The sky was still dark with a light rain falling as I got out of my car at the airport in Boston. It was 4 a.m. and people were already backed up in lines as they were waiting to go through security. This is a minor inconvenience that I’m happy to deal with, knowing that I’ll end my day in Honduras at El Hogar – a place that stole my heart during my trip this past August.
The flights were easy with very little turbulence and the sunshine above the clouds seemed to put everyone into a much more cheerful mood. The trip to Honduras from Boston always includes two plane rides – there are no direct flights. It’s a long day of travel, but I’m rewarded at the end of my journey by passing through the gates of the El Hogar Elementary campus in Tegucigalpa.
The children, busy with their chores and school work, meet you with smiles and exclamations of “Hola!” as they seem to run from every direction. This is a special place – a fact that I eluded to in my previous blog posts. One of the first things I saw when we arrived was one of the students walking around with a tray of freshly baked bread. Being a fanatic for anything related to food, I took some time to investigate.
Some of the students were hard at work making cookies and bread that smelled delicious. They all smiled and greeted me as I walked through the door – some even remembered me and said, “Hola, Jason!” Even as a light afternoon rain fell, it didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the children during this very special week.
I’m here to experience one of the highlights of the year – graduation. As I mentioned yesterday, for sixth grade students, this means taking their next steps toward breaking the cycle of poverty and gaining the skills they need to achieve their goals. For the ninth grade students, this is a turning point in their lives. They’ll graduate from El Hogar, leave our program, and begin to use the skills they’ve gained to make lives for themselves.
Tomorrow is the first of these ceremonies. The Agricultural campus sits about an hour away from Tegucigalpa in Talanga. The farm is situated in a beautiful area and is such a peaceful place.
I’m looking forward to my first El Hogar graduation! All of the hard work that these students have put in is about to pay off.