Friday, October 30, 2009

Entrega de Becas

As we get ready for our Scholarship reception, where we celebrate OYE students work and invite new students to the family, we look back on last years "Entrega de Becas"

Here is a video of the words of wisdom pass on to our students by Founder, Ana Ahern, Director, Luis Paredes and two youth leaders.

Entrega de Becas 2008

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Clip of the Week

Welcome to OYE's Clip of the week! We would like to share the sights and sounds of life in El Progreso through the eyes of our volunteers, staff and students.

This week we are focusing on the radio program, OYE el Ritmo. The clip below was taken last Friday in Radio Progreso, a national show seen by many as the voice to the people. OYE students worked together the last few months selling raffle tickets and working to raise money for some radio equipment that they need to continue recording, namely a microphone and speakers. Radio Progreso invited OYE el Ritmo to hold the raffle live on their show. The young woman with the braids is Yarli, she is the student coordinator of the radio and comfortable with the mic. The young man speaking is Gerald; this is his first time on live radio and gets a little nervous...

This was an important step for OYE el Ritmo. Not only were they able to gain experience at a major radio station but also raising money to buy their equipment strengthened bonds and instilled pride in the work they are doing. Enjoy this weeks Clip of the Week.

We are just so excited about Clip of the week here in the office that we thought we would spoil you this week and give you a second! This Clip features Melissa Quijada, the radio coordinator and Oscar one of our students.

Stay tuned for the next Clip of the week.

I invite you all to come to my country

Hello, My name is Javier Duarte. Currently I am a volunteer in OYE and a student at UTH studying International Business. I was 17 when I first met Ana Ahern, Jessica Mockrin, and Justin Otero. They had an idea to help kids in my city El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras. I loved when they said they were planning to this, and I was there to help in whatever they needed. In fact, I was one of the first scholarship recipients in OYE. The idea was simple, collaborate with the community and create leaders. This is what they are doing today. They are helping youth- guided by the vision to create young leaders.

I stopped my studies for three years and moved away from OYE a little from 2006-2009. In Febuary of 2009, I rejoined OYE and the growth had suprised me. I had not expected so much. However, I couldn't ask for more.

In my case, I have learned to communicate with volunteers. People who teach you about other cultures and how to value your own and yourself. I have made groups of friends with the volunteers who come to collaborate with OYE. The truth is it has been a wonderful experience, It facinated me to spend time with James Madison University and George Washington University. I will never forget these people; they will always be in my heart. I also hope to know more and share my country with them.

Like I said the experience in OYE has been one of the best years of my life. Wherever I go now in El Progreso you make relationships with people who know OYE. The families of the scholarship students are fighters who give so much to that their children can live better. I have enjoyed getting to know everyone involved in OYE and making my country better.

All of this has made for a very rich experience. It is through sharing with diffrent people, and diffrent experiences that I learn more about my country. The doors in El Progreso, and Honduras are always open for our friends to visit and explore, together with OYE, new Horizans.

Personally, I invite you all to come to our country and share this beautiful experience- You will want to stay here. I promise.

-Javier Duarte

Thursday, October 22, 2009

OYE Staff member featured

Last month I was able to spend some time in the states visiting family, friends and a few universities. During my visit at Augustana College I was invited to share my experience with the student newspaper. Last week they published the story, read the opening or click on the link below to read the whole thing.

"In May 2008, with a degree in her hand and a dream in her mind, Augustana alumnus Katherine Burdine stumbled upon the Web site, an online directory of non-profit jobs and volunteer opportunities.

Two months and two short e-mails later, Burdine packed her bags and boarded a plane to El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras to volunteer with the Organization for Youth Empowerment (OYE, pronounced oh-yay, which means "listen" in Spanish).
Having traveled abroad before, Burdine was excited for another adventure.

"It was kind of this strange, spontaneous thing," she said. "But I knew I wanted to do some sort of volunteer work, and I knew that I needed to have an adventure. It was never really questioned why."

Speaking little Spanish, Burdine spent her first month in Honduras in a village learning the language. After 30 days of intensive study, she headed to her new home.

