This past August, Will Zolpe of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin traveled over 3,000 miles to Olancho for a service learning project to assess Olancho Aid Foundation’s water purification program. Enjoy reading Will’s reflection below.
Visiting Honduras, although only for two weeks, really surprised me in the sense of how different of a life it was from what I am used to. I was invited to fly down to help create an in-depth analysis of the current water projects that the Olancho Aid Foundation has been working on in the surrounding communities of Juticalpa. I was greeted at the airport by two of the foundation’s employees, Pablo and Wendy, who were incredibly nice and willing to help me get acclimated. Pablo was the one I worked with the most because he sets up and trains each community he visits on how to operate the water systems all on his own. Him and I worked very closely with each other throughout my time in Honduras which allowed us to develop a close relationship as we continue to stay in contact.
We visited thirteen communities together and conducted interviews with several people from each town to find out a little more about how the water projects affect their lives. I was glad to see that every single person we spoke with only had very positive things to say about how much good the water systems do for their communities. They seem to be truly life-changing for these people who cannot be sure that they will have clean water every day.
Even though I can only speak minimal Spanish and the majority of the Honduran people do not speak English, I was able to find ways to communicate with them and get a basic understanding of what their everyday lives are like. Overall, this was a very valuable experience for me because I got to see with my own eyes what a tremendous difference the Olancho Aid Foundation is making in the lives of people all over the Juticalpa area, and this is just the beginning for them. I am very thankful that I got to work with such a great foundation and wish them the best in their future.
Read Will’s full report: Review of Water Projects – Service Learning, Will Zolpe.