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Trip Report - Honduras February 28 - March 7, 2016

posted Dec 11, 2016, 5:12 PM by John Potts   [ updated Dec 11, 2016, 6:58 PM ]

        Professionals from the United States, Martin Chedid, Chip Paulson, John Ristvey, John Potts and Charly Potts spoke to over 3000 professors, students, cadets, teachers, children, nurses and attendees at three churches.                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                

Participants:

        Martin Chedid        Financial Planner and owner of MCFinancial and Director of Professionals to the World 

        Chip Paulson         Civil Engineer and Principal Engineer with MWH Americas

        John Ristvey          Educator and Director, UCAR Center for Science Education

        John Potts -           Electrical Engineer and Executive Director of Professionals to the World

        Charlene Potts -     Writer and Director of Professionals to the World

Attendees:                     

        University -                                     86 professors and 1895 students 

        University of Defense -                     250 cadets

        Primary and secondary schools -    53 teachers and 375 children

        High school -                 115 students.

        Nurses -                                          80 

        Churches -                                        spoke in 3 churches to 375


Purpose: 

  • To share our professional experience at the university and schools in special seminars with an emphasis on Values and Principles. 
  • To present the children’s book, Principles that Make you Strong by Charlene Potts to more elementary and high school teachers.
  • To put forward the new book, Meant for Greatness by John Potts and Erik Valenzuela to Pastors and churches in Comayagua.

Vision: 

To Transform Honduras from a country with innumerable problems to a successful country, blessed by God, and a model for the rest of the world. 


Chip Paulson, Martin Chedid and John Ristvey were as busy as they could be this week with 42 presentations.  John and Charly Potts had 20 meetings with teachers, professors, directors and the Academic Vice-Rectora of the entire national university system.  


We not only had busy schedules but we had full classes and meetings. Compared to last year with 32 talks to 1133 students, professors, teachers and Air Force cadets, this year we gave 62 talks to 3187 students, professors, teachers, Air Force cadets, nurses and in addition met with the Coronel of the Police Academy where over 2000 future police are trained.


The vice-rectora said, “Since Professionals to the World began teaching at our universities, we have seen a whole different attitude among our professors and students.”

Since our last visit, the teaching of Values and Principles has become required teaching in all of the national universities.  The requirement is to make this teaching a part of every university career emphasizing those qualities that will bring their students success and change Honduras.


As part of this teaching, the university is working on a diploma for students that complete the Essential program which includes culture, citizenship, heritage and the teaching of values and principles.


The CFI building in Comayagua continues to be used extensively.  This year the university is in the process of changing its name to the National Center for the Formation of Values. This is where directors, administrators and professors can come from all the other universities for training in the teaching of Values and Principles.  They can then return to their own university with the vision of changing their country.  This will require a lot of work for our representative in Honduras, Arnulfo Matute.


This is only the beginning.  If Honduras is truly to change, not only do the universities need to change but other areas in the country need to change as well.  Thus, we are involved with the military and soon with the police and now we also are working with pastors and churches.


For pastors, churches and others, our new book, Meant for Greatness, is intended to be the catalyst for this change.  


Here are some comments from the trip’s participants


Chip Paulson. In one of my classes I told the class about losing my wife to cancer two years ago.  Afterwards my translator, Yori, told me her father died when she was little and her mother died seven years ago. She is now raising her three siblings, works all day, attends the university at night and on top of that she translates for us. I felt I had nothing to complain about.


John Ristvey.  I was here nine years ago and I can see how the program has grown.  Lives are being changed and the country is changing because of PTTW. I’m so glad to be a part of it. It was exciting for me to see first hand how the students are really understanding the teaching of values and principles.


Martin Chedid During one of my talks, I had talked about honesty, integrity, helping and serving others. After the class a student waited until all the others had left and said, “I was planning to kill myself tonight but after listening to your lecture I have decided not to.  I used to believe in God but now I believe once again.  Thank you, thank you for coming to talk to us.


Charly Potts  After one of my classes a student told me, “I felt like God was talking to me.”  I replied that I’m sure he was because he wants you to know how special you are to him.

 

Here are some more comments from our Honduras workers and friends.


