IN A SMALL mountain village in Honduras, children are learning in a school for the very first time… a school our little volunteer movement built.

The school’s adobe structure is impressive. It’s the largest building in Los Laureles. And most importantly, it’s a beacon of hope for the children growing up in that region. The entire community has wanted a school for years. They offered and fulfilled all of the unskilled labor required for the project. Even the kindergarteners contributed by carrying small recycled containers filled with water to the construction site!

The villagers in Los Laureles are simple people. They live their lives with no electricity, no running water and minimal belongings. They were dealt a difficult hand in life, but they’re making the most of it. The school teacher in the village is incredible! He is currently taking college courses during the holidays and traveling to his home in the mountains to teach during the school year. Before we built the school, it was he who opened his home to teach the children. With no books, it was he who drew lessons by hand for the students from what he was learning in college.

The history of this mountain community is reenacted through song and dance. I have no doubt that in the future the school and the process of building the school will become a part of the colorful Los Laureles culture. I’m also certain that the presentation itself will take place in the school: it is, after all, the first community building in that area of the mountains.

The school was completed before the rainy season began, and includes important sanitation features like well-constructed latrines and a wash area. Somehow the joy and happiness of the school’s construction has permeated the many miles of mountains that encompass the region surrounding Los Laureles. Every family, from even the most distant mountains, has made an effort to visit the school, to help out and to show their appreciation for the project. Not only do more children in this community have the opportunity to learn, they are experiencing the value of education in an environment whose materials surpass national Honduran standards. Bien hecho!

– Chantelle Heroux