Today Mr. Ben, the (formerly) second grade teacher at ADJ left. After arriving in Cofradia last night, he caught an early flight from San Pedro and is probably at home in the States by now. He was the first teacher to leave and with him starts the great exodus of BECA teachers from Honduras. It was the first goodbye of many to come.
These last two weeks have flown by, at first packed with end-of-the-year activities like prom at SJBS, SMBS’s Prepa graduation, many goodbye dinners with families, and then later with cleaning out our classrooms (how did so much junk accumulate?) and working on projects within the school. SJBS’s library and bodegas are undergoing a huge overall, and several of the classrooms switched locations. Walking through the hallways at SJBS, you can hear music coming from each classroom, from reggaeton to Regina Spektor, as we try to motivate ourselves to finish.
With time running out fast, it’s difficult to stop for a minute and reflect on the year. The classroom I first saw in July when I knew nothing about being a teacher or working in Honduras seems completely different now. Now I understand what a word wall is, which centers my kids can play with without making a mess, and where to keep the permanent markers and stickers away from sticky fingers. I’m seeing it with new eyes, eyes that have seen many tears (my own and my students’), plenty of gigantic messes, lots of smiles, and some real learning take place in that room. My classroom is where I saw one of my students, who I thought I wasn’t reaching, grab a marker and say, “Yellow,” while my heart soared because he had learned something. It’s also the place where I laid on the floor, exhausted after making so many posters my hands were glued together, not caring about getting dirty. In my classroom, I gulped down my lunches so I could have time to print that extra worksheet, where I arrived every morning at what felt like the crack of dawn with a lesson plan and lots of coffee, and where I got to know each of my tiny students. Packing it up now feels very nostalgic and brings back memories of setting it up in August before I had even met any of my students or their families and barely knew my BECA coworkers. A lot of time has passed and it’s been filled with change.
Mr. Ben’s departure brings more change. Some of us our leaving for good, some of us our staying. Some of us will stay in touch, visit Honduras again, keep teaching, while others go off in to the world to do other amazing things. For those of us who are staying (which includes me), the change feels ambiguous. Teaching a second year will surely be easier than the first, with all the many lessons I’ve learned about my kids and myself, but who will our new team be? How will our students have changed? Will they remember any English? Whether it’s good or it’s bad, the change is upon us.
And so here’s one small blog post to say what an amazing year it was. From sweating from the moment I arrived in San Pedro Sula to dance parties at students’ houses to all the vent sessions when life in Honduras seemed too hard to all the great hugs each morning when we walked into school, being a part of the BECA team this year was a blast. Here’s to the year that it was, and the year that’s coming up next!

Author profile
BECA Alumni

After a year full of singing the ABC song daily, bathing in glitter and glue, and dancing embarrassingly in front of her students, Raven is excited to return to San Jeronimo. She will teaching Prepa, following her class from Kinder, and has great hopes that there will be far fewer tears on the first day this time around. Before coming to Honduras, Raven studied Creative Writing and Spanish at Missouri State University, where she also had the opportunity to study away in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has plans to attend graduate school for Latin America Studies after her time in Honduras and continue learning about the people and culture of the area. In the meantime, she hopes to help her students transition into the full school day, begin to read, and learn to say her name correctly. She's especially looking forward to spending time with her twenty-five small friends and their families come August.