Arnulfo Matute, PTTW representative in Honduras. There has been a big impact on students and professors.  This year there has been more participation and support for the seminars. Each year we discover more of what God is doing through PTTW.


Joel Garcia, university student in Comayagua. This year has been very effective among students and professors.  Many more doors are opening to us and everyone is expecting more and more from PTTW.  Even the pastors are impacted and welcome us to their churches.


Letty Fajardo, professor in Comayagua.  On every trip there is more interest among professors and students.  The talks were excellent.  The vice rectora is understanding more and more of the vision.  The books are making an impact everywhere, the university, high schools, grade schools and churches.  They want these books. I love this work but I have classes to teach and I have many meetings with the university director.  I am very busy and could use help especially with the schools and the churches.  I want to be a part of this but we need someone to contact all the schools and churches in the area, to provide them books and to encourage them to change so we can realize the ambitious vision of PTTW.


The majority of the work to truly bring this change will be done by Hondurans, not by us.  If Honduras is to change, Hondurans will make it happen.  But your involvement as a professional continues to bring excitement and is motivating students and professors to wake up and realize their potential.  It wouldn’t happen without you.


As the program grows, our financial needs are also growing.  This includes the printing of books and the support of additional Honduran workers. Please help us in any way you can.  Not too many have the opportunity to bring positive change to an entire country but it’s happening.  Now we need to step up to the opportunities that are before us.  


If you are interested in sharing your experience in Honduras, talk to someone that has gone with us.  They are as excited as we are.


If you can make a financial commitment or a one time contribution, that will help as well.


There is a lot to do and together we can get it done.  Be a part of something truly significant.

 

Annual Report for 2015

posted Dec 15, 2015, 8:23 PM by Main Administrator   [ updated Dec 15, 2015, 8:25 PM ]

I am really pleased to write this report, telling you of the wonderful developments this year that have put us in the position to greatly enlarge the work of PTTW in Honduras. Although the work has grown our vision remains the same.

Vision: To transform Honduras from one of the poorest nations in Central America into a healthy, prosperous nation.

March 22-30 Trip to Comayagua

Participants: Mike & Lori Monroe, John and Charlene Potts

Results: we spoke to over 1100 professors, teachers & children at the national universities, the University of Defense, a high school and primary and secondary schools. Presented our new book, Principles that Make you Strong, by Charlene Potts to school teachers in two schools.


 
Mike at University of Defense 
with base commander
John with Business School Professors Lori with children

Charlene presented her new book, Principles that Make you Strong, to public and bilingual school teachers.
 
 
Presenting book in bilingual school Presenting book in public school

Current Status

Professors are teaching values to their students using our book, Values and Principles that Can Change the World, in the institutions shown below.

National University 
in La Ceiba
Central Regional University 
in Comayagua


National University
in San Pedro Sula


 
National University 
of Agriculture in Olancho
 



National University 
in Tegucigalpa


 
National University 
in Catacamas
 University of Defense
in Comayagua
 National Forestry Institute 
in Siguatepeque


These institutions involve their students in social projects to establish the right values in their lives. In Comayagua, professors and students of education travel to grade schools to teach the children what they have learned at the university.

Students teaching 
Values in grade school
University bus on way to grade schools Bilingual School children


The program at the universities continues to grow. With the open door we seem to have in the grade schools, we plan to expand this teaching to many more schools. The impact of the book, Meant for Greatness, is unknown but will be tested next year.

Our three books are geared to promote change in Honduras in three different areas, one for universities and high schools, one for grade school teachers and one for churches. It will take time but this multi level approach is gathering momentum in realizing our vision.

To meet this challenge, we propose to do the following:

