CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Painting, murals, construction and reinforcement in Honduras

2009 has started well in San Rafael, with a complete renovation of the school, including painting, construction and reinforcement classes, thanks to our Combo Volunteers.

In December, Central America combo volunteers Marian and Noah joined us in Honduras from Guatemala. During their first week they helped out with the holiday teaching, giving small groups of children extra help with Spanish and Maths. Noah working with the 3rd grade and Marian with the 1st.

The following week the hard-work of cleaning and painting the school began, with just three people, it was a big job! We even had some help from Elmer and Luis, brothers who attend San Rafael and live near by. Marian and Noah were also spending time designing their mural.

After Christmas, Susan, Aaron, Aviv and Maya, six month combo volunteers, arrived to work at San Rafael for six weeks. It was fantastic to have four extra pairs of hands to help with the painting and get the job done, thanks guys!

At this point, Marian and Noah were working on their mural fulltime, finishing the design, sketching, choosing colours, etc. They did a fantastic job, working long days together, in the really hot sunshine.

On their final day at work, they had a bit of an audience, a group of local women and children gathered to watch them both work, it was lovely. The mural is amazing; it really makes the school so attractive. We can`t wait to see the children`s faces when they see it and their newly painted school.

With the painting and the mural complete, the school looks so different compared to a couple of weeks ago, so clean and new. It`s lovely for the children to start their new school year in a bright, clean, colourful environment.

So, we waved goodbye to the artist`s Noah and Marian and the next big project started – pila building, to give constant water for the school! Working with a local builder, Renee, the construction began.

First we had to clear the area where the pila would be built. At this point Aaron took over most of the work, making the foundations, mixing cement, while the rest of us collected water, moved bricks, made any finishing touches to the paintwork and started the clean up, ready for classes to start the next week.

Work also started working on the guttering, which will collect rain water and carry it to the pila, where water will be stored until needed. Susan`s technical mind was of great use at this time!

The pila is getting there and with a few more hours work everything will be complete. The school will finally have a water supply – excellent news!!

For the first two weeks of the year we worked with reinforcement classes with the 1st and 2nd grade, giving the children a bit of a head start before the school year begins.

Maya and Aviv are working with the 1st grade getting the new students started learning their letters and numbers. While Susan and Aaron are working with the 2nd grade building on what they have learnt in the 1st grade, preparing them to move on to more complex Maths, Spanish and Science this year.

We have also restarted English classes, with grades 7 and 8, using the new syllabus, which Neil (English Project Manager) has written for us, which will benefit all classes in primary and secondary from February.

Also in February, Adult Literacy classes will begin, the volunteers are really looking forward to working with a different people from the community at San Rafael and this means the school will be able to work with and help a wider section of the community. There is a lot to look forward to at San Rafael this year!!



How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects