Ever since we arrived in El Carrizal just over four weeks ago, we have been holding three weekly English classes with the local school, the national volunteers and the local community. They have been very well received as the English language is a sought after skill in Honduras, yet hardly anybody in El Carrizal can speak it.

Due to the low wages/job instability across Honduras many people aspire to emigrate to the United States in order to earn more money and secure a more stable life for their families. Therefore, English is a very useful language to learn.

 Grades 1-3 enjoying their English lesson

As well as being a useful skill for future emigration plans, it’s also a great opportunity for the local young people to come along and learn, for free. Due to the fact that families need to pay expensive fees if they’d like their children to attend school from 12 years onwards, many children have to leave school after primary school and don’t have the opportunity to study again. We’re hoping that our weekly classes offer them the chance to continue their learning in a fun and engaging way, at no cost. 

 UK volunteer Laura making English lessons more fun with a game

For our lessons at the primary school, we have been using lots of games and interactive activities in order to make the lessons enjoyable. With over 40 children per class, the lessons have been challenging (especially for our voices!) at times but it all feels worth it when the children greet us in the street with a chirpy “good morning!” instead of the usual “buenos dias”.

As we continue to promote our classes more and more throughout El Carrizal, we receive increasing numbers of attendees each week. Not only is this great for the classes, it’s also a brilliant way for us to continue building a close relationship with the community, which is really beneficial when it comes to completing our projects and gathering feedback from them.

English lessons for the national volunteers and the community in the community centre

Overall, the classes have been a great success and are often a highlight of our week as volunteers. The national volunteers have been a testament to El Carrizal and Honduras with their passion and enthusiasm for the classes. We hope that we have lit a spark for lifelong learning here that they will continue for many years to come. 

Written by ICS volunteer Mahalia Carroll. Photos by Noel Specowius.