Students experience Honduras during J-term

Photo courtesy of: Rosita Marquez

JoAnn Parker
Staff Reporter

During J-term, 14 Briar Cliff students and three faculty members worked on maintenance and landscaping at APUFRAM (Association of Franciscan Boystown and Girlstown, English translation), but their 10-day stay in Honduras involved much more than just service.

Students went to La Vita, a nearby town, and made an impact on the lives of many children there for a few hours on many afternoons. 

“We played soccer, football, basketball and many other games with the kids,” BCU senior Brittany Isom said of their time in La Vita.  “They could not get enough of us!”

Likewise, the people the group met in Honduras were inspirations to them.  “I had the opportunity to spend some time with a U.S. priest that started [APUFRAM] and is now just there to help out,” said sophomore Ethan Neff.  “He was a very big influence [for] me; to see that one person can make a huge difference.”

While it was a rewarding experience there were bumps and bruises along the way.  “I saw an iguana on the roof of a building we were working on and tried to grab it,” said admissions representative Jason Wesselman.  “I fell and hit my left hip pretty hard.  The bruise is just now going away!”

The team celebrated Sr. Janet May’s 70th birthday while on the trip.  “It was very special to celebrate my birthday in Honduras,” May said.  “Our team surprised me with, not one, but two piñatas. We celebrated with the children and families at the volunteer center. I loved celebrating in typical Latino-style.  We were one big family!”

The group’s Honduran cooks made two cakes for the birthday party.  “The cakes were delicious!” Isom said.

For most meals, the team ate rice, beans and tortillas, but they also had donuts made by the cooks and even ate at a McDonald’s one day.  “The homemade donuts were really good,” said Isom. “Even the McDonald’s food tasted better than it does [in America]. The fries weren’t as greasy.”  

Many team members were surprised at how cheap things seemed to be in Honduras.  “Our McDonald’s meals cost about two dollars,” Isom said.  “It seems cheap to us, but that’s a lot for them.  Many Hondurans live on one dollar a day!”

The team found that many of the Honduran people were happy despite their poverty.  “The faith of a lot of the people there is amazing,” Neff said.  “Even if they do not have much, they still have a lot of faith in God, and that is what keeps them going.”

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Submitted by kulzerm on Mon, 02/04/2013 - 21:27

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