Last Day In Choluteca…

Tonight’s Bloggers:

Jesse Olinger- Ridgewood

Paige Walker- Clear Fork

Cody Pfeiffer – Federal Hocking

The last day in Choluteca started off with breakfast at Angie and Larry’s house. We were served hard boiled eggs, coffee cake (both with and without nuts), cereal, fresh fruit, and bananas. From there Carlos drove us to the main Catholic cathedral in Choluteca for mass at 9:00am.

As we entered the beautiful church we noticed it looked very similar to Catholic churches at home. There were statues along the walls and a beautiful pulpit in the front. We split in to two groups, one group went with Dr. Cano to sit in the front of the church and receive communion. The other group went with Tyler and the teachers to observe the mass. During the service we got the privilege to see two babies baptized and presented to God. Even though 17 of the 19 of us didn’t understand anything that was being said it was still a great experience to be involved in. We had the opportunity of a lifetime to go, and we all took advantage of it.

After the Catholic service Carlos picked us up and took us back to the hotel for a 45 minute break. After a rest or quick nap we headed to Larry and Angie’s house for lunch which is considered the main meal in Honduras. We enjoyed pork chops (everyone except Tyler, who doesn’t eat pork and had a chicken breast), baked potatoes, fresh fruit, and banana bread and cake. After lunch we helped to put the stage back at the Shalom church for Sunday services which wasn’t until 4:30pm in the evening. Once we got back to the hotel everybody caught up on some much needed sleep and caffeine.

Later on we returned to Larry and Angie’s for the Shalom church service. We then enjoyed our final meal in Choluteca that consisted of BBQ pulled chicken, chips n’ salsa, and fresh fruit. Angie gave us our passports and we departed for the hotel for the final time. After reaching the hotel we traveled to Wendy’s frosty’ and enjoyed having all the little children run up to us and hug everyone and see their smiling faces. This really showed us again how happy of a culture they live in even when even when they literally have nothing. This proves to us that we are so used to taking advantage of the little things in life, and we really need to appreciate what we have and what opportunities are readily available for all of us back home. 


The Big Day

Today’s Bloggers:

Jenna Wyler – Ridgewood

Emma Nicholson – River Valley

The fifth day in Honduras started with a healthy breakfast of eggs, toast, and cereal. After breakfast the group went our separate ways and the wedding prep began. The majority of our group went to the church to help set up for the actual wedding ceremony of Paty and Chacho. They decorated the entire church with blue and silver decorations. It ended up looking great! While the decorating was going on, four members of the group were helping bake 150 multicolored cupcakes to serve as the wedding cake. It was a great honor to help celebrate such a cultural event.

After the church was ready and the cupcakes were finished, we started our journey through the local dairy. The dairy serves 12 farmers who each have a maximum of five head of cattle to milk. All the milk that comes through the dairy is milked by hand and is only picked up once a day. The workers in the dairy gave us the rare opportunity to get hands on and actually help with the process. After the workers added the acid and salt, we helped with the coagulation process. We used a tennis racket to separate the cheese from the water (not quite the same method we would use in the US). After we separated the cheese, we went outside to the fire to watch them pasteurize it. For the pasteurizing process, he put the cheese in a kettle over a fire and constantly kept the cheese moving in order to get air into the mixture. After watching the milk become cheese, we got to sample the Honduran mozzarella cheese. 😋🧀

After a lunch at Larry and Angie’s, we took a walk to the Honduran equivalent of a Walmart. We stalked up on coffee, hot sauce, and pop (everybody was going thru severe caffeine withdrawals). We were all shocked by how low the prices at the store were. For example, we got bottled pops and teas for less than $0.50.

Later in the afternoon we got to attend the big ceremony. For the most part, the ceremony was very similar to a North American wedding. The bride looked stunning in her white, strapless wedding dress. They involved every one of their children in the ceremony somehow. The guests were all dressed up as well. One culture shock for us all was the fact that there was no dancing at the wedding. After the ceremony a meal was served and the guests went home.

Every day comes with new lessons or shocks for all of us about the Honduran culture. While we are writing this blog, there is a big group of Honduran children in the street creaming our group in a very unfair soccer game. We came to Honduras to impact them, but really, the people here are the ones impacting us.

Rotting Meat, Buzzing Bees, and Homemade Pizza…

Today’s bloggers: 

Hayley Brown – Clear Fork 

Cameron Mizer – Ridgewood

The fourth day in Honduras started with delicious cinnamon rolls made by Sarah, eggs, toast, and fruit for breakfast at 6:30 am at the Overholt’s house. We are very thankful for Larry and Angie for providing our meals for us everyday while we are down here, and Diana, Diana’s mother Marisel, Linda, and Sarah who prepare and serve the meals. After breakfast we talked about what the day entailed and learned that we were going to the Choluteca mercado. The mercado is where a “typical Honduran” purchases all their food, clothing, shoes, etc. for their family.

