The Honduras Child Alliance runs several programs to support the people of El Porvenir.  The main program is the Porvenir English Program (PEP).  Classes are offered free of charge to children and adults at three main locations in the village.   Each location draws students from the neighborhood.  As any teacher knows, each class has its own personality, strengths and weaknesses.  The volunteers work hard to meet the needs of individual students.  There is so much that I’ve experienced this first week that it’s impossible to share it all.  Today I will focus on one location.

Children are always greeting us in the street.

PEP2 is in a neighborhood that is about a 30-minute walk (or 10-minute tuk-tuk ride) from the center of El Porvenir.   Even though it’s hot, I love walking through the neighborhoods on the way to PEP2 and seeing close up how people live.  The loud music we heard coming from a few houses this morning meant it was cleaning day for that household.  Another thing I love is that there are always some students eagerly awaiting the volunteers.  They help us set up for class and try to get a few extra minutes of play time in.  They also always greet the new volunteers and love introducing themselves in English.

Waiting for class to start

The more experienced volunteers create lesson plans for each class and we review them at a weekly planning meeting as well as before each class.  All plans are shared on a Google Doc, and each volunteer is assigned certain responsibilities related to the lesson.   This system allows the volunteers to rotate to each location and different classes and still be able to teach the lesson for that particular group.  This week, I have run “circle time” (in Spanish), conducted some immersion activities (in English) and gave a lot of piggy back rides.

Inside PEP 2

At PEP2, I’ve had classes as small as four students in the morning, but usually have about 15-20 students in the afternoon.  This location tends to have more boys, many of them wanting to show they are tougher than the others.  Sometimes there are neighborhood kids walking by and ridiculing the kids in the class.  Still, these kids come to class voluntarily.  Some kids even come to extra classes when their regular school classes are canceled.

Kids climb the walls here, too

Some of our happy clients:

Most classes run for 90-120 minutes.  Class starts with 15 minutes of games.  Pick up sticks and Uno are favorites.  The boys are experts at putting extra cards down, but I’ve still managed to win a few rounds.  Classes follow a specific routine from here.  More on that in other posts.

Class begins with 15 minutes of play time.

As you can see from the pictures, PEP2 is just a shack, but we make great use of it.  There is no bathroom and one outside faucet.  The Honduras Child Alliance has secured a new location with a much sturdier and useful building for PEP2.  They are currently fundraising to be able to renovate the building and purchase supplies.  Click here to go to the Honduras Child Alliance website for more details.

Setting up for class

This is usually just one of up to three classes I have any given day.  It’s a long and hot walk home, but also beautiful and a chance for the volunteers to discuss how the class went and what the weekend plans will be!

Walking through the neighborhood
The shortcut
The long sunny stretch; thinking of a mango-papaya smoothie to buy on the way home helps.

Comments (16):

  1. anne

    July 13, 2016 at 06:16

    Awesome Tim love the writing and the pictures can’t wait to hear more

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 15, 2016 at 01:04

      You should start a blog about your garden!

  2. Lori

    July 13, 2016 at 08:42

    Love the gorgeous pics of the students!!! Sounds like they are ready and willing to learn! How exciting!

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 15, 2016 at 01:07

      Yes, they are. It’s amazing that they come voluntarily. What’s heartbreaking is when we have to send home the three and four-year-olds because they’re too young.

  3. Deidre Toole

    July 13, 2016 at 09:57

    The children are beautiful! Did you take the photos? Try to get a photo of you in there so we can see you too! What an experience!!!

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 15, 2016 at 01:11

      Yes, all photos on the blog are mine, unless otherwise noted. One of my photos has been used in a volunteer ad for the organization already. I’m working on improving, but it is still trial and error for me. I will get some of me eventually!

  4. Paula M Agins

    July 13, 2016 at 10:30

    Another great read……..and pictures!

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 15, 2016 at 01:12

      Glad to be of service! I’m going to start party planning soon – will keep you posted.

  5. LInda Wight

    July 13, 2016 at 13:01

    AS usual, truly amazing, love the pictures and the walk – ditto love to see you in pictures with students – Keep up the good work – love Linda n Conrad

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 15, 2016 at 01:13

      I promise to get some pictures of myself on here soon! (I really am here.)

  6. Gail

    July 14, 2016 at 10:54

    Love seeing the beautiful smiling faces of your students!
    I’m visualizing you giving out piggy back rides, LOL!
    Looking forward to the next post-

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 15, 2016 at 01:14

      It always seems to be the bigger kids who want a ride, but how can I say no?

  7. Marika

    July 14, 2016 at 18:57

    Beautiful faces! Why do they start classes with a game? I adore that and think it must be a motivator for the kids.

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 15, 2016 at 01:20

      Yes, it really works. The kids come and can’t wait for us to bring the games out. They know that after 15 minutes we’ll start class, so they’re ready to learn then. We all sit and play with them, so it’s a great way to get to know the kids.

  8. Elaine Temel

    July 15, 2016 at 14:48

    I love the idea of games before class! I bet that smoothie was delicious!

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 16, 2016 at 23:04

      The smoothies are becoming a habit. Did I mention there are hammocks in an upstairs patio at the smoothie restaurant? We place our order downstairs, head upstairs to the hammocks, and the smoothies are brought right to us. What service!


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