For Burdine, El Progreso, with a population of about 100,000, felt more like a small town than a big city. By day, the center of town thrives with open-air markets and commerce. By night, the vendors retreat back to their home communities, which can be several miles away, Burdine said.

"It's brilliant," she said. "I love my little town..."

See the whole article at The Mirror, and Kat Burdine.

Thank you Megan, and the Mirror for posting this story!

Clip of the Week

Welcome to OYE second clip of the week. This video was taken by OYE staff while driving through the center early one morning. Throughout the day these streets are packed with pedestrian traffic, cars and vendors. When you first arrive in Progreso it can be one of the most confusing, and overwhelming places. However, after spending a little bit of time there, these 10 square blocks become a treasure trove of fresh produce, cheap clothing, hilarious interactions and brilliant adventures.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

El Progreso - Blast from the Past

At first glance El Progreso seems like a bustling labor driven city. A place where you´re just as likely to pull up next to a horse drawn cart at a red light as you are a luxury SUV. On the corner where pioneering old ladies have sold their tortillas for decades you now find them sitting in bunches in front of one of the city´s Pizza Huts. This is El Progreso, Honduras. A city that experienced its glory years as a country club resort for the top executives of United Fruit. This was years ago, in the 50´s and 60´s, when the lawns were manicured and the royal palms lined the central boulevard. Back when the rest of Central America didn't have a rail system or airports, El Progreso did. Of course the famous strike of 1954 saw over 60,000 workers marching across the Puente de la Democracia and into El Progreso demanding fair wages and workers rights. They even secured a national holiday in honor of their courage and conviction, 1st of may is now called Labor Day in Honduras. Indeed history has left its mark on El Progreso.

The Progreso and Honduras of today is a bitter contrast to the days when it was better known as the Banana Republic. Times are rough, unemployment is up and jobs are scarce. However, while the economic crisis continues to sink deep into the veins of the world´s commerce, it seems that over the past few years El Progreso has experienced steady growth. The past three years alone have brought a brand new beautiful UTH University, a new MegaPlaza mall and a new Antorcha supermarket. Each development bringing with it jobs, investment, and opportunity.

Without so much as the blink of an eye, one could cruise right through El Progreso and not even notice it. At first glance it seems like an uneventful city with not much to offer the casual visitor.

However, there is a shining star in town. A place where youth from across the city join forces to unite under a common cause. This place of course is OYE. After mere seconds of hanging out downtown in the OYE offices you are instantly greeted by any number of teenagers who pass through the doors everyday. Ask them why they are here and they will tell you with a big smile that they love OYE. They are OYE scholarship recipients. Ask them about their dreams and hopes for the future and they will fill the air with responses like; teacher, doctor, engineer, computer programmer, OYE STAFF!!

Within OYE´s doors lies the future of El Progreso. The future of Honduras. They are the next generation, the ones that are getting ready to take charge and lead. If you ask them how they will accomplish this they will tell you; Because my Voice is Powerful. Mi Voz es Poder. Look, it says so on my OYE shirt they will say, for everyone to see. They will tell you that they already know that true and real change will only come when we commit ourselves to giving back to our communities. My Voice is Powerful. My name is Justin Eldridge-Otero and I am a proud member of the OYE family. I invite you to come experience OYE in Honduras and see what REAL change looks like.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Magazine update: October Issue

This month OYE students released their sixth magazine! This issue is exciting because we were able to hold off printing until the qualifiers for the world cup finished and Honduras is going to South Africa!! The whole country is a buzz. People are still celebrating in the streets and singing as they walk to work. Inside the cover there is a two-page spread of the event and an article written by Leonardo Mendoza explaining his emotions and excitement that night.

Check it out soon in PDF form on-line to look in side and see what kids are talking about these days.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Clip of the Week

Welcome to OYE's Clip of the week! We would like to share the sights and sounds of life in Progreso through the eyes of our volunteers, staff and students. Look forward to next weeks Clip of the week!

Hola from Patty in 2 de Marzo.

This quick clip is of a girl, Patty, waving and hiding behind "la pila" in her back year. A pila is a cement washing basin and wash board. They are used for pretty much everything, from bathing, to washing clothes, to storing water when there is none. You will be hard pressed to find a house without one!