 When we first entered the mercado we had the opportunity to stop by two merchants to purchase items for ourselves and our loved ones back home. One was a “tourist shop” and the other sold plastic baskets. Angie told the group that she still has the first baskets that she ever bought, 30 years ago. After that, we entered a mazes for shops called the “old mercado.” These “stores” were shoved in every nook and cranny there was space to have one. Once we entered the produce section, the tight spacing didn’t help the smells coming from the carcasses. Meat is not cooled or refrigerated in Honduras, so all meat has to be hung in the open and the heat. The same goes for items such as fish, eggs, cheese, and pretty much everything else.

 Hondurans never seem to be out of the latest fashion trends. There were many clothing stores throughout the mercado. Shoes are a huge seller down here so every stand that had any sort of clothes had shoes. Soccer is the trend for men while women focus on dresses . Next, we walked to the donut shop down town. There we bought fresh made donuts from a local. The donuts were amazing. Shockingly, pop is a popular drink down here . The lady at the donut shop had a plethora of pops in her store.

Next we traveled to the vocational school with Carlos, our bus driver. Once we got there, the school was smaller than we thought. They had a basic swampy garden and goats in pens everywhere. There were five separate buildings as well: one for sewing, one for welding, two for auto mechanics, and one for administration and computer classes. The auto mechanic lab was a very full class versus the welding and sewing classes who had very small numbers of students. There was also a pulperia that sold pops, Gatorade, chips, and some type of food prepared by the owner Melissa every day.

 The project we shared with the students was a honeybee simulation. We built “bees” out of a round batteries, a motor and a toothbrush head. To make it fancy we added a bee sticker. We had a poster of a farm with drinking straw paths for the bees to “fly” in. Once they reached their destination, glitter was caught by the bees to bring back to their hive. It was neat to see kids (both North American and Honduran) interact without worrying about the language barrier. Everyone was smiling and having fun. It brought joy to many of the students to bring their “bees” home and teach the family about what they learned at school that day. There were approximately ten students from other programs at the vocational school who have also elected to take an agriculture class on Friday mornings/afternoons. Today there were four guests to the class, Pastor Luis, his wife Doris, Doris’s sister Antonia, and Yohanna the agronomist.

 After we got back from the vocational school, two of us stayed at Larry and Angie’s house to help make pizzas for a dinner we were hosting to thank the Promatoras ( community health teachers) that had helped us the previous day at the island. We made a variety of pizzas including bbq chicken and taco pizzas. While the Cameron and Jesse made pizza at the Overholt’s with Larry, the rest of us proceeded to the church where we had created the garden to watch/help the kids plant seeds. The kids enjoys learning how to manage a garden. After they were done, we played a good amount of duck duck goose and were beat very badly in soccer. This was more proof we did not need to have the same language to communicate. After the church visit, we went to the Overholt’s to serve pizza to and eat with the Promatoras and their families and talked about our day. 

Pato, Pato, Gonzo…

Today’s Bloggers:

Grace Barger – Benjamin Logan

Chelsea Washburn – Federal Hocking

​Our group began our third day in Honduras by eating breakfast at Larry and Angie’s, which consisted of French Toast, spicy sausgaes, cereal, and fresh fruit. After we ate breakfast, we packed our own lunches for the day to go to the island. We also packed extra sandwhichs and snacks for the locals on the island.

After our delicious, fresh breakfast our group picked up the Promotoras (Community Health Workers, who are paid through a grant received by Dr. Cano and Mr. Agner from the Columbus Foundation), who were going to prepare the meal for the children on Boca del Rio Viejo with us. After we picked up the Promotors we traveled over an hour to the island. On the bus ride to the island we saw numerous sugar cane plants, that were all hand planted, salt collection from salt water, solar farms, and a shrimp farm. When we got to the dock it took four different boats to get all the cargo and people to the island.

Once we got to the island some group members started preparing the meal, while others played “pato, pato, gonzo” or as we know it “duck, duck, goose”. We also learned new games such as “cat and mouse.” The children also enjoyed playing with FFA balloons that Mr. Staley brought. After the meal was prepared, the group servered the children. The meal consisted of beets, yuca, carrots, porkrinds, cabbage, and slaw. They also were servered a fruit punch drink that they drank out of a bag, instead of a cup. 

The group also had the oppurtunity to sit in the classroom with the students. We were all completely baffled by the ammount of differences between Honduran Schools and American Schools. Kids at the island school had very little organization, and harsher punishments that would be looked down upon in school systems in the United States. It also suprised the group how loyal the children were to their families, because after the children had gotten their plate of food they took it home to their family to be divided up. The children here are so grateful and full of energy and happiness, for how little they have. It is so humbling to see the children be so grateful and jubliant.

After the group help clean up, we went to the local beach that is right off the island. It is so pristine and a great photo opp. when standing on the beach looking out at the Pacific Ocean, if you looked to the left you seen Nicaragua, if you looked to the right you seen El Salvadore, and everything behind and beside us was Honduras. The group ate their packed lunches on the beach and swam and sat on the beach, we also collected seashells. As we were observing the local culture we saw a seven year old girl rip her skirt on barb wire. She was scared to go home so she fixed her own skirt by melting plasitc on to her skirt, that she had found on the island. Another thing that differs from our culture to theirs is that they have so much more survival skills. On the way off the island some group members stopped at a local womans home to buy necklaces that are made out of rolled up stips of magizines and beads, no two necklaces are alike.

