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The everyday Joys of being a Volunteer.
By: Tori Montemurro
Sep 14, 2018

El Porvenir, Honduras is the kind of community that feels like home the moment you arrive. A home that I was lucky enough to spend 65 days in. Everyday you spend volunteering with Honduras Child Alliance offers you new opportunities and adventures. Because each one of my 65 days with HCA was filled with overwhelming joy, I decided to share some of the everyday joys of being a volunteer with you.

  • That feeling you get when you walk out of a class that went extremely well. The reason I volunteered with HCA was first and foremost to teach English classes. As we were constantly trying new activities with our students there were days when activities did not go quite as planned. However,  there is no better feeling than thinking of a possible activity for class and watching it come to life. What’s even better than that? Walking out of a class when the students loved all of the activities.
  • The laughter you can hear as you walk into your volunteer house. No matter the time of day you can count on the volunteer houses to be full of laughter. Some of my favorite moments were spent playing card games with fellow volunteers, making dinner with my roommates, or just sitting down together to talk about our days. It’s always nice to have a group of people to share the experience of volunteering with you.
  • The smile of a student who sits waiting for you outside a classroom. You quickly become familiar with the students that are regulars in the classroom. They show up early to class each day and wait for you to come open up the classroom doors, and as they see you approaching from down the street they run to you with big smiles on their faces.
  • The smell of fresh tortillas being made. I never knew what I was missing until I tried a homemade tortilla. After over two months in Honduras the smell of tortillas began to signify more than just a meal. The smell signified the gathering of fellow volunteers and community members to enjoy each others company.
  • The view of the beach on one side of you and distant mountains on the other.When people talk about Honduras you rarely hear mentions of its beauty. However, Honduras, and El Porvenir in particular, is the most beautiful place I have ever been. The mountains and beaches are both picturesque, and I found myself stopping to admire the view everyday on my way to class.
  • The pick up soccer games you play in on the weekends. I am not athletic by any means, and I have never been one to play team sports. Surprisingly, in El Porvenir I loved playing soccer. Pick up soccer games end up being a great way to connect with adult students outside of class, and even though I was horrible at soccer, I still had so much fun spending the afternoon with everyone.
  • A hug from a community member who has become a good friend. When I first got to El Porvenir I was worried whether or not I would make friends in the community. On my last day, as I was saying goodbye, I realized just how wrong I was. I had made so many friends in the community that one of my favorite parts of every day was the conversations we had. Whether it be buying lunch from Iris, grabbing a cold drink from Funez, or walking to class with Taber I cherished each conversation I had in El Porvenir.
  • The long discussions with fellow volunteers as you sit in your favorite restaurant. It is comforting to speak freely about social issues with people who share your desire for change. Since HCA accepts volunteers from all over the world meaningful conversations, whether it be about El Porvenir or issues on a global level, were had at dinner almost every night. I learned so much from these conversations and for the first time I felt completely comfortable sharing my views.
  • The excitement of weekend adventures to new places. Whether it be hiking a nearby mountain to find a waterfall or shopping in the nearby city of La Ceiba, each weekend was an adventure. Our adventures gave us time to relax and enjoy other aspects of Honduras before getting back to class. We took weekend trips to local islands, went to the beach, and even went snorkeling!
  • The overwhelming joy of returning back to the community you get to call home. While exploring the islands off the coast of Honduras was fun, nothing compared to being back in El Porvenir. El Porvenir is where my friends, students, and favorite memories are and trust me when I say that the second you leave, you’ll want to go back.

 

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