This was my last full day in Honduras – I leave tomorrow to return to the United States and the life and family who are waiting for me. My final full day was spent on the roads that wind their way through the mountains that surround Tegucigalpa. Up until this point I had only visited the Elementary campus and Technical School, but today was going to be my visit to the El Hogar Farm in Talanga, Honduras. It was about an hour-long trip, but it wasn’t spent alone – the service team from Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH, allowed me to tag along with them.
The first thing that you notice as you make your way out of Tegucigalpa is that the roads are steep and (for inexperienced foreign drivers) dangerous. Cars and trucks pass you by on sharp turns and double-yellow lines, but our driver, Gustavo, is an expert and we were lucky to have him.
Once you get out of the congestion of the city, the scenery is stunning – wide valleys and mountains covered by clouds. It made the trip to the farm go by very quickly and we seemed to arrive in no time.
The school sits on a beautiful piece of property that has breathtaking views of the mountains in the distance and plenty of room for the students to learn everything they need about agriculture. We enjoyed a delicious chicken and rice soup with tortillas for lunch (I have to get the recipe…it was amazing). Afterwards, we took the opportunity to sit down with some of the boys and get to know them better. They were extremely gracious hosts and seemed to enjoy the conversation (even if our Spanish wasn’t perfect). After our meeting, we toured the farm, saw the facilities, and met the other residents…the animals. There are cows, horses, chickens, turkeys, geese, pigs, and tilapia being raised and cared for by the students and staff. The facility is great and you can really tell that they take pride in the work that they’re doing.
After that, it was back into the van for the trek back to Tegucigalpa. On the drive home I was struck by the two different worlds that passed by the windows of the van during both parts of our journey. On the one hand, you see beautiful vistas that pictures don’t do justice. On the other, extreme poverty of a kind that I have never seen before. I had tears in my eyes during parts of the drive when I saw people picking through trash and houses that used tires for their foundations.
On my last night in this beautiful country, I can’t help but think that I’m going to get on a plane tomorrow and return to a safe home with plenty of food in the refrigerator and all of the other creature comforts that we take for granted…these people don’t have that option. They can’t leave…this is their life.
This is why I’m so proud to be a part of El Hogar – this is what we’re here to change. We exist to give the children born into this poverty a way out so that their lives can be different.
I leave tomorrow, but Honduras is in my heart. I can imagine that there will be tears in my eyes as the plane rises above Tegucigalpa and toward the United States. My final post about this adventure will be tomorrow.