The group walked back to the dock and took the boat back the bus, where we headed back on another hour plus bus ride to Larry and Angie’s for supper where we had chicken with red sause, rice, fresh fruit, vegetables, slaw, and chocolate zucchini cake, and three different kinds of ice cream. The group had a very eye opening third day here in Honduras.

Shovels, Spud bars, and Handmade Hoes

Today’s bloggers:

McKenzie Steele –Federal Hocking

 Levi Horsley-Benjamin Logan

We started our first full day in Honduras by meeting at the front gate at 6:15am to walk to the Overholt’s for breakfast at 6:30am. At Larry and Angie’s a breakfast of scrambled eggs, little sausages, toast, yogurt smoothies, cereal, bananas, and juice and coffee made by Diana, Linda, and Sarah was served.

We then made our way to the our first project, making a community garden for children in the barrio (neighborhood) at the Los Amigos Por Siempre (friends forever) church. At the Los Amigos church we me met a female agronomist Yohana Oslrto who attends the church, Pastor Luis Samchez, and Pastor Luis’s wife Doris Sanchez. Yohana taught all of us the specifics of growing plants in Honduras with Doris serving as the translator. We spent our morning preparing a garden, tilling up the dirt with shovels and spud bars, which was difficult as times due to the amount of rocks and how sandy it was. Next, we created homemade hoes, then assembled rows of dirt which had to be the appropriate height of 30 cm. then we spread horse poop and lime throughout our mounds of dirt. Finally, once we were finished we collected all of the tools that were used and gather our belongings. We will return to Los Amigos on Friday to help the local children plant seeds and make a fence around the garden to keep animals out.

While the group started on the garden Dr. Cano, Mr. Agner, and Mr. Staley went to a local family’s house down the road from Los Amigos to help figure out how to fix a retaining wall that had broken due to the amount of rain the last couple nights. After deciding on a solution with the owner and workers they then went to a house that was recently built by another group from OSU to help with some work that needed finished. They returned back to the church in time to help with finishing the rows.

For lunch Larry grilled hamburgers that were served with tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, brownies, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. After lunch, we made our way back to the hotel. We were given the opportunity to go to the pool for the afternoon, however, we all decided we would have rather just relaxed in our rooms for a few hours rather than swim. At 4:30, we all gathered in the foyer of the hotel where Mr. Staley gave us a demonstration on robots “bees” which consisted of two-sided sticky tape, tooth brush head, motor, a battery, and a bee sticker. Friday, we will break down into four different groups and teach the lesson to students taking an agriculture class at a vocational school.

Later in the evening, we went back to Larry and Angie’s house for dinner. For dinner we had Honduran tostadas, which consisted of fried tortillas, ground beef with potatoes and carrots, refried beans, and sour cream, and mixed fruit (pineapple, watermelon, and papaya) for dessert. Afterwards, we made a mad dash back to our hotel due to the amount of rain that was coming. While doing this, one of our students was almost attacked by a dog. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

When we got back to our hotel, we waited out the rain while we had our nightly discussion/debriefing, and then was given the choice of going to get smoothies at a local shop or frosty’s at Wendy’s. As a group, we all decided on smoothies. We walked one block over to the smoothie shop where we all got to create our own smoothies that consisted of a variety of fresh fruit and ice. What a great way to end our second way of being here in Honduras.

Let the Journey Begin…

Today’s bloggers are:

Maya Staton – Clear Fork 

Kaylene Harpist – Benjamin Logan 

Today we departed from Columbus, had a layover in Atlanta, then finally arrived in Tegucigalpa. After a 4hr bus ride from Tegucigalpa to Choluteca, the total travel time for the day was 14 hours. 

As we landed in the Honduran capital, many of us were surprised at the way the housing was arranged. Most would describe it as houses “piled up on one another.” The closeness of the houses, let alone their closeness to the airport, is a stark contrast to our lives in Ohio. When traveling to our hotel in Choluteca, we were able to notice many differences between Honduran culture and our own. The differences range from the driving style, to clothing, to seeing animals tied along side the roads. Stray horses were a common sight, as well as tons of stray dogs. Hondurans sat along the side of the road selling items such as pottery, hammocks, rosquillas (corn cookies), and iguanas and parakeets (which are illegal to sell). The Honduran houses varied from sticks and mud to mansions. 

Once we arrived at Hotel Rivera, we had a few minutes to unload our things and then we were off to dinner at our host’s house, a 5 minute walk from the hotel. As we walked down gravel and dirt streets many children said hello. Their greetings were verbally spoken by saying “hola” or running to give hugs. Our guides began to show us that the Honduran people are a friendly community. Our meal was a cultural change as we ate chicken (cooked in Coke) with rice, refried beans and cream, corn tortillas, fresh fruit and two mango desserts to choose from. 

As the night comes to an end, we were debriefed on tomorrow’s activities and shared experiences we have had so far. Tomorrow we travel to begin a service project of preparing a garden and learning more of the culture here in Honduras.