By Drew Brunson for the September, 2008 issue, The St. Georgian
I’m happy to announce that Saint George’s mission trip to Our Little Roses, located in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was a huge success, like always. Our group of 17 people met at Quarles Petroleum at three in the morning on August 4th, and drove to Washington where we took a plane to San Pedro Sula. We stayed until the 14th. Once we arrived, the Our Little Roses staff gave us a tour of the compound, and gave us a run down of the rules.
The next morning after a delicious breakfast prepared by our amazing cook, Miriam, we got started on our typical routine. In the early morning, we usually just hung out, talked with the girls, and played sports with them. In the late morning or early afternoon, we did some sort of an arts and crafts project. We had lunch at twelve and headed back outside to talk and play more, and to do classes in cooking, French, and yoga. Brian Ours’ Spanish class at Stafford High made books for the girls, which we read to them. It was hard for me, but it helped improve my Spanish. The girls loved it; they would laugh when you make a mistake, but then help you correct it. They were very good teachers. We also played a lot of Bingo, read books, and played other games. After dinner at six, we played a game of either soccer or volley ball (the girls are amazing athletes) and jumped rope until the girls bedtime, and then we had our usual evening meeting.
Throughout the week, we made a trip to a market where we all bought souvenirs, and we made a trip to the beach with some girls. Several members of our team painted the gates to Our Little Roses for a few days. We hired a professional hair stylist to come and cut all of the girl’s hair. Some of the younger girls were nervous about getting their haircut, but once it was done they all loved it.
One day all of our group got into the bus and drove down by the river. On one side was a nice, upper class neighborhood and on the other was a huge slum. The slum went along the river for miles and miles, and back away from the shore for miles. The river was where they got their drinking water and wash water, and it is also where they dumped their sewage and trash.
It is important to remember that areas like that are where these girls have come from. It is so easy to forget because they are all so healthy and happy. The girls are taken from areas like this if they aren’t getting all of their basic needs met, or if they suffer from abuse, as many do. Once you talk to them and get to know them, you begin to realize that they are not any different from any of us. They are all so happy and intelligent despite their background. Many of the girls go to the bilingual school located on the compound and are fluent in both English and Spanish, even some as young as nine. Going there made me realize that anybody could be born into poverty and can be so full of potential, but instead of meeting that potential they are stuck in poverty all of their lives. We are all so lucky not to be born into those conditions like millions of people are being born into every day.
Our Little Roses breaks the cycle of poverty by rescuing these girls from terrible circumstances and raising them under good conditions, seeing them through school, and eventually through college and into the upper middle class working world.
Our group was able to meet three of the girls living in the Our Little Roses transition home who are all attending collage. It is the goal of Our Little Roses for all the girls in the home to reach this level of living and education.
Unfortunately Our Little Roses, along with the rest of Honduras, is facing many of the same economic issues that we are all facing in the United Stares, and it is so important to our group, to Our Little Roses, to Honduras in general, and most importantly to the girls that Saint Georges continues to support Our Little Roses by sending money annually and by sending groups like us to visit them. The girls have no family so it is important for them to know that there are people out there that love them and care about them. The girls at Our Little Roses are the future of Honduras, and they need our support.