Home > Random Travelling > School Visits in Honduras

School Visits in Honduras

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ellen Finn with a group of people from a village outside of Copan, Honduras

I am on my way to Guatemala City for Christmas to meet some friends.  A few weeks ago, I was doing a websearch, and came upon an organisation called Project School Supplies.  It is run by a lady named Ellen Finn from the States.

You can check out her story on the weblink above.  It is very interesting, as she was in Honduras a few years ago for a Spanish course, and fell in love with the country.  She returned home to get rid of all of her belongings and moved to Honduras.  When she returned she noticed the poor state of education and schools, and decided she wanted to make a difference.  She has been in Copan ever since.

I read her story online, and was immediately drawn to learn more about her and the work she is doing in Honduras.  I emailed her a few weeks ago, as I was heading through Honduras to Guatemala.  She immediately came back to me, and told me that she would be happy to meet with me and that it would be great to brainstorm.

I met up with Ellen yesterday, and we chatted over breakfast.  It turns out we have a lot in common, and it was great to meet someone who was working towards the same goals as I was.  The main difference is that her organisation does not have as much support as SchoolBOX.  It is basically a two person team, and they rely primarily on individual donations. They also operate out of a smaller area than SchoolBOX, as they basically help the communities that are scattered around Copan.  They also have a wider spread of services offered to the community.

Children who received christmas presents outside of Copan

She invited me to join her as we toured the community in which she has built schools.  She asked me to help her deliver Christmas gifts to the community.  The gifts consisted of necklaces for the girls, fruit chews for the boys, and small packages of rice for families.

As we drove through these remote villages, I could see the poverty.  There was no running water, and the children were wearing tattered clothes.  Some were not wearing anything at all.  You could tell by looking at the children that they were malnourished.  She seemed to know many of the people by name, and they all knew who she was.  The families were so happy about the gifts that they got.  These were most likely the only gifts they had received in a long time.  Happinness does not cost a lot.

The schools that Project School Supplies and the donors built were incredible

School with a beautiful mural outside of Copan

Pictured to the left is a school that was renovated by Project School Supplies.  It has an amazing mural outside, and the children absolutely loved it.  As we toured the schools, children heard the moto-taxi, and came running from all directions.  They were happy to show the schools, and to receive their presents.

The landscape around the schools was incredible.  Mountains, rivers, and nature were all around.  You could get lost in the surroundings and forget about the extreme poverty in the area.

This area is dominated by sustenance farming.  The people are very poor, and only have enough food for themselves.  Sometimes they are able to grow enough to sell into the markets, but most times, they survive on the food that they grow themselves.

Village children enjoying a moto taxi ride in Copan

Village children enjoying a moto taxi ride in Copan

I was drawn to the villagers, as they were so personable and happy to meet others.  They were so grateful for everything that Ellen had done for the community.

The community was really Ellen’s family.  They go to her whenever they are in trouble, and they need help.  Sometimes this can be exhausting for Ellen, but she realises how much that people are in need.  Sometimes it hurts when she cannot help everyone, and this is something I need to learn to deal with as well.

Baby chickens that are dyed and sold in markets

Baby chickens that are dyed and sold in markets

Today, I will go through a few more villages with Ellen.  I have invited her down to Nicaragua in the future to see the work that we do.  I believe that we can collaborate on many things, and that we can learn from each other’s experiences.  I will defintely be back in Copan to visit, learn, and to see what kind of progress Ellen is making.

I am off to Guatemala today, and I wish everyone a very happy Christmas/Holiday season.  Enjoy the time with family and friends.

*I will post another update tomorrow on my village visit with Ellen today.

Categories: Random Travelling
  1. Sue Griggs
    December 24, 2010 at 21:03

    HI Jon,
    Really enjoying your blog. Might be great to partner with Ellen in some capacity. Your stories are wonderful and I have been enjoying your blog. Harvey and i want to wish you a Merry Chritmas. Sounds like you are having quite an adventure and finding out all sorts of opportunities for us to expand.


    • jon
      December 26, 2010 at 18:08

      Hi Sue

      Glad you are enjoying it. Ellen is really doing amazing things in the villages of Copan. I def see some synergies with SchoolBOX. I also think that there are some projects that we can be a part of. Once I return from holidays, I will put some stuff down on paper, and I guess we will go from there.

      Wish you and Harvey a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. I am headed into El Salvador on Tuesday, and will return into Nicaragua on New Year’s Eve.

      All the best

  2. Veronika
    December 24, 2010 at 02:27

    Keep updating us, Jon..! Great posts. Makes people think! I’ve just told yours and Ellen’s story to my mum and she’s really amazed.
    Many greetings from here and Merry Christmas..!!! I hope you’ll also get some little gift:)

    • jon
      December 26, 2010 at 18:09

      Thanks 🙂

      I received a book this year, and a scarf. Also my parents donated some money in my name to SchoolBOX, so I am happy. I am going to El Salvador on Tuesday, but before I will be hiking up a volcano tomorrow 🙂


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