2018-2019 Volunteer Team

Meet our 2018-2019 Volunteer Team!

Where are they from?
This school year BECA welcomes our most diverse team ever. For the first time ever the majority of our volunteers are from the Honduras (10)! We also have volunteers from the United States (7), Dominican Republic (1), France (1) and Venezuela (1)!

Amigos de Jesus

After spending a summer serving black and latino youth in the South Bronx at a free summer day camp, Bria had obtained a new perspective of service, one that looked at the strengths of individuals and shined a light on the assets of a community. While attending the engineering school of New York University, she constantly found herself seeking ways to compliment her education with diverse experiences as a mentor, senatorial intern, big sister, tutor, and orientation leader, and along the way developed a genuine love for simply walking alongside others.

Since graduating in 2016 with a degree in Science and Technology Studies, Bria has facilitated life skills classes for young girls at a local library, sought out financial partners for the creation of a new summer camp in the low-income communities of Boston, Massachusetts, assisted with youth programming at her church, and planned cultural initiatives within her most recent role as a high school advocate counselor. When she is not doing those things, you can find her reflecting, writing music, watching the newest superhero movie, or spending quality time with friends and family.

These past years have been nothing short of a beautiful journey, but she knows it is just a glimpse of what life could look like when you find your ‘spark’. Now that she will be teaching in Honduras for a year, she is excited to finally feed her curiosity of Latin American culture and create moments full of living, loving, laughing, and learning.

Pierina is a former teacher in Dominican Republic, the country where she was born and raised. She graduated from UNIBE last summer and received an Early Childhood Education degree. One year after she entered college she started working in a Reggio-inspired school. There she has learned to offer children meaningful experiences through play, respecting their nature and stage of development. She sees both education and children as powerful paths to change society. She is passionate about helping others, especially those who haven’t had the best opportunities in life. In her free time she likes to share with her friends and family, bake, and look up decor ideas. She’s eager about this new chapter in her personal and professional life and is looking forward to take the most out of it.

Ana was born and raised in Venezuela. She studied Modern Languages in the Universidad de Los Andes in Merida, Venezuela; and focused on International Organizations. Ana found a deep love for everything related to the cause of fighting for, and advocating for, Human Rights, specially Women’s Rights; as well as animal rights. She loves reading and music. She spent one semester teaching English to kids from public schools in Chile. She is looking forward to be part of the BECA team for the 2018 - 2019 school year, and she’s ready for the adventures and new experiences waiting ahead!

Eric graduated from University of Delaware with a BS in Biochemistry in 2011. During this time, he visited Honduras for the first time as a volunteer with Global Water Brigades. Afterwards, he sold analytical instrumentation and consumables for Agilent Technologies to biotech and biopharma companies in the Boston area. Eric will be teaching math, English, and science at the Amigos de Jesus location for the 2018-2019 school year. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, hiking, brewing, trying new foods, climbing, and learning salsa and bachata. He´s excited to practice Spanish, learn to cook new foods, and experience Honduran culture.

In May 2017 Rachel graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC with a degree in Early Childhood Education. During her time in DC, she fell in love with ultimate Frisbee, service, and her Catholic faith. Shortly after graduation, she jumped on a plane to Honduras to do a year of service with Amigos de Jesús!

While volunteering with Amigos, Rachel taught various levels of EducaTodos (a Honduran mandated educational program where struggling students are pulled out and put into a classroom that is more focused on a slow pace and individualized attention), worked as the librarian, and helped with social media and photography. Throughout this last year, Rachel has fallen in love with Honduras, its culture, and the children at Amigos de Jesus. She is excited to be staying at Amigos for another year, but this time around as a BECA volunteer!

In her spare time, Rachel enjoys a variety of activities. She will never back down from a chance at a friendly competition whether it have to do with sports, games, or anything you can imagine! She enjoys exercise of any kind, being outdoors, doing puzzles, travelling, singing, dancing, doing crafts, and anything that could be considered an adventure!

Amelia is a recent graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Educational Psychology and a double minor in General Psychology and International Studies. She has volunteered at Amigos de Jesus (ADJ) before through their short-term volunteer program and is ecstatic about being back for a second year at ADJ working in BECA’s school. She loves to travel and learn about languages, cultures, and foods different than her own. She is passionate about the welfare and education of all children as well as equality and social justice throughout the world. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, being outside with her two sweet rescue doggos, planning events, and relaxing with her friends. She hopes to continue her studies in Educational Psychology and International Studies by attending graduate school and interning with organizations that focus on the safety, education, and holistic well-being of children in conflict environments.

Hello, my name is Mirian Paz. I am 21 years old. I am from Honduras, and I have a degree in business leadership. I am very passionate about education and that is the reason why I decided to volunteer at BECA for the second year but this time at Amigos de Jesus Bilingual School.

