Amigos de Jesus

Andrew (ADJ 3rd grade) has wanted to become a teacher since high school and has always held an interest in traveling and volunteering abroad. After graduating from Santa Clara University in 2015, Andrew followed another one of his interests, sustainability, by working as a grant writing assistant in the recycling industry. After a year there, he decided it was time to pursue his goals of teaching and traveling by volunteering with BECA. Andrew hopes to begin a career in education and is excited to both teach and learn from this year’s wonderful 3rd grade class. Outside of class, Andrew is looking forward to improving his Spanish and seeing a part of the world that is new to him, and he is always looking for new recipes to cook and new books to read.

Brian (ADJ 2nd grade) graduated from The King’s College in New York, NY, with a B.A. in Media, Culture & The Arts last spring. The opportunity to work with the children at Amigos de Jesus intrigues Brian immensely. Someday, he hopes to start a scholarship fund for fostered and adopted children heading to college. He’ll use his funds and cache as a recording artist and writer to gain outside support. Brian was heavily involved in extracurricular activities at The King’s College. He contributed articles to the school newspaper; plus he acted and directed in projects for the theatre and film department. He played on the school’s inaugural rugby team for three years. Over the summers, Brian would volunteer at GED programs, food packaging warehouses, and parks for New York Cares.

Laura graduated from The University of Michigan in April 2016, with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a minor in Community Action. While in college, she was involved in numerous student organizations that focused on girls’ education, poverty, public health, and social justice and volunteered at a local hospital. She hopes to return to school to pursue her masters in Public Health. She was raised in Michigan but has been lucky enough to travel around the world, both volunteering and studying abroad, and loves learning about new cultures. She is an avid adventurer and loves to hike, rock climb, skydive, meditate, read, and try new things. She is passionate about empowering others and extending compassion to everyone. She is so excited for her time with BECA and cannot wait to meet her students!

Stephanie (ADJ 4th Grade) graduated in 2013 from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois where she studied anthropology-sociology, social service, and Spanish. She has a passion for travel and the Spanish language. In college she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also held an internship with the Knox County Housing Authority where she researched the parenting practices of low-income single mothers. Through this research, she developed an interest in class reproduction, institutionalized inequalities, and social justice. After graduation, Stephanie remained at Knox as an admission counselor, promoting the College and assisting diverse families across the United States with college search and financial aid processes. In Galesburg, she volunteered to co-lead a Girl Scout troop in her free time. Stephanie is so excited to bring her knowledge and experience to BECA as a volunteer, and hopes to build relationships, have new experiences, and improve her Spanish during the 2015-2016 school year.

Sean (ADJ Administrator) graduated cum laude from the University of Rochester this past spring with a Bachelor of Science in Cell and Developmental Biology and the goal of becoming a pediatrician. During his time at the U of R, he was involved with cancer and aging research, competed with the University’s cheerleading team, and helped to establish a new chapter of Students Helping Honduras on campus. Although he held several executive board positions through the U of R chapter of SHH, it was his service trips to Honduras that solidified his passion for volunteerism and commitment to providing educational opportunities to those in resource-poor areas. On his last trip in particular, spending one week in Honduras was not enough. It left Sean with an incomplete feeling that encouraged him to make a long-term commitment to serving the Honduran community as a teacher. He is excited and grateful for the opportunity to give back to the country that has challenged him to grow personally in so many ways and has also played a large role in shaping his future goals and aspirations. Sean plans to learn as much as possible from his students, the Honduran community, and the other team members and translate his experiences over the next year into skills that will one day make him a multifaceted doctor.

Santa Monica Bilingual School

I was born in Atlantida, Honduras. I am 22 years old. I graduated from The Leadership Center, a women’s college whose mission is to train and develop generations of ethical leaders. I recently graduated with a Business Leadership Degree. I am passionate about education and women’s rights. I run an organization called Women with Purpose whose mission is to help Honduran women find a meaningful purpose for their lives in society. Because of my passion for development, I decided to work for BECA and get to know more about building strong communities, which is a huge part of Women with Purpose’s vision. I am happy to be part of BECA and look forward to growing in this amazing job. I am passionate about change and this is a huge change in my life. Thanks, BECA!!!