Proposed plan for 2016

  1. Increase our support for Arnulfo from $1100 a month to $1200 a month.
  2. Distribute the book, Principles That Make You Strong, in Spanish, to all of the 4th/5th grade teachers in the public schools of Comayagua, free of charge. (The teachers are poorly paid and will not buy the books, but they need the teaching.) We will need 250 books to begin.
  3. Distribute Charlene’s book in English to all the bilingual schools in Comayagua. Use any profit to print additional books as needed.
  4. Start a similar social project in Tegucigalpa like that in Comayagua. Cost  ~$1000 to start.
  5. Support two students to help Arnulfo in Tegucigalpa and Letty in Comayagua for $150 apiece for ten months. Total $3000 for the year.
  6. Print the new book, Meant for Greatness, in Spanish for use in churches. Start with 250 books. Distribute them on a donation basis, so as to have funds when more books are needed.
  7. Next trip to Honduras: March 5-12. If you are interested in sharing your professional experience with professors, students or teachers in Honduras, please come and join us. We always need professionals like you to challenge and motivate our Honduran friends. If interested, please contact me at john.potts@pttworld.org.
This will greatly expand our impact in Honduras.  Letty hopes to hand out between 3000 and 5000 books in 2016. We can meet this goal if we have the resources.

Financial Needs for 2016:

To do these things we will need $8000 to print the books for this year. This includes adding the additional support of Arnulfo and the part time support of two students.

Thanks to all of you who has contributed faithfully for Arnulfo’s support. Without you we could never have come so far, nor can we continue without you. Arnulfo and his family depend on your help.

Most of the expense will come at the beginning of 2016 to print the necessary books. Please help in any way you can.  We think it’s safe to say,

Any investment you make will have enormous returns.

Smile.Amazon.com:

In preparation for Christmas, many people buy gifts through amazon.com. If you do so, consider signing up with smile.amazon.com which has everything at the same prices as amazon.com but Professionals to the World will get 0.5% of the sale price at no cost to you.
 
Just go to smile.amazon.com and then select Professionals to the World as your charity.
 
Thank you for your consideration. It’s going to be a great year.
 
God bless you.
 
John Potts
Executive Director
Professionals to the World

Honduras Trip Report - March 22 to 30, 2015

posted Dec 15, 2015, 7:28 PM by Main Administrator

Volunteer Participants

Mike Monroe Software Architect
Lori Monroe Moderate Needs Teacher
John Potts Electrical Engineer
Charlene Potts Writer

Presentation Attendees

University 21 professors and 215 students
University of Defense
15 teachers and 150 cadets
Primary and secondary schools 87 teachers and 510 children
High school 150 students

Trip Purpose

Present the new children’s book, Principles that Make you Strong written by Charlene Potts for elementary and high school teachers. Share our professional experiences at the university and schools in special conferences. Motivate the professors to include the teaching of values and principles to their students.

Our Vision

To transform Honduras from one of the poorest nations in Central America into a healthy, prosperous nation.

Results

Mike and Lori did a wonderful job in sharing their experience with students, teachers and professors. Lori shared her knowledge in teaching children with moderate needs and Mike talked about the difficulty in working with people from other countries with different languages and culture. Their talks were received with enthusiasm by both professors and students at the university and made an impact on the many children in the grade schools and high schools.

Charly talked to teachers in very poor schools, who are in need of substantial help. She also talked to teachers in bilingual schools. As one of the directors of a bilingual school put it, “We have been focused on education, but we need to spend more time teaching the principles that make us strong.”

In this short time we visited three national universities, three public grade schools, five bilingual schools and the National Defense University.

As you can see from the numbers, we talked to over 1100 professors, teachers, students and children in just 5 days.  We encouraged many teachers and are seeing progress in the Values and Principles teaching. This is reflected in the Values Committees that are now encouraging more of their fellow professors to become involved. The head of the business school said in effect, “Twelve of our professors in the business school are involved, but we want all 90 of them to be teaching these things.”

Last September, there were three values committees in three universities, with about 15 professors actually teaching these important life principles to their students. Now there are five committees in four universities with about 30 professors teaching their students.

In Comayagua the university provides a bus every Friday to take university students to grade schools where they share with the children the principles they learn in their classes at the university. This not only begins the values education in the schools but affirms to the university students the principles they were taught in their classrooms.

The CFI building, constructed with the funds many of you provided through Professionals to the World, as well as through the efforts of students and professors in Comayagua, is used extensively. Its sole purpose is the development of the mature student, mentally, spiritually and physically. And it’s happening!

We continue to need you, a professional, to come with us. It’s always a big boost for students and professors to hear from you who have a lifetime of experience to share. It’s not your money that is needed. YOU are needed. Come with us. A one week trip to Honduras will change your life – and theirs!