Santa Monica Bilingual School

Melkin is from Colón, Honduras and she is teaching in SMBS this year. She is passionate about education and she wants to improve the level of education of the children of her community. She hopes to learn a lot this year from her students and from the community of Vida Nueva.

Riccy was born and raised in Tocoa, Colon, Honduras. She graduated from school in 2009. After that she attended high school in Tocoa as well. In 2016 she moved to La Villa de San Antonio, Comayagua Honduras to study a "Bilingual Degree in Leadership and Community Development" at The Leadership Center, where she graduated in the Spring of 2018. After getting the opportunity to learn English at The Leadership Center, Riccy is excited to teach it, and learn new strategies to help other people.

Susan was born in San Pedro Sula. She has lived in Cofradia for 18 years. She studied at San Jeronimo Bilingual School from Prepa to 9th Grade. When She graduated from SJBS she entered to Cofradia's Bilingual School (CBS) for 10th & 11th Grade. Now she is preparing to study at the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Francisco Morazan (the National Pedagogical University). She is so excited to work with First grade this year at SMBS!

Carina is an enthusiast that considers herself to be both from Chihuahua, Mexico and Colorado, USA. She was born in Colorado, but has spent most of her life in Mexico. She’s lived in the USA for the last 8 years where she graduated from Colorado State University with a dual degree in General Psychology and Communication Studies. During her undergraduate career she became passionate about different cultures, traveling, and social justice. She is very excited about teaching 2nd graders at Santa Monica since it combines all of those three passions. In her free time, Carina loves to dance, practice yoga, and read in addition to building meaningful relationships.

Oscar Fajardo was born in Honduras and raised in Cofradia, Cortes. He is 22 years old. He is graduate from SJBS and then studied at the Pedagogic University Francisco Morazán, in San Pedro Sula. He is currently a Masters student and volunteering with BECA as the Middle School English Language Arts teacher.

San Jeronimo Bilingual School

Cassandra Benavides was born in San Jose, California but raised in Meridian, Idaho. She graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia with a double major in Psychology and Spanish. During college she was able to study abroad in Madrid, Spain and on multiple occasions visited family in Mexico to practice Spanish. While in school she volunteered with the sisters of Saint Joseph’s teaching beginning English classes and has volunteered at bilingual schools in the area. She also worked at the Kinney Center for Autism Support and Education for several years where she developed a passion for working with the special needs community. Cassandra has a passion for traveling, music and education and she can’t wait to start teaching with BECA and contribute to this great program.

Marcy Cruz was born and raised in the beautiful town of Cofradia, Honduras. As a kid she studied at San Jeronimo Bilingual School and eventually graduated in 2011. After SJBS she went to another School in Cofradia where she graduated from high school. Now she is motivated on coming back to SJBS as a teacher! She is very exited that she will get to experience the "behind the scenes" now that she will be a teacher at the same school where she studied. She is more than grateful to SJBS for teaching her and making her who she is today. She thanks BECA for all the things they did for her and now she is exited to give back a little bit of what she was given.

Nicolle was born and raised in Cofradía Honduras. She graduated from Cofradia’s Bilingual School (CBS) in 2008. After CBS, she attended and graduated high school in Cofradía.
Nowadays she is studying both Psychology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras Valle de Sula (UNAHVS) and she is getting a certificate in Early Childhood Education at Francisco Morazan National Pedagogical University. Nicolle is excited to be working with BECA to improve education in Cofradía. It’s her first year teaching and she’s the happiest working with pre-K.

Irma was born and raised in the beautiful town of Cofradia, Honduras. As a kid she studied at San Jeronimo Bilingual School and eventually graduated in 2014. After SJBS she attended and graduated from high school in San Pedro Sula and is now studying to get a certificate in Early Childhood Education at the Francisco Morazán National Pedagogical University. She is very thankful to SJBS for teaching her about values (RESPECT) , different cultures, and, of course, English. She claims that those were the best 10 years of her life and can't wait to return to SJBS as a the kindergarten teacher.

Andres was born and raised in Cofradía, Honduras. He graduated from San Jeronimo Bilingual School (SJBS) in 2012 and went on to attend high school and university, earning a degree in Education from the Francisco Morazan National Pedagogical University, before returning to BECA as a full-time classroom teacher. When Andres was a student at SJBS he was really inspired by the volunteer teachers and always wanted to be like them. It was a dream of his to teach with BECA. Now it’s great for him to be a part of this team because he can experience BECA from a different point of view and have the opportunity to meet great people from diverse backgrounds. Andres is a proud SJBS graduate. He considers SJBS “one of the best schools in Cofradía because they didn’t just teach me English, they taught me about me about another culture and new things that I wouldn’t have learned in another school.” According to Andres, Honduras is a great adventure full of wonderful people and beautiful places with so much to give to people that haven’t yet visited. He wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else since there’s no place like Honduras.