Colin Spring

Colin Spring was a volunteer at Smart Kids Bilingual School in 2012.

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As a volunteer from the United States, I have been asked to write a little about the lifestyle here and how it differs from back home.

Honduras as a whole is a dynamic country with much to offer. There are beautiful beaches, colonial cities, Mayan ruins, lakes, and beautiful jungles. Most everywhere you go you will find yourself in the company of friendly smiles and warm people.  I find the people much less reserved than Americans in their sincere demeanor.

The kids you work with can be at vastly different learning levels within the same classroom and it may be a challenge to help the more accelerated soar higher while trying to boast the slower learners.  In my experience, Honduran children are accustomed to a different type of learning environment.  It is not uncommon for them to leave their chairs or classroom, to borrow a pencil sharpener or to converse cross room in the middle of a lecture. They require a lot of patience if you believe school is a place where students maintain a level of composure while sitting in orderly rows.  They are genuine souls though, quick to laugh and quicker to share (both snacks and homework answers).    

If I were to move here again knowing what I know, I would bring books. Books for the kids, books for myself.  There are very few bookstores and books cost more than a weeks wage.  I would bring all the electronic adapters you might anticipate as here they are generally expensive and low quality.  There is a mail service but it certainly isn’t very convenient to get to the central post office. Also lots of music services are not licensed outside of the US so either find one or load up the ipod!  Not that you will be without a constant inundation of overbearing cumbas, puntas or bachatas blasting from every store and house as if you are caught betwixt some sort of escalating audio cold war.  Our neighbors, for example, are ranchero enthusiasts.

Overall it is an exciting and rewarding experience for the right kind of person.  A sense of humor, tolerance and patience are vital.