This week in La Esperanza we’ve been renovating the library and workshop room, the amount of work we have needed to do is testament to how badly the centre needs us, and needs our work. 

Thanks to aour local partner organisation Libre Expresion and Progressio we managed to get enough materials to do the work and we are coming along excellently. Volunteering takes a lot of planning at the beginning, especially at the beginning of a cycle like we are. It can be slow initially yet it is excellent having a fresh canvas to work on whilst working in a whole new environment for yourself and the Honduran volunteers. It’s so rewarding reaping what you sow too, it lets you put into practise what your group conceived as a simple abstract idea. 

Our main goal this week has been to prepare and host a workshop to introduce the community to what we’re doing. This also took a lot of planning at first, but when people began to arrive it seemed clear to us that our jobs are important to an area which is neglected all too often. It lets out the idea that they do have an alternative - change is possible. Each volunteer in the group has a different job and paired up with a national volunteer. My job was playing music but others were in charge of entertainment or managing information desks. 

ICS volunteer presenting the team's project to local community members

The community loved the workshop, which attracted lots of local school-children and their parents. It was great to see everything working so smoothly and so well, the UK volunteers and Hondurans getting along magnificently despite the language barrier, which our Honduran volunteers were able to help with. We decided to arrange a series of games for the children and information points for adults to educate them on our work here in La Esperanza. At the end we had a question session for the students, which gave us the chance to educate them further. I think this was really helpful in showing the community why we are here. 

Renovating the library and workshop room also proved to be very helpful and rewarding as it gave us space to hold workshops but added some continuity to the project in that we felt like we’d began to chip away at the edifice of our final goal: building a library for the local community to use, improving education and employment prospects. 

The first week in La Esperanza was slow. We planned a lot and took a while to get started, but now seeing it all come to fruition, doing workshops plus kicking-off on the renovation work, and knowing we are gradually moving forward is an excellent thing to feel and see in such a charming community.

Written by ICS volunteer Scott Houghton