Honduras 2010

Honduras 2010 -> Early Childhood Development Centers

Education opportunities for rural Hondurans are spotty at best, so Mission Lazarus has begun several Early Childhood Development Centers. These provide basic education and meals for many young children. Parents are charged a minimal fee (less than US$1 per month) - we were told that the fee is mainly to encourage a sense of involvement with the ECDC's.

Some members of our team have elementary education experience, so they spent some time helping the teachers. The rest of us helped with the construction of a new ECDC in Duyure, a beautiful village in the hills near the Nicaraguan border. The building's walls and roof had been constructed by other volunteers, so we did the next step: putting in a couple of inches of gravel base for the floors and pouring the concrete surface.

We brought a cement mixer from the main ML facility near San Marcos to Duyure. This is 15-20 miles through the mountains on a gravel road. Tip: Don't EVER buy a used pickup truck that's seen service in Honduras.

The cement mixer was a great help but it's had a lot of wear and tear, so getting it started and keeping it running was a challenge. We had 3 engineers, 2 preachers, and an MIT rocket scientist all working to keep it going.

Our team spent 4 days moving wheelbarrow loads of gravel and concrete. There were a bunch of niņos and niņas (boys and girls) from the town watching - and sharing the snacks and lunches we brought. By the second day the boys wanted to help: at first we would dump a wheelbarrow load in the building and the kids would grab the empty wheelbarrow and run back to the gravel pile with it. Then, they started picking up the shovels and helping to fill the wheelbarrows. By the last day, teams of boys were filling the wheelbarrows and carrying the loads themselves. They obviously enjoyed doing it, and it was a big help to us. My hope is that they can look back on this time and say "we helped build this!" and feel that they were part of something really useful.

It wasn't all work: the team leaders encouraged everybody to take time to get to know the local men that were working with us and to interact with the kids. The kids especially looked to the teens in our team as big brothers and big sisters, and wanted to spend time hanging out and playing with them. The swings and playground are part of the property, so we climbed through the barbed wire fence (which keeps the wandering sheep and cattle out), and spent some time having fun.

© 2010 Joseph Rothweiler
Last modified $Date: 2016/02/16 21:12:39 $