Since 2007 GPPI students have been working to develop a sustainable relationship with the residents of Roatán, Honduras. The goal is to bring the expertise of policy students (including those studying education, health, economic development and environmental policy) to the problems of this impoverished island. The initial trip to Roatán in the Spring of 2008 served as an eye-opening learning experience for those of us with little exposure to the realities of international development work.
In March 2009, a second group of twelve GPPI students will travel to Roatán to help a developing community implement policies that promote sustainable growth. The students will work in La Colonia, a shantytown community of migrant workers created to meet the demand of the growing tourist industry on the West End of the island. Because of the rapid expansion, this community is experiencing a variety of detrimental environmental effects, such as mudslides, contaminated water, and overpopulation.
To help the community find solutions, students will meet with local leaders and discuss the best allocation of their resources. The group will continue their work with the local school and a volunteer-run medical clinic to help provide basic services to the population. Through the course of a five-month-long fundraising effort, we hope to partner with the village to implement solutions in water access and education, which will substantially improve the quality of life for local residents, while developing a lasting relationship with members of the community.
To get involved in Project Honduras, or to donate to our cause, please contact Igor Kheyfets at firstname.lastname@example.org.