Saturday, March 12, 2011

American University Visits Honduras!

This week OYE was happy to host 14 students from American University and their learning partner, Joe Otero, the father of OYE co-founder Justin Eldridge-Otero.

American University students attending the forum on the Honduran Reality.

Panelists from local schools and Comvida at the forum on the Honduran Reality, with translations by Ana-Luisa Ahern, OYE's co-founder.

Atol breakfast at the central market in Copan Ruinas.

American University students at Copan Ruinas.

American University students practicing yoga on an ancient Mayan pyramid, led by OYE's Communication and Volunteer Coordinator and yoga instructor Michael Solis.

The week started out with a trip to Copan Ruinas, where OYE staff, scholars, and American University students traveled to learn more about ancient Mayan culture, to explore the ruins, and to eat local Copan Ruinas cuisine at the central market. Afterwards, American University returned to Progreso where they learned about the reality of education in Honduras. They visited locals schools, including Chevez High School, La Perla de Ulua High School, Juan Ramon Morales Elementary School, Nortre Dame High School, and the Techological University of Honduras (UTH). The group also sat in on two forums, including one on the Honduran reality with guest speakers that included teachers, students, and UNICEF workers, as well as another with OYE youth scholars who shared their life stories and the impact that OYE has had on them and their families.

Perhaps the most exciting event of the week was the strike that American University students attended in the center of El Progreso. Thousands of Honduran students who attend public schools marched through the streets to the municipality to speak out against the government's proposed plan to privatize all public high schools with a new education law that is still in discussion. Students, teachers, and families have banded together throughout the country to protest educational privitization given that it would make education inaccessible to most youth who attend public schools.

In addition to visiting Pro-Niño, a local organization that provides a home and space for education to street children, the American University students also helped begin a logo painting project for the new OYE office. Soon the office will have its very own hand-painted logo.

Many thanks to American University for their visit, their energy, their dancing skills, and their generosity. We look forward to the next time we can host AU in Honduras, as they will always be a part of the OYE family.

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