With a rainy start to the day, we headed up to Tela with some OYE friends where we took a boat to Punta Sal. We started with a short hike when we got to the park. While on the hike, we got to see some monkeys, various types of crabs, and birds. Then, we made our way to the beautiful beach. We had the whole beach to ourselves! Most of our time was spent in the water, talking with one another and snorkeling. The reef along Punta Sal is called the Belize Barrier Reef, and is the second largest in the world! We also enjoyed a yummy lunch before getting back in the water. The sun was finally out and our red skin proves it! We were sad to leave the beautiful, sunny beach, but it was time to head home to get ready for our last dinner, which was formal and included lots of dancing! We will miss our friends at OYE and we are sad to have to leave in the morning.
Most of today was spent finishing up the two murals we have been working on at Copprome with the OYE scholars. We spent more time playing with the kids and we were able to enjoy lunch with everyone. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to all of the Copprome kids and some of the OYE scholars.
Dinner was hosted by Rocio, who is the executive director of OYE and she also co-owns Q’ Rico Cafe. We enjoyed checking out all of the animals that Rocio’s family have in their back yard. Some of the animals were baby ducks, geese, turtles, toucans, dogs, and cats. We all loved Lola, the cockatoo, because she could say hello and mimmick other noises such as laughter. Dinner was also a celebration of Rocio’s father’s birthday.
Tomorrow, we go on our excursion to Punta Sal. Punta Sal is a national park right off the coast of Honduras. We are very excited to see the beach and do some more hiking. Tomorrow is also our last full day in Honduras. We are going to soak up the sun and make the best out of the day before heading back home.
We started the day off by stopping by OYE to see the organization in action. All of the scholars are required to attend on Saturdays so the building was very busy and filled with youth. We then went and did some souvenir shopping before heading to our next location of the day.
We visited a radio station that broadcasts to most of Honduras. Radio Progreso gives voices to the voiceless. They are funded by donations, but are careful to accept money from people that might want to censor/control what they broadcast. They also don’t receive government aid for the same reason. Radio Progreso even produces print magazines with many pictures and drawings to help information to reach those with lower reading levels.
After another delicious lunch at Q’Rico, we headed out to Copprome to continue our work on the two murals we are helping to paint. With it being Saturday, more children were able to come play with us since they did not have school or homework. We brought lots of games to play with the kiddos, which they enjoyed very much!
This was our last night having dinner at an OYE scholar’s home. We ate chicken nachos and then played numerous games with the family that hosted us. We are so thankful for the people we have met and the families that have opened their homes to us.
Our first activity of the day was spent at Fe y Algeria, where we listened to a presentation about Honduran history and the recent political turmoil. Hector, our presenter, opened our eyes to some recent events and how the US has been involved. Hearing this information from his perspective was intriguing. After the presentation, we went on a tour of the high school. The classrooms are outside and are workshop based because the high schoolers receive vocational training rather than a general education like we have in the US.
After touring the school, we traveled to a children’s nutrition center to play with the kids as well as learn about the center. The purpose of the center is to rehabilitate malnourished children to a healthier well being. The center also works within the community to prevent malnourishment. The director, Alicia, gave us a tour around the center. It was difficult to see the challenges the children faced in their physical and cognitive development, but we are thankful that this organization is there to help. Some of the kids have been there for a few years, and our returning travel companions can speak to how far they have come since the last year or two.
Lunch was eaten at OYE with some of the scholars and then we headed off to an afternoon at Copprome. We jumped back in with painting the mural from the other day. Some of us added more detail to that mural while others began a new one (Let’s just say, with this heat and humidity, it takes quite a while for paint to dry!).
Today marks our halfway point on this trip and at the end of the day we received the surprise letters sent to us by our loved ones back home. This was so uplifting and is giving us the spirit and energy to push through this next week (especially with this heat!). Thank you to everyone that sent letters to us. They mean the world to us.
Today, we started off with a breakfast buffet in the hotel and ate foods such as bananas, cereal, and/or peanut butter on bread. After we ate breakfast, we headed up to William’s house, which is up in the mountains. The drive was about 35 minutes uphill. Once we got to the top, the view was beautiful! We then went on a hike to see and learn about the coffee plants that William’s family has on their land. There were so many of them! The hike down challenged our balance and the hike up surely challenged our endurance. When we finished the hike back up to the house, we were very hot and needed a break to cool off. We then ate lunch which included kabobs with tomato, onion, and the choice of chicken or steak as well as pico de gallo. Lunch was filling and delicious! We then headed back down the mountains to flat land. When we got back to the hotel, we had some free time to relax. For dinner, we went to Angel’s house. Angel taught us how to make Baleadas (mentioned earlier in the blog). We then ate the Baleadas and had some fun getting to know the others that joined us at Angel’s home. We played some fun ice breaker games after dinner. One of the games was quite a difficult tongue twister, but we had so much fun playing. Today was tiring but well worth it for some new experiences! We are very excited to experience more of Honduras tomorrow!
Today started with a delicious breakfast at Q’Rico. We feasted on bale baleadas, which are a staple in Honduras. We then ventured to OYE, where we participated in ice breaker activities with some OYE scholars. They got to practice their English while we practiced our Spanish! We learned cool things about OYE as we toured the building and we learned even more as we took a walking tour of the city. After a filling lunch at OYE, we headed out to COPPROME, which is a children’s home. Some of us helped to paint a mural while the rest played fun games with the kiddos. We tried coconut and drank water from coconuts too! We finished off the day with a dinner at the home of one of OYE’s scholars. Dinner was fried plantains, chicken, and beans, which was delicious! Once again, sleep will come easy tonight.
Our trip started at 1:00AM with a bus ride to Chicago. We boarded a 7:00AM flight to Miami before heading to Honduras at 1:00. After a long day of travel, we arrived safely in Honduras with no major hiccups along the way (no luggage or travel companions were lost). Our friends from OYE picked us up at the airport and took us to a cafe called Q’Rico for a delicious and much needed lunch. We feasted on chicken, rice, fries, and salad with bagged water to wash it all down. With empty plates and full bellies, we headed to our hotel to settle in and review our plans for the week. After grabbing groceries from a local grocery store, we lounged around the hotel to refuel for a busy and fun filled week. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!
Hello everyone! In less than 24 hours we will be leaving Oshkosh to catch our early morning flight out of O’Hare Airport! In preparation for this trip, we met as a group a week ago to discuss trip details, participate in team building exercises, and pack donation suitcases! Anticipation and excitement continue to build as everyone finishes their last minute packing! Please continue to follow this page for daily blog updates from Sam and Nicole!