Olancho Aid Spotlight: Mary Roy
When did you join Olancho Aid?
I was already going to and in love with Honduras before the inception of Olancho Aid as my first trip was in 1993. My first introduction to Olancho was when it began, and I was one of the original board members. I was on the board for seven years. So as the foundation of the Foundation was being built and fine-tuned I was part of it. I had already been going to Honduras for at least eight years. In fact for the first six to eight years mine was the only group that I know of that visited and worked in Juticalpa.
What is your favorite part of volunteering with Olancho Aid?
I just love the people who I’ve met over the years. I’ve watched them grow, and I have enjoyed seeing the students go from kindergarten to graduating from the bilingual schools and knowing that I had a small part in that journey. Over the last 10 years or so I have trusted the Foundation to help my teams make the most of their energy and talents whether it be painting, doing construction, visiting schools to hand out supplies, taking advantage of a large team of medical professionals to do clinics, or just simply washing the hair of a child or sitting on a floor somewhere to color. The Olancho Aid team works hard to help us make to most of our time in Juticalpa.
Do you have a favorite memory of your time at Olancho Aid?
I have many favorite moments as I have 25 years of trips. One was watching my daughter get married in Jutiquile in February of 2011. Another one was when a young deaf boy had a conversation with one of my team who signed to him; this was a boy who always sat out any games because he could not speak, but on this day he was talking to a beautiful young North American in front of his whole community. Everyone stopped to watch, and I got to see his eyes light up! It still makes me cry remembering that day.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of volunteering with Olancho Aid?
I always tell people that they need to see the beauty and the need there and that everyone has something to give.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I am a mother of 4, a grandmother of 12, and a great grandmother of 2.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I started my journey when I was 45, so it has been long one. At least three other missions teams have developed out of the teams that I have led.