As soon as I left Tegucigalpa airport and boarded the bus for Valle de Angeles I was struck by the beauty of our surrounding landscape. Lush and vibrantly coloured flowers and greenery met us at every corner as we drove up the winding road further into the mountains for our training week.
Forested hills engulfed by pines, stretched high and mighty into the floating clouds overlooking countless buildings beneath. Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, is under an hour's drive from the location of where we would be spending the best part of a week engaged in training activities alongside our Honduran counterparts. For me personally, I have never encountered such a vibrant and fun-loving group of young people of another nationality. Together we enjoyed a week rich in cultural exchange. Joint Spanish and English lessons with all volunteers allowed us to help each other improve our language skills whilst also building a greater rapport with the group. Bonding activities were an integral part of our week, with muddy tugs of war, sack races, and catch the flag to name but a few. These activities allowed each group of volunteers to communicate easily with one another, overcoming any language barriers and we became more comfortable in each other’s company. Finding out more about the project and team plans for our stay in Gracias was very exciting. This culminated in an exchange of our ideas for various workshops such as climate change awareness, hygiene, reforestation, various cultural learning sessions, football tournaments, and a community band and puppetry show solely made from recycled materials.
Anticipating good things to come, both British and Honduran volunteers ride amongst each other Central American style, on board a minibus from Valle de Angeles destined for Gracias, Lempira. After saying our goodbyes and farewells to those heading for the community of Guayape, we climbed into the vehicle, organised luggage and set off. Latin music vibrates as the volunteers admire beautiful scenery. All eighteen of us now look ahead to what's coming...
Written by ICS volunteers Ben Anson and Emma Hooper