Hello, my name is Mirian Paz. I am 21 years old. I am from Honduras. 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 and now I teach preschool in Santa Monica. I am enjoying the kids from Santa Monica.

I was born in Anchorage, AK, but raised in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate NY. I graduated from Dickinson College in May of 2016 with majors in Psychology and Spanish and a passion for service. During my time at Dickinson I was lucky to be able to study abroad in Malaga, Spain, and to do research on unpaid domestic labor in Cuba, while at the same time immersing myself in various service organizations and serving as the captain for the varsity volleyball team. I am a lover of all things dogs (mostly my own), food (vegetarian only, sorry), and the outdoors (mountains in particular); and I’m passionate about empowering the people around me to create positive change in their lives and the world around them. I knew that following graduation I wanted to spend time speaking in a Spanish speaking country and working for an organization rooted in sustainable positive change, and I found the perfect match with BECA. I’m so honored to be a part of the BECA team this year, and I hope that in my time in Honduras I will be able to be a positive contributor at the Santa Monica Bilingual school and that I will broaden my own perspectives on aid and advocacy.

Tim’s fascination with the Spanish language and Latino culture started when he entered high school in Mason, Ohio. Over the past eight years he has had the fortunate exposure to many passion-driven teachers and professors that have furthered his appreciation for the diversity comprising the 430 million global speakers of Spanish. During his four years at the University of Cincinnati, Tim studied Spanish and Communication. Before becoming a BECA teacher, Tim mentored at-risk youth in Cincinnati, served as a conversation partner to Latino students learning English and volunteered with a Legal Immigration Services Department where he translated for undocumented individuals to help them file for various services. He started a theatre troupe and held several ridiculously low-budget productions using scripts from Spanish, Argentine and Mexican playwrights. When he isn’t studying or working, Tim is probably out dancing Swing, Blues or Tango somewhere. In early 2016, he lived in Puerto Rico while finishing his final college courses, but he was unfortunately not able to master the salsa. As he travels, learns and experiences more cultures, Tim continues to understand more profoundly the privilege of living in the US. He is both nervous and extremely psyched for the next part of his life to begin in Central America.

Eva Pokorny was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She spent her childhood enjoying the natural wonders that the state had to offer, and found her passion in dancing, literature, and art. She grew up as a dual citizen, celebrating both American and Czech cultures in her home, and she frequently traveled to the Czech Republic to spend time with her family. Eva chose to attend schools in Colorado Springs which offered the International Baccalaureate Program, a program which inspired an international mindset and fostered a worldly view throughout her education.

In 2014 Eva graduated from Tulane University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. She completed the Pre-Medical curriculum and is considering medical school in the near future. After she graduated, she spent a year with the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana as the Associate Director, and dedicated herself to improving the quality of life of brain and spinal cord injury survivors in the state of Louisiana.

Eva has a passion for travel, service, science, and education, which inspired her to apply for BECA. In the long term, Eva hopes to work closely with Doctors without Borders and travel around the world providing medical care. Eva is so excited for this year with BECA in Honduras, and hopes that this year will help her grow as a global citizen.

Joe Hill (SMBS Admin) After two years of teaching at Santa Monica, Joe has returned for another year to serve as the school administrator. Prior to his time with BECA, Joe served in the U.S. Coast Guard, which gave him the opportunity to patrol areas in the Caribbean Sea and near the Central American coast, serving as a Spanish interpreter on certain missions. He has also traveled to Honduras multiple times with Students Helping Honduras to perform volunteer construction work on schools and other community projects in the Progreso area. After two challenging and rewarding years of classroom teaching, Joe is excited for the chance to continue to serve both BECA and Santa Monica in a different role, and to provide this year’s teachers with all the support they need to give their students an outstanding bilingual education.
Joe is a New Jersey native and when he is not at school, he enjoys distance running, music and visiting various places of this beautiful country.

San Jeronimo Bilingual School

Sondra was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a degree in Spanish. Her first exposure to Latin American culture was during high school when she spent a summer leading kids sports camps in Costa Rica. During undergrad, she also spent time interning and studying in Peru and Spain. Prior to moving to Honduras, she worked as a case manager for disadvantaged high school students, many of whom were first and second generation Latin-American immigrants. She is currently working toward her Master’s degree in International Community Development at Northwest University and is excited to see how her studies will intersect with her real-world experience as a teacher in Honduras this year!

I was born and raised in Georgia, Vermont but moved to north Alabama during middle school and have lived there since. I graduated in May 2016 with a degree in Elementary Education and Nutrition from the University of Montevallo, a tiny college outside of Birmingham, Alabama. I have a sweet puppy named Rylee who is my best friend and we love to go on adventures together. I first visited Honduras in July 2014 and have been back a few times. I absolutely fell in love with the beauty of the country. I absolutely cannot wait to combine the two things my heart loves, teaching and Honduras. This will be an adventure I will cherish forever and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead!

Christian graduated with a major Business Administration with two minors in Finance and Theology. Shortly after graduation he started working in the health care/Insurance industry that led him to work from Pharmacies to Medical Billing. Soon Chris developed a passion for travel and Latin American culture. This new passion took him to a backpacking trip throughout Central America, Mexico and South America, not only to discover his heritage but also to understand the region. Chris did not limit his experience to Latin America but also volunteered in Rome, Italy in a free health care clinic for immigrants. Chris is not only focused on culture but also in nature and environment; he volunteered on a Ecological Hotel in Barcelona, Spain where he led the hotel's environmental projects on recycling, and a efficient use of resources.

Chris also has more than 5 years of experience on the BPO/Contact Centers industry. As a customer service expert, Chris belonged to the Quality Assurance team where his skills on opportunities identification, feedback, coaching and data mining sharpened up. Chris is very passionate on the development of the Central American region, environment conservation and education and this took him to share his experience with BECA where he knows he can make a difference in the development of the region.

Bethany graduated with high distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2013 with a degree in elementary education and special education. During college she was a member of several academic and volunteer organizations, in which she grew as a student, a leader, and an educator. She spent the last two years surrounded by spunky and innovative 10 year olds teaching 4th grade at a low-income school. Her interest in Honduras started the summer after college when she took a trip through The Children’s Home Project to spend time with youth living in children’s homes. That is when she met the child that would bring her back to Honduras time after time. She is excited to broaden her knowledge of Honduran culture, the Spanish language, and bilingual education while utilizing and adapting her teaching skills!

Carly (SJBS Middle School English) was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania in May 2015 with a major in Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies and minors in Spanish and Religion. During her junior year in college Carly studied and lived in São Paulo, Brazil and Mendoza, Argentina—a year she won’t soon forget—but her heart lies in Honduras. Carly’s first trip to Honduras was in November of 2009 and since that first trip she has been fortunate to return many times. So, it’s fair to say that the opportunity to live and work in Honduras with BECA is a dream come true. She looks forward to the exciting challenges she will face as a first year teacher, finally being able to call Honduras her home and the ability to eat pupusas and baleadas everyday!

Coming from central Illinois, Savannah Mitchell is a full-time student of life and of Doane College in Nebraska. She’s studying English with Art and Spanish minors. Most of her time is spent on the tennis courts at Doane or with her nose in a book and/or a pen in her hand. Being a lover of language and people, Savannah aspires to spend her post-college days teaching in other countries and writing about her adventures. She is very much looking forward to what awaits her and her fellow teachers in Honduras!