Here in El Porvenir, the Honduras Child Alliance has initiated a new program that assists both Hondurans and HCA international volunteers in improving their bilingual abilities. In addition, the program is also geared toward supporting disadvantaged Honduran youths in furthering their education. It’s called ‘Study-Buddies’!
HCA volunteers who are keen to improve their Spanish language skills, pay 100 HNL a session to have a Honduran tutor provide practical lessons to improve conversational abilities in Español. Tutors are screened and selected from our Porvenir English Program (PEP) for teens and adults.
Each session starts with 45 minutes of Spanish instruction and then in return, the volunteers provide 30 minutes of conversational English practice or their Honduran partner. Of the money paid for each session, 50 HNL goes directly to the tutor whilst the remaining 50HNL is put into our scholarship fund.
As we are currently sending one Honduran young man to the 2 year Diplomado program (similar to an Associate’s Degree), the hope is that we will raise enough to send additional Honduran students on a higher education course.
The program has been a ‘win-win’ so far as the participating volunteers have all stated that they feel their Spanish has improved due to these invaluable sessions.
We have had some great regular participants over the past couple of weeks with shout-outs going to Tim Flanagan (USA), Maggie Dekker (USA), Benjamin Hoeler (Austria), Lukas Weiss (Germany), Nathan Altman (USA), Leah Rae Cann (USA), Zoe Richardson UK), Rafael Arakaki (Brazil) and Christopher Bernard (USA) and Malana Ashlie (Honduras)!
The Honduran maestros de Español have done an excellent job delivering varying lessons to our volunteers depending on their levels of Spanish. Our Honduran teaching squad comprises of Taber, Carlos, Cristian and Daniela. HCA volunteers have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions with the vast majority of those attending feeling certain their Spanish has improved
Our Honduran compañeros love the program too. They have collectively mentioned that for them, it gives a rare chance to learn from and discover many different cultures (due to our very international workforce – ranging from Italians to Brazilians) whilst learning a language. This is indeed something that most people of their ages never get the chance to do.
Whilst engaged in a meeting at the Study Buddies location – PEP Centro classroom, Cristian Orellana, a local of El Porvenir and keen tutor, took some remaining minutes to thank HCA for the program.
Cristian began – ‘Yo quiero decir muchas gracias a los voluntarios de El HCA’ or ‘I want to say thank you very much to the volunteers of the Honduras Child Alliance’. He continued by explaining how in Honduras, many people have a huge desire to learn English for the language offers much opportunity in terms of work possibilities, continuing education and social standing.
Cristian further stated that many people he knows have been cheated by companies or businesses that offer English classes. According to our friend, they charge a lot, don’t hold much interest in student’s individual learning needs and many don’t pass final exams. Cristian thanked us immensely for our help and assistance, that as HCA volunteers we give our time and indeed money to benefit young people like him. He ended with, ‘para mi es un gran placer para trabajar con ustedes’ – ‘for me, it’s a great pleasure to work with you all’. Cristian’s kind words are what make the Study Buddies program so meaningful and indeed worthwhile – for both Catrachos and Gringos!