Dear Friends and Family,
This will be brief this afternoon as our Internet has been down 24 hours and we are hoping to raise it up shortly.
We have had a wonderful time with the Lafayette team who has been here. The students have enjoyed talking and hearing about their experiences. A lot of sharing and discussion. Amber, Debbie and David have been fully immersed here at TLC, from participating in all classes to enjoying frijoles! We are very excited about the prospects for a longer term relationship between TLC and Lafayette.
We walked through Los Valles yesterday, a nearby community where we visited a middle school that TLC helped start a few years ago.
The 4 students who were translating for the medical brigade returned today. They had a wonderful experience – serving over 200 people every day in very poor villages and communities. They were all asked to return for future teams as the directors of the NGO were so impressed!
This morning Chris, the Lafayette team and the first-year students walked to one of our waterfalls about 45 minutes from campus. Speaking English only, they enjoyed the spectacular views!
All the business students presented their business plans (power points) this afternoon to the staff and team. The girls did great, very impressive!
Baleadas for dinner tonight and a going away Bonfire are on the agenda
We fly tomorrow and get back to Virginia very late.
Chris and I have had a blessed 15 days – these women are so caring and genuine. They are in our hearts forever. Thanks to all of you for your support.
Blessings from Honduras
Dear Family and Friends,
We had a terrific weekend beginning on Friday with a trip to Villa de San Francisco to visit Lenis Garcia and her family. Lenis graduated from TLC last March and is now running a successful retail business selling used clothing and shoes. We delivered 20 pairs of new shoes donated for her from a supporter in Virginia. Her shop is doing well enough for her Mom and Grandmother to be employed there. Lenis has also made her first micro loan payment early. We enjoyed a great lunch with her family, purchased a pair of shoes then headed back to campus.
We stopped in Zambrano to pick up another graduate, Yanetzi Ortiz who came to campus for the weekend. Yanetzi has been operating a successful school supply store for over one year. She has recently encountered some competition in her community and is currently re-evaluating her products and services to meet the competition. We had a valuable strategy session with Yanetzi and we are optimistic that some of these new ideas will help her.
Alumni weekend continued with a visit from Karla Mendoza who is very close to launching her organic egg business. Her coup is built and the feed grasses are growing well. She will soon have water and electricity to begin raising her chickens. Karla hopes to have her first eggs in about 5 months. TLC gave Karla a donation of about 50 children’s books in Spanish. Karla will be staring the first library in her community school very soon. It fills a real need since they have no reading books available for kids.
On Saturday night we celebrated the July birthdays with cheeseburgers, French fries, lemonade and cake. While commonplace in the US, this meal was a real treat for the students. They decorated the comedor and we had a grand time! (After a steady diet of beans, eggs and rice, the gringos enjoyed the cheeseburgers as well)
On Sunday, a team of 3 professors arrived from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. Amber, Debbie and David will stay on campus until Thursday, visiting classes and touring the farm. We hope that in the future, students from the college may be able to come to TLC during their spring break to share with our students as well as learn about coffee farming, clean water production, aquaponics and other sustainable projects at TLC. We are grateful for this team of Lafayette friends and the students are very excited they are here!
Dan and I are looking forward to sharing more with you about TLC upon our return.
See you soon.
It’s hot and sunny here today in the mountains of Honduras. We have had a lot of rain the last few afternoons and evenings which has challenged our solar power and internet connectivity! But it is very nice now – about 78 degrees.
Four of our seniors left campus yesterday for a week to translate for a US-based medical brigade who is providing free health care to poor people in Tegucigalpa. The girls were excited about their first ever visit to an airport to meet the medical team. It’s a nice validation of our English teaching here at The Leadership Center that these girls were hired as translators.
The second-year students just returned from a day trip to El Saccoro, a nearby (2-hour walk) village of 40 homes. The girls are beginning to plan a community development project there – perhaps a small high school or a clean water source.
The first-year students are working hard at learning English. They have 4 classes a day. Chris is teaching an afternoon class. They also have evening reading and an English Cafe – where we all help in the afternoons and evenings. The students are now supposed to be only speaking English on campus, except for their rooms in the evening where Spanish is ok. They learn well in this environment. Four of the graduates last February are now teaching English at small elementary schools, a great first job. They typically earn about 4-6000 lempira a month – about $200 to $300.
Business plans for seniors are coming along. Just finished working some with Dessy, who is planning to start a coffee processing and sales business. She will buy green coffee from local farmers in bulk and dry it, and have it roasted and ground. Dessy will bag and market the coffee locally. She will have about 15 lempira (75cents) a pound in costs and sell it for about 35-40 lempira. It’s interesting to think about – a coffee business in Honduras! Imagine that.
We killed the last few meat chickens yesterday and had them with rice for lunch today. Very tasty. Egg layers are producing about 60 eggs a day so we have plenty of eggs!
We had a great bible study last night – John’s third letter about hospitality. 14 of the girls participated and they had some interesting ideas and encouragements for us. The overwhelming feeling that I experience as these young women talk about their faith is amazement for their strong witness.
Well that’s it for now. I am hoping the internet will speed this to you today, but it’s possible it may be tomorrow!
Blessings from Honduras!
Dan and Chris
July 15, 2016
Dear Friends and Family,
We arrived Wednesday mid-morning in Tegucigalpa. After a couple hours of shopping errands (mostly food for campus) we arrived on campus about 2:30. The students greeted us with hugs and laughter and we spent time talking and unpacking!
Thursday morning, Chris began to teach in the first-year classes with Nia, a wonderful young woman from Louisiana teaching English here at TLC for a year. I taught the third-year business students in the afternoon, where we focused on important business metrics, like profit margins and break even points.
There are 31 students here now, almost equally divided in three classes. The first-year students are “all English, all day”. The second-years are in leadership and community development classes. And the third years are finishing up their business classes in September and will soon graduate.
The devotional this morning was led by one of the second-year students who spoke about her gratitude to God for the opportunity she has been provided to learn and grow at TLC. It was touching, and thanks to all of you for helping make this happen!
I started working on the seniors’ business plans today, which are well underway. We have a coffee roasting business, a pulperia, a coffee Internet cafe, and an agricultural supply store – to name a few- in the works.
Chris spent this afternoon with about 10 of the girls in the sewing room – they had a lot of creative fun! Big news is we have three working sewing machines at this time after a bit of tinkering and duct tape.
After a dinner this evening of frijoles, cabbage, and a fresh fried egg (and of course, corn tortillas), we attended a wonderful ceremony of the Women With Purpose group. They welcomed 9 new members tonight. Each student spoke about themselves and of their desire to help and encourage other women in their local communities.
Have a wonderful weekend and blessings from Honduras!
Dan and Chris