First Day On Project Site!

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Hola Amigos,

Today the team had a long eventful day. We had our first encounters with the nutrition center, the place where we are doing our service projects, and divided up into groups based on two separate tasks. Half of us are going out in the community and providing information and medication to the families who are in need of medical attention. This group working all day buildingimage a trifold and other information to present to the residents of El Progreso, in a colorful and positive way. The other half of our group spent a good amount of time outside, preparing the front of the nutrition center to be painted, by cleaniimageng, sanding, and priming the wall,gate that encloses the center. Everyone is very excited to show our finished product of the mural that we will be helping to create on the front entrance of the nutrition center, but there is still a lot of work to do!image

Along with our first day of service, we met a lot of animal friends, and experienced a cohabitance with dogs and cats in a way we are not used to back at home. We ended our day with a delicious meal at Claudia’s, one of the OYE scholars, and a dip in the pool back at the hotel. All in all, the day was eventful, exhausting, but positive and memorable to say the least!

Honduras Photos 2016 Day 1

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Honduras Day One: we made it!

After a long night and day of traveling we can say we are safe in El Progreso, Honduras. Our journey began last night at 10:30pm where the team met at Reeve Union and loaded all the luggage of donations on the bus. By 2:00am we were in Chicago’s O’Hare airport with smiles on our faces.

We left O’Hare at 5:00am and had a short layover in Houston. We arrived in San Pedro Sula at 12:00 and were welcomed by OYE Program’s coordinator Amanda, our awesome bus driver Israel, and other OYE volunteers. We checked into our hotel and had a fantastic lunch of traditional Homduran meal of chicken with an amazing mustard sauce, corn mashed potatoes, rice and a salad.

Although we were a little tired from travel, the team was eager to get to OYE and meet the staff and kids. We got a tour of the facility and did introductions with the staff. We attempted to use Spanish (which was quite funny) and in the late afternoon we headed over to the futbol (Spanish for soccer) field where some of group members played a game with the kids in OYE. The rest of the group sat on the side watching and cheering them on.

After the game we headed to the super mercado to pick up any last minute things. We ate a delicious dinner of beans, spicy sausage, eggs , cheese, wrapped in a tortilla shells, along with fried plantains.

We are looking forward to starting our service project tomorrow, but for now, these tired travelers are ready for bed. Stay tuned for more posts.

Pre-Trip Excitement Post!

Hello,
Our names are Nerissa and Olivia and we are our team’s bloggers for our week in Honduras. We, along with the rest of our team, are getting very excited to leave on our trip. We will be helping with the program OYE, Organization for Youth Empowerment in the city of El Progreso. OYE is a program that helps give school age children a good education and helps them become leaders. The mission of the program is to help students break the cycle of poverty and create a better future for their generation and their community. Our team will also be helping at a children’s nutritional clinic, and we’ve been taking donations of toothbrushes, toothpaste, children’s vitamins, shampoo, baby wash and powder, and baby wipes. So far, we’ve filled nine suitcases (each almost 50 lbs) worth of donations!
We leave for Honduras in approximately three days, so we have asked our team members to say what they are most looking forward to on the trip:

Becca: The hot weather and experiencing a completely different part of the world.

Lukki: Experiencing a new culture and learning from the OYE students.

Alaina: Learning and experiencing a new culture and a different part of the world, along with meeting new people.

Christina: Going outside of the country and learning all the fascinating parts of the different culture.

Jenna: Getting out of my comfort zone and taking in new experiences with an open mind.

Mackenzie: Experiencing a culture different from my own.

Missy: Interacting with the OYE students and staff.

Carly: Experiencing a different culture and learning from everyone involved with the trip.

Nerissa: Brushing up on my Spanish and eating Honduran foods because I LOVE  rice, beans and cheese.

Olivia: Meeting the kids at OYE

Last Meeting Before Our Trip!

Last Meeting Before Our Trip!

The Last Two Days

Hola Mis Amigos!

Thursday Day 6

Today we woke up early for our work with the artisans. There were three different options for artisan work: metal work, word work and textiles. The wood work and metal working teams got up early to go to San Juan and textiles stayed in San Miguel Escobar.

