VOLUNTEER NAME: LAURA M
My name is Laura and I spent six months volunteering in Honduras at the Centro de Estudios de la Mujer project.
Centro de Estudios de la Mujer. The aim of the NGO is to reduce inequality in Honduran society, to promote the political participation of Honduran women and to reduce the poverty and violence that specifically affects women.
MY ROLE AT CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS DE LA MUJER
I was volunteering alongside the women within this feminist organisation. I was pretty much allowed free reign over what I did day-to-day but I took part in conferences and the International Women’s Day walk on March 8th.
A TYPICAL DAY FOR ME IS…
A typical day for me was spending the first hour of my working day having breakfast with the other women and chatting, just an example of the Honduran work ethic and timekeeping! I worked on my own projects often, and provided help to the women who worked there.
WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO WHEN I’M NOT VOLUNTEERING
When not volunteering, we spent a lot of time travelling throughout Honduras. I visited a lot of smaller cities as well as the larger more touristy areas. When it wasn’t possible to travel, we spent a lot of time with the other ICYE volunteers, and national citizens seeing films, having dinner and trying unsuccessfully to dance salsa in the clubs! Honduras is such a family-orientated country that I spent a lot of time with my host family, and their extended family, which was fantastic. I also joined my host family quite regularly at their local Catholic church.
FROM MY VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT I LEARNT/GAINED
The most interesting thing about living and volunteering in Honduras is embracing the completely new culture. Honduras is such a patriotic country, and that is reflected in the way that they celebrate football as a country and are proud of their country. It is interesting to go behind the news headlines and experience the country of Honduras for myself, as it is relatively unknown outside of Central America. Travelling within Honduras was a great experience because there are so many incredible places to visit and a wide variety of climates, terrains and communities.
From my volunteer placement I learnt not to assume that you can judge a different culture without living among that culture. I learnt to look beyond a reputation and get to know the people of country before forming own opinions. The language skills that I gained have encouraged me to continue learning Spanish now I am back in England and I have definitely become more independent and confident in my own abilities and skills. I also made life-long friends.