Good morning friends and family,
It’s Friday here at The Leadership Center in rural Honduras. We are at about 4,500 feet elevation in a beautiful mountain setting. The sun has been a bit spotty this week! It’s been cool here, blankets and sweatshirts at night.
The Lafayette College team of 12 students and faculty (nine women and three guys) departed yesterday morning. There were many hugs and tears. The TLC students and the team forged some terrific relationships in their 10 days here.
It was a very rewarding to be with these young people in service here at TLC. They came to give of course, but I know they received a lot from the TLC students as well. I know many of the relationships will continue through social media and I expect some of the Lafayette students will return.
- They cleared a field where a new exercise facility will be built – along the soccer field. The facility will be for morning exercise and big enough for indoor wall soccer, and maybe a basketball hoop. That project will take a lot of concrete and brick work and will continue for a month led by our workers and a team coming in a week or so from North Carolina.
- The team prepped some of agriculture fields (new one down near cook’s house). Tilled soil and made planting rows. There may be more of that to do.
- A big project undertaken by the team was a complete reorganization and cleansing of the TLC library. We were fortunate that one of the Lafayette team was a librarian and Ana really took charge! I think this will result in much more use of the library by the TLC students.
- The Lafayette team held three after class seminars for all students. They focused on Malala (a Pakistani woman) who led / leads social justice causes. And in the last seminar on Wednesday they asked / challenged the TLC students to describe an important life goal of theirs and draw a road map of the challenges they faced to achieve it and how their strengths and education would enable them. It was a great exercise.
- One of the most valuable things that the team did was they loved on the girls. They read with them, they shared experiences and bits of their lives . . . encouraging them in many ways.
Teams and visitors to campus are so important to our mission and work here. It’s all about relationships. And the TLC students are so grateful for the opportunity to get to know all of us with different life experiences and to share their own experiences. To be honest, it’s pretty humbling.
My brother-in-law Jeff and good friend Dan Price came yesterday. Dan is organizing a paint crew at a nearby church in Los Valles. They will paint the only church, a small cinder block building. Jeff is already working on a couple projects here on campus.
We accept new students each year in February to begin a new school year April 1. This next cohort will be #9. Over the first 6 years, we have slowly increased the class sizes as we have garnered more resources. There are so many poor young women who cannot afford education past high school, we are usually overwhelmed by applicants. Many more qualified than we can accept.
We hope to accept 16-18 new students in Cohort 9. We are still in need of sponsors for 1/2 of the next
class if you or anyone you know is interested.
This year we have 37 applicants (all personally recommended by their community leaders or local NGOs). They are being interviewed here at TLC in three groups over the next three weekends.
Twelve TLC applicants arrived on campus last evening, many with their mother or father. They worked with the TLC students after devotional this morning and are in a class now. Interviews start later this morning. We will have a bonfire tonight for them and they depart tomorrow.
One last note, keep Honduras in your prayers this week. There are new calls for a week of protest and disruption of the Presidential inauguration on the 27th. Traffic barriers, etc. . . . we are safe here on the mountain. Most of the issue will probably be in large cities, major roads, possibly airports.
Well off to teach class now. I have 8 second year students gathering near my classroom.
Blessings from Honduras,
Dan and Chris