Ann and I stayed in town to do the textiles workshop. The lady that runs the textiles is Timoteo’s (the farmer who led us for construction) daughter. We went with our guide, Jane to their house and the fun began. We got to pick our our fabrics. They are the fabrics of traditional Huipil Guatemalan wear. There is one fabric for the top of the purse which is usually what they wear as their tops, and the bottom that usually makes their skirts is what makes the back of the purse. Each fabric is specific to a certain area and if you were to go to that town, most of the people would be wearing it. These ladies also hand weave these fabrics which can take up to a year. Picking out fabrics was so hard because they were all so beautiful!

The wood working group got to make these beautiful trays from scratch. They were all really happy with how these turned out!

There was also a metal working workshop where they could make an item of choice and weld it into an animal or shape. This group said that the work was very hard but fun, and you definitely needed patience for it. They really seemed to have a good time and some hilarious stories of the process. Especially where Karissa and puppies are concerned.

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Our artisan workshops took about half the day, and after lunch we met up at the De La Gente house before catching the chicken bus to Antigua for some shopping. I am going to leave it up to the trip members to fill you in on the details about the chicken bus, but I will tell you that it s a public transportation system that gets very crowded at time. It also gets very bumpy because Antigua is entirely old cobblestone that hasn’t been repaired in a while, It is beautiful, but bumpy. Today, Antigua was much less busy than it was the first Sunday that we first visited on, It gave us a chance to see more of the city. Before we got to do any souvenirs shopping, we had a market challenge to do. We were in charge of finding and bargaining for ingredients for dinner, without a translator. The supermercado was unlike anything i’ve ever seen. It is millions of clothes, shoes, flowers, produce, and meat shoppes all crammed together, Is is both exciting and overwhelming, so thankfully we were in groups for this activity, When we were done getting our ingredients we went into the artisan market where we were cut loose for an hour to spend as we pleased. We really liked this market because we knew we were supporting the people that made these items, rather than some places that all have the same items and were less unique, It also helped because, by this time, we were much better at bargaining prices. Well, except for Nicole, it is a running joke that she is the only one who can talk up a price from its original.

When we were done shopping we caught a chicken bus back to San Miguel Escobar and returned home to start cooking our ingredients. Our menu consisted of nachos ( popular around here), home-made guacamole, pineapple mango smoothies, and chocolate covered plantains for dessert. We all worked together to cook it which made it even more delicious when we ate it. It was a blast working together to make it and laugh about stories from the market

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Riding the chicken bus!

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Day 7 Friday

Today was an early rising day because we are headed to Lake Atitlan! Our free day options were hiking an active volcano or going to the lake and we opted for this because of its rumored beauty and variety of activities. What a good choice that was! Aside from the super bumpy three hour car ride, this whole day was fantastic. We got to the lake around 10AM and Chau, Stephanie and Sam immediately were dropped off for zip lining. They got to zip line for about two hours and got to see monkeys and a butterfly garden along the way. The rest of us, having had enough adventure on the ride over, headed down the mountain further to kayak on the lake. The lake was beautiful and super clear. We rented some kayaks and spent about an hour on the water just hanging out. After an adventure packed week, this was just what we needed. Around noon we took a break for lunch at a restaurant in town and got to eat alongside some hummingbirds flying around us. This area is super touristy so there were also a lot of shoppes to go to for those of us who still had Quetzales left to spend. There were dozens of markets and so many things to see. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping until we met at 4pm and headed back to Antigua for our goodbye dinner. This was the first time we got to see the night life in Antigua and it was beautiful. There were light everywhere and people eating and walking in the center park. We got to our restaurant which was moon and star themed and served only crepes. It was such a fancy place, the decorations were to die for and the waiters ordered off ipads. This also is the first time we really saw handheld technology being used. The food was fantastic and we got to eat and spend time with each of our tour guides and leaders from De La Gente. It was the perfect goodbye, even though it was hard to say goodbye.

 

Saturday Day 8

Today was very sad because we had to say our goodbyes to this beautiful city and the wonderful people that we met along the way. We had one last breakfast from the ladies, and got to hang our with Jane once more before our bus came to take us to the Guatemala City airport. We will all miss this city and it’s people dearly and I don’t think any one of us would trade this experience for the world. Thank you to all who helped us get here, supported us while we were here, or helped make this trip as amazing as it was. This was truly a life changing experience.

Adios mis amigos y hasta lugeo Guatemala.(null) copy

 

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