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A Final Thought

August 13, 2010

Well, loyal readers, I thought I’d round out the Nourish en Honduras blog with a final post (for now). It’s hard to believe that our two months with FIPAH are already over, but all seven team members (Marianne, Maya, Leslie, Monica, Caitlin, Sarah, and I) have returned to our natal states/provinces. Yes, we’re all back (as of last Monday)…with mud caked into our sneakers from our adventures in the field with the CIALs, thousands of photos on our cameras, and many memories and new ideas from the youth of FIPAH.

It was with a tear in my eye that I scrubbed the last bit of Honduran soil off my shoes today in the kitchen sink. The tear was probably induced by my nostalgia for the past two exciting months with FIPAH mixing with the fertilizers that my shoes absorbed on our last day in La Ceiba visiting a bean experiment in the mountains. In our last week, the entire team (Yorito and Otoro girls) finally got to spend some quality time together, debriefing on the project, reflecting on our experiences, and trying to absorb the last sights and smells of Honduras.

We met with Fredy again, the FIPAH general administrator, and he was very eager, as was everyone at FIPAH, for our thoughts on and suggestions for their youth programs. FIPAH’s dedication to the youth is inspiring and incredibly important in the development of the communities where FIPAH works. One of the few concerns we could think of regarding FIPAH’s youth initiatives was follow-up and the continued support for the youth as they grow older and graduate from the education centers. We, as is FIPAH, are eager to find ways that FIPAH can maintain a connection to these youth after they leave the CIALs. FIPAH is always looking for new venues to provide these youth opportunities to engage in their community.

Looking into the future, if you thought your live updates on FIPAH’s work were going to end with this blog post, you are quite pleasantly mistaken! In our last computer workshops in Yorito, we established Jóvenes Investigadores, a blog for the youth of FIPAH. Under our guidance each group wrote a post to practice publishing and composing. Just as I hope our blog shed a bit of light for you, readers, on the communities of Yorito and Otoro and FIPAH’s work here… our hope for the youth CIALs is that they’ll be able to use the Jóvenes Investigadores blog to share their plans, projects, and research with other youth and other organizations outside of their communities and Honduras. Check it out!

A blog, we explained in our last class with each of the youth CIALs, is like a public journal; it’s your own site where you can publish your thoughts, opinions, news, photos, and stories. Maybe you already knew that, but before the final class, I wasn’t too clear on the potential and true value of blogs myself. As we explained the possibilities of a blog to the students, I came to realize just how revolutionary of a tool they can be for youth, connecting the young writers with a global audience that would otherwise be cut off from the thoughts and news from these rural innovators. The trick is maintaining the blog.

In the theme of maintenance, perhaps you’re wondering what will become of our Yorito computer lab now that we’ve left. Well, in our last week in Yorito we met with eight students from the local high school who’ll be interning with FIPAH in the month of August. They’ll be teaching another series of computer workshops to the youth CIALs. I think they appreciated the guide to our workshops that we created and left with them. They seemed to be in the very early stages of their own planning. I’m sure all eight of them will learn a lot in the course of their internship, and whatever they teach will help reinforce what we began in our workshops. I’m really excited to hear about the continued use of the computer center now that we’ve left!

The youth computer center will remain open to all youth working with FIPAH, whether they are in a CIAL or a student in one of the Educatodos education centers. Now with their own computer lab, FIPAH plans to continue to provide free computer and communication workshops to youth, building on the training begun in Nourish workshops this summer. Hopefully, the youth will continue to update the blog with news of their activities and plans! If not, I’ll just gladly call them up and remind them how.

Con cariño,

Oh yes, and on behalf of all the writers of the Nourish team, thanks for your interest in our blog!

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