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Pajarillos, Honduras

A visual recap of my trip with Educate2Envision International

 
 
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–– In the summer of 2012, I excitedly left the comforts of home to volunteer with Educate2Envision International (E2E) in rural Honduras.

Three weeks before the month-long trip, I quit my job and traded in my work heels for my red Toms. Momentous at the time, that decision continues to define me and my work today.

 
 
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The students used bottle caps to create a mural depicting the E2E logo.

 
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Each day, we drove an hour from our living quarters to Pajarillos, E2E’s pilot location where we aimed to empower the community through transformative education.

After driving up winding, unpaved mountainside roads, it was incredibly emotional to see the small green schoolhouse that we had helped build, and Rigo—a community leader and student in the first ever 8th grade class—standing proudly before it.

 
 

The original schoolhouse before the secondary school expansion

Rigo, far right, with his secondary school peers

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–– My primary role was to help develop the Girls Leadership Club for grades 4-6. 

Prior to the trip, I had prepared activities intended to encourage creativity and goal-setting and -reaching.

In one activity, the girls created “Soy Hermosa” badges with construction paper. In another, they snapped photos of things special to them.

 
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While the club was mostly successful, some girls struggled to embrace the meaning of the activities. In such a short period of time, it was undoubtedly challenging to inspire change without uprooting generations of economic and gender inequality.

With all my optimism and best intentions, I was humbled to witness the tremendous obstacles that these girls face, and the perseverance and courage they show toward them every day.

 
 
 
 

While change can be slow, we left the club in the capable hands of two older girls, who we felt confident will help lead a new generation of strong women and community leaders.

I feel so incredibly fortunate to have worked alongside such amazing people and witnessed the blossoming of something incredible.