Honduras: The Little Things in Life
Name: Jamie Gothard
Type of Project: Education Abroad
- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.
My STEP Signature Project was a community development and service learning study abroad to the country of Honduras. Our group toured local agricultural sites and companies to give us a taste of agriculture in Central America. The bulk of our trip was spent assisting the communities with projects at their homes and schools including digging trenches for pipes and pouring concrete for sidewalks.
2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.
There is one day on the Study Abroad trip that I believe reflected the country properly and made me realize what the Hondurans truly hold close to their heart. One the first Sunday of the trip, I was able to experience Honduran culture firsthand. First, we attended a Catholic Church service, because around 97% of the country is Catholic! Then, we observed a Mother’s Day Celebration, it is a huge deal to recognize how important the Mother of the family is! We all had a wonderful time and felt so lucky that the Hondurans were willing to share their culture with us.
My experience of traveling to Honduras definitely changed me as a person and made me really think about my decisions and how I live my life. I have traveled to other parts of the world in the past and my view of the world has completely changed from this trip because I got to see some of the poorest communities in the world and the struggles that they have to deal with every day. This education abroad opportunity has truly made me a better person and greatly influenced my perspective on my life and the rest of the world.
3. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.
We worked with and visited many different schools and communities, including the very poorest in Honduras. The people we met and had the pleasure of working with are who changed my viewpoint on everything. I heard the many stories of what the Hondurans have been through and experienced, which are things that most people should never have happen in their lives. The entire time I was abroad I could not help thinking how sorry I am for the struggles that these innocent people have to deal with every day and the things that they have to worry about, while I just take all the privileges in my life for granted instead of cherishing the little things in life that matter most, like what the Hondurans do.
Through the unforgettable experience that traveling to Honduras has given me, there is one major thing that I realized, the little things in life. I take so many things for granted back home in the United States, and I felt so guilty of everything I have compared to these children in Honduras. However, I soon found out that the little things in life that I tend to be ungrateful for are some of the things that Hondurans are forever changed by. The people of Honduras can have their day made by just one smile, laugh, or moment.
Education is one factor that I definitely have had a lack of appreciation for back home as it is not a basis of Honduran life. This showed as the faces of the students lit up when we showed up to teach them how to plant seeds, because they are anxious for attention, where we had the chance to provide.
I truly admire the Hondurans ability to take all the little things in life and turn them into special memories from living in the moment and savoring that time.
4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.
I think this change has made me a better person and encouraged myself to pursue my further dreams of community development here at home in my local town, but also abroad in the places that need it most. I want to travel and help people in need and use my skills and knowledge to influence people to do good in their lives and help others. This greatly relates to my future personal goals and plans because I want to have a career working with my local community in some sort of capacity through agriculture, along with I would like to continue traveling in my future to help the less fortunate all around the world.