“The most dangerous country in the Western Hemisphere” is what comes across most people’s minds when hearing Honduras, even mine the first time I went. However, after spending so much time in Honduras, I see a country of hope. I see a country of hardworking, motivated individuals. Most importantly, I see a country and a community with a future; a brighter future for generations to come with doctors, lawyers, politicians and educators. SJBS and SMBS strive to create this environment for those dreams to come true.
This past summer, myself and six other international volunteers had the amazing opportunity to be Camp Counselors for these school’s combined three-week summer program.
The camp song was sung with such high energy as camp began each morning:
We’re gonna run, we’re gonna fly, we’re gonna travel the world with a smile.
Now touch your toes, and strike a pose for;
What’s that spell?! CAMP!!
This year at summer camp we traveled to different countries during the Amazing Race of Summer Camp, completing challenges to accumulate points. Campers created class dances, learned about new countries and participated in a wide variety of activities while traveling around the world.
Having been to Honduras for other volunteer experiences in the past, this one impacted me in a way I did not realize was possible. I grew an even deeper appreciation of how Hondurans are the most welcoming, hospitable and gracious people I have ever met. Our students, their families, and BECA all expressed this through every single interaction, whether it be in the classroom, on a home-visit or a casual afternoon conversation in town. The students are so eager to learn, help and grow in any way possible: Amy always wanted to help clean the classroom during part of her recess after a fun art project, and Billy always made sure his classmates understood every activity completely. The parents were also eager to be involved; Rosita, Walda and many other families invited us over and made us feel like a part of the community.
The whole entire experience was incredible, and all came into picture on the last day of camp - the hardest day of camp - when tears filled the auditorium by our students. However, what was even more difficult for me was after they went home that day. I myself was filled with tears, happiness, sadness… any emotion possible. It was then I fully realized how much of an impact Honduras, our students, SJBS, SMBS, and BECA have all had on me.
BECA works tirelessly to provide the best education for our students; however, in turn the life changing experience it gives to us volunteers is very difficult to put into words on a screen. Anyone who wants to experience something bigger than themselves and work alongside the greatest group of individuals should consider working with BECA, because for me… these past three weeks were only the start of something bigger for not only myself, but Honduras in the future.