Helpers In Honduras

     During summer vacation, most high school students are content to sit at home and watch television or play video games. However, some students take an active role in their vacation by sacrificing a part of their summer to help those in need. Every year in June, several Catholic High guys travel to Central America alongside the Christ the King Catholic Church mission trip to provide services for the less fortunate in Honduras.

     “My parents had gone years ago on the first trip, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to go and help out the people there,” said senior Jason Hennessey, who has been going on the trip since the summer of his sophomore year. “It also helped me practice my Spanish.”

     Though the trip lasts nine days, a full day of travel is required to get from Arkansas to Honduras. The volunteers have to fly to Houston, then to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and finally take a five-hour bus ride to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where they stay until the conclusion of their trip.

     In Honduras, the teenagers were in a group called the Teen Team, which does a little bit of everything. “We rotated throughout the trip to the different areas, like the eye care center, the hospital, the school, and construction,” said senior James Hughes, a volunteer on the 2012 trip. “In the hospital I was kind of like a nurse; the doctors would ask for something, and I would grab it off the shelf, open it, and give it to them. I didn’t get to make any cuts during the surgeries, though,” he said.

     For Jason Hennessey, a memorable part of the trip was working in the eye care center. “When you’re in the eye clinic and you give someone glasses, and they can see, it just feels good knowing that you’ve helped them,” he said. “You can see the proof in their faces.”

     In addition to helping out at the hospital and eye clinic, the volunteers do construction work in the local school, installing fans in the classrooms and doing repair work on the building and on the electrical systems. “It just shows how blessed we are to have what we have,” said senior Jacob Boone, who volunteered on the 2013 trip.

     This past summer the volunteers put on a skit for the kids at the school teaching them about chastity. They also had the opportunity to do activities and school work with the kids as well as to play games with them.

     All of the volunteers had a great experience with the trip and they strongly encourage others to go. “I think every teenager should experience something like that,” said Boone. “It truly humbles you.”

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