Friday, January 20, 2012

The George Washington University Volunteers with OYE

Written by Jenlain Coyle GWU 2015

As we walked off the plane in San Pedro Sula, we, the students of GWU, were not only overwhelmed by the borderline stifling heat (reminder: it’s winter), but by the generosity and kindness exhibited by our hosts.  The warm smiles and infectious laughter began as we walked into our first dinner at Yarli’s home.  Not an awkward moment was spent between the ever-inspiring Hondurans and “ los gringos”, regardless of language barriers.
            The bigheartedness and compassion for others the students of OYE and Pro Nino were characteristics often over-looked in our society.  Yet, to me in this past week, they have become the qualities that I value most.  I watched Yarli take a clip out of her hair and hand it to my friend Eleanor, simply because she told her she liked it. 

            The friendships I have gained from this trip are almost unfathomable.  I now have extremely close friends in a country in Latin America and right here on our GWU campus that I may have never crossed paths with, if this trip had not occurred. 
            A week in El Progreso was not enough time for me to fully understand Honduran reality or the all of the daily trials the youth in their country must go through.  However, it was enough for me to make lifelong memories and experience the most value forms of community service I have ever encountered, in which I believe I gained more than I could have possibly given.  I fully intend to return to Honduras, to become more educated and aid in whatever way possible, but to also return to my new-found friends.

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