The members of GPPI Project Honduras have returned from Roatan with new insight into the island politics and educational structure. While on the island, members of the group focused on three areas: environmental protection, dental health, and water access. Through teaching in the school, meeting with various community leaders and politicians and talking to community members, the group assessed the needs of the community and worked to make meaningful improvements.
Working in the community taught us a great deal. One aspect that struck many of us was how much the members of community valued education. The community came together to save 1 lempira bills (equivalent to nickels in US funds) to pay for school construction so their kids would have a classroom in which to learn. Similarly, parents sent their kids to school every day on time, ready to learn. Later that afternoon, many parents returned to school to pick up their children, asking what they learned. The community clearly values education, something that is important for future success.
Additionally, working in La Colonia showed us the sense of community there. When we organized a community cleanup, several of the students wanted to clean up their neighborhood, not just the neighborhood where the school was located. This desire demonstrated to us that students felt connected to their individual community and took ownership of it. Despite being considered squatters by many outside, it was clear that their colonia was the students’ home. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out down the road when these children, who were born and raised here, are adults in the community.
Over the course of the next three weeks, there will be several posts to this forum describing the work done during the trip, with increased details of our work in the school and the community, as well as our plans for future trips.