Thursday, May 27, 2010

Volunteering in Progre

Sarah: My week volunteering with OYE has been incredible! I really enjoyed talking to all the students here at OYE and seeing how the program has impacted their lives. Their stories are so inspiring and I can't wait to see what they're going to accomplish in the future. My favorite part of this whole week was our service project at the Juan Ramon Morales School. We painted a mural on the side of the school, and we also had the kids put their handprints on the front of the building. They were all super excited to do their handprints...some of them did it three or four times! While we were painting the school all the kids would come out to watch us on their snack break. They all crowded around us in huge groups and watched us paint. I loved hanging out with the kids, and I love how excited they were about the mural. Their whole community was excited about it because in the afternoon a lot of parents and other kids came by to see what we were doing. This whole week has been amazing. We've spent a lot of time just talking to the people here and really getting a feel for what Honduran culture is like. It's so different from the US...people here are really connected with their neighbors and communities, while in the US we barely interact with ours. The people here are just so welcoming...we've been invited to eat in so many different homes just because we're here working with OYE. This past week has been absolutely amazing and I can't wait to come back in the spring! (fingers crossed that our trip proposal is approved) Me encanta OYE!!!!!!!

Sophia: This past week has been a crazy mixture of eye-opening and unforgettable experiences. I would have to say the most enlightening moments of the week occured (and occur) through talking with OYE kids. The structured group discussion on the Honduran Reality revealed the prominence of issues in the national educational system, and youth involvement with drugs and gang culture. The kids shared their ideas and experiences within both areas, and brainstormed resolution techniques for the former. This was truly fascinating to listen to, finding similaries and disparaties among life in the United States and here in Honduras. Last night, one of the OYE scholarship students taught us to dance la bachatta, la punta, meringue and salsa. Besides being a great way to learn more about Honduran culture (and have a lot of fun butchering the rythmic movements of each dance) we got into a deeper discussion of the differences in life and cultural philosophies between our two nations. Truly, Honduras has a beautiful national identity that is incredibly strong within its youth. I am enjoying every minute of my trip, and I hope to learn as much as I can about this new culture. In the meantime, I'm learning to dance la bachatta!

Greg: I was most influenced and inspired by the town we stayed in, El Progreso. If the experiences we shared as OYE volunteers were in any other place, they would not have had the same affect on me. El Progreso seen as two parts: the center, where the commerce takes place, and the neighborhoods spreading up into the mountains. The center contains a mix of fabulously wealthy families and the very poor. The very poor are those who are poor for Honduras standards. A salary that allows for decent apartment living is around $6000 USD. The very poor would be the group of women who earn $10 USD a week between them for making tortillas all day long. The mix creates a beautiful juxtaposition of comfort and struggle, influencing culture and the pace of the city. Indeed, I quickly learned the El Progreso way of life; forced patience, a controlled chaos in the streets, and spur of the moment activity. With this mentality of riding the flow, I was able to experience painting the mural and learning to dance almost as a Honduran, not a gringo. In El Progreso, it's impossible not to feel Honduran and love the people, and that's the best way travel abroad.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pimp my classroom

Volunteers from American Universtiy, and George Washington University  worked in the mountians for El Progreso in the neighborhood Juan Ramon this week at the elementry school to create an empowering mural that will inspire the youth. Youth in this community face poverty, drug trafficing, violence, gangs and more. But with efforts like this elementry school, where 3 of the 4 teachers are not paid, they will have access to education. We were honored to support their fight and inspire the community.

The mural says, "Somos la esperanze de Nuestro pais" or "We are the hope for our Country."

Check back later to hear more from the American Universtiy volunteers and all their adventures this week!

Jovenes Revista: coming to you live!

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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 through short clips taken throughout the week.

This clip shows volunteers learning to make "pastelitos" in the house of an OYE scholarship recipient.

Friday, May 21, 2010

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 through short clips taken throughout the week.

This weeks video was taken by American University volunteer Sarah McIntosh while Teleprogreso interviewed OYE el Ritmo youth about their upcoming benefit concert with Guillermo Anderson. Students were interviewed for a half hour. OYE staff and American University students even got involved!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Return of Guillermo Anderson

In 2005, OYE hosted its first benefit concert with Honduran all-star musician, Guillermo Anderson. It set the foundation for OYE's future concert series, which has hosted more a twenty local musicians, bands and dance groups.

OYE is excited to welcome him back on May 29th in an intimate concert at the Casa de Cultura. The concert is organized by OYE el Ritmo students and Coordinator, Melissa Quijada. Hershey's is sponsoring the event. This means ticket sales will 100% benefit the OYE el Ritmo programs which get them one step closer to going live on local airspace.

So tell all your friends and come dance with us on May 29th at 4pm! If you can't make it you can still support OYE el Ritmo and OYE by donating through our website.