort zone and taking in new experiences with an open mind.
Mackenzie: Experiencing a culture different from my own.
Missy: Interacting with the OYE students and staff.
Carly: Experiencing a different culture and learning from everyone involved with the trip.
Nerissa: Brushing up on my Spanish and eating Honduran foods because I LOVE rice, beans and cheese.
Olivia: Meeting the kids at OYE