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Final Dia Con OYE

10 Mar

OYE student panel

Learning a dance in gym class

In the morning we visited Notre Dame, the private high school in Progreso. Notre Dame is also the best high school in all of Progreso. When students receive scholarship from OYE to attend the school, OYE pays half the scholarship and the school pays the other half. We had a chance to talk to some of the OYE students who attend Notre Dame. Then we watched a gym class learn a dance, which we ended up jumping in on and learning with them. It was so much fun!

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Back to Juan Ramon Morales!

9 Mar

Panel discussion with La Perla teachers

This morning we toured La Perla, the European Union school in Progreso. This time we were able to go inside the classrooms and speak to the teachers. A few of them spoke to us when we first arrived at the school. When we toured the school we had a chance to check out the computers the students get to use. It was great that they have access to resources like that! The point one of my participants made though was that they have no internet access, meaning they can’t learn how to research or access databases. The primary skills they learn on the computers are technical ones – how to use Word, Excel, etc.

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Si Se Puede!

8 Mar

Students marching against the de-centralization bill


Gathering in the center of Progreso

We weren’t able to tour any schools this morning. All the public schools are closed due to a teacher’s strike. This ended up working out well for us because all the public school students were protesting in the middle of Progreso and we were able to see the protest. It was such an incredible experience. We stood on the corner and yelled “Si se puede!” (yes we can) at the students. They fed off our energy too. Whenever we got excited and yelled something they would chant and yell more. In the US students skip school, skip class and take their education for granted. Here students have no class and they are fighting for their right to have an education. The government in Honduras wants to privatize education for grades 9 through 12. If they do this, the majority of people in Honduras won’t be able to afford a high school education. We stood in the center of Progreso for a while to watch the protest. We were able to talk to the students and ask them questions about the protest. It was also quite scary at moments – military guards with huge guns stood at various points throughout the square. Needless to say, we didn’t stay there for too long.

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Yoga on Top of Myan Ruins, No Big Deal

7 Mar

I’m so happy to be back in Honduras. The moment we stepped off the plane into the warm Honduran sun I knew it had all been worth it. All the planning and preparation we had done was worth it just to be back here. In the airport we were greeted by Leo, Luis and Javi! I was so excited to see them again! We also met Michael, OYE’s volunteer coordinator who we had been corresponding with to plan the trip. With him was Ana Luisa Ahern, one of OYE’s founders and two interns who were working on a project in a local community. We immediately loaded up the cars and drove to Copan, which took all day.

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Adios, Honduras

28 May

Tela in the early morning

So pretty

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Vamos a la Playa

27 May

This morning we spent a few hours planning out our Alt Break trip proposal for March. I can’t wait to come back! We’re going to organize so many amazing panels and speakers. Best of all, we’ll be able to travel to Copan, the old Mayan ruins in the west of Honduras. I am so excited to see that!! I really hope our trip gets approved because I can’t wait to return. I’m so ready to get home and write out everything! After planning we headed over to the OYE offices to continue our discussion with Luis. Mostly we talked about the Golpe that occurred last year. Luis and Kat showed us the magazine OYE printed during the coup. They tried to be really objective about it, using only a timeline of facts and pictures from both sides of the protest, but people were still offended by the magazine. Kat said she even lost a few good friends because of it. One of the positive things to come from the coup was that it inspired people to fight for something, and it pointed out many of the problems in Honduras. Luis told us how the military tried to take away a radio announcer in Progreso and the whole town stood out in the streets to stop them. Finally the military threw him out of the car just so they could leave. It’s inspiring to see people come together like that during a time of so much uncertainty and so many atrocities.

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Service Project, Complete!

26 May

Group shot in front of the mural

Today we finished painting the mural. On the way there Kat’s car broke down and we had to finish the mural without her while she waited for a mechanic. The mechanic thinks someone took the bolts from the bottom of the car – the ones that connected the axle to the wheels.

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Painting, painting and more painting

25 May

Students watching us paint

Making progress on our mural

We spent the whole day today painting the mural at the school, and it’s almost finished! The kids are still really excited about it, and came out to watch us on their breaks from class. We could tell they were excited when we first arrived. As soon as our car pulled in they all ran out to bring our supplies out of the classroom (we stored everything in the classroom so we wouldn’t have to lug it back and forth). We painted the faces and colors onto the mural. We also painted “Juan Ramon Morales” on the front of the building. We touched up the trim on the front so it all looked nice. Some of the kids asked us if we would be painting the whole school, and I wish I could have said yes. I wish we could stick around for long enough to paint the other buildings. We ate lunch at Leo’s friend’s house nearby. Just like the other Honduran families who cooked for us, they were very nice and welcoming. They offered to have us over simply because they knew we were painting the nearby school.

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Starting our service project

24 May

Today we went up to the school in the mountains and started painting the mural. We painted the whole side of the school building in a teal color, and all the kids were really excited that we were there. They all came out to watch us paint when they had a break from class. Some of them also came out during their class to watch us. They wandered around outside during class, and watched us through the window instead of doing their work. I was surprised by how little control the teacher had over the class, but when it’s so overcrowded it must be next to impossible.

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Exploring Los Campos

23 May

Palm trees

This morning we were invited to eat lunch with an OYE student (Iris) and her family. We had to take a public bus to get there because she lives out in the countryside. The buses, public buses, in Honduras are all old yellow school buses. The drive out was beautiful! The roads were lined with palm trees and palm tree plantations. The long drive was surprising because Iris has to take the bus into Progreso every day for school and OYE. There are no middle or high schools out in the area where she lives. The houses were very open. The floors were made of cement and the roof was made of tin but the walls were made of boards with large gaps in between. Their property was surrounded by a short wooden fence, very different from all the walls, gates and security in Progreso.

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