We can never forget Kevin, one of our former students in San Pedro Sula, who has earned his degree in Civil Engineering. Last September he said he was applying to go to Germany to earn his Master’s Degree. He told us, “After you told us the story of Dr. Ben Carson, I decided to become a professional because I want to help my country!”

John Potts
Executive Director
Professionals to the World

Photos

Lori

With school children  In classroom  Teaching a class of 150

Mike



With Diana his translator With base commander at University of Defense Teaching in the CFI

Charly



Silvia’s bilingual school Book signing Silvia, Charlene and Lori

John


Teaching in the CFI With Dean Oyuela, Dean of Engineering in Tegucigalpa

More Photos



Banners and Professors in Business School Banner in Engineering School
 
 
Breakfast Comayagua Cathedral built in 1540

2013 Annual Report

posted Feb 17, 2014, 9:04 AM by Main Administrator

This was another exciting year. At the end of 2012, the Center of Integral Formation was completed and dedicated at the national university in Comayagua, Honduras. During 2013, the university and PTTW, contributed the funds to buy 140 chairs, air conditioning, a sound system and a projector for the building. Now it is in continuous use for important conferences, the teaching of leadership and values under the control of the Values Committee at the university.

All that PTTW has done at this university in Honduras could never have happened without the support of the university director and others in the administration and the Values Committee. They have seen the vision and have been the key to the success of the program that is changing the lives of many of their students.

This year we started a social project with children from two of the poorest neighborhoods in Comayagua. The project was a needed addition to the teaching of values and principles by professors at the university. To effectively teach these principles, the students need an application and that’s where a social project has proved effective. The three hundred children from three schools in poor neighborhoods were selected and 50 university students receiving the values teaching worked with them providing needed meals, school supplies and mentoring. Most of these kids that the university students are mentoring would be very fortunate to finish grade school. Now they may well have the opportunity to attend a university. Who can imagine the impact this small beginning could have in their country?

In June we had three ladies from Honduras, (two university professors and one school teacher) come to Colorado for training in ‘Write Tools,’ a writing program taught by Barbara Hermanson. To bring them here instead of us going there was something new this year. We are hoping to get this teaching in their universities and schools since it has proven to be so effective in the USA.

We only had one trip to Honduras this year but it was very effective. The trip took place from August 31 to Sept 8 and we spent the whole week in Comayagua. Participants were Jim Lynn (Architect), Martin Chedid (Financial Planner), John Potts(Engineer) all from Denver, Mike Guerrero (Business) from Los Angeles and Bruce Griffitts (Business) from Dallas.

Together we spoke to 500 children, 250 high school students, several hundred university students, 50 or more professors and 25 grade school teachers.

This teaching and the program of Values and Principles taught by the professors at this university in Comayagua has brought a lot of attention throughout the national university system. Comayagua is becoming the model for the rest of the country and we expect the growth in the program to be significant in the next few years.

We still have challenges but many professors are seeing the value of what we are doing by the changes in their students and for some in themselves. Come and join us on one of these trips. The students NEED to hear about your career and what has made you successful. And it will do something for you as well.

Honduras Trip Report - August 31 to September 8, 2013

posted Feb 17, 2014, 9:00 AM by Main Administrator

Participants: Jim Lynn (Architect), Martin Chedid (Financial Planner), John Potts (Engineer) all from Colorado, Mike Guerrero (Businessman) from Los Angeles and Bruce Griffitts (Businessman) from Dallas.

What did we accomplish?

Together we spoke to 500 children, 250 high school students, 50 or more professors and 25 grade school teachers.
The program has brought a lot of interest to the university system. The higher authorities of the system are looking at Comayagua as a model for the entire university system. As we left, Letty told me that she received an invitation from the national university in Choluteca to come and tell them about what is taking place in the university in Comayagua.  Choluteca is the national university furthest from Comayagua.

There is still a lot to do but the excitement is growing to teach more than just knowledge in their universities. Many professors who are teaching positive values are seeing significant changes in their students and are hopeful for what this will mean to Honduras. 

Our next big step will be to help with the funding of the social project in Comayagua helping disadvantaged school children at the four schools we visited. The project will provide them with meals, school supplies and most important university students will be their mentors.

The professionals that came on this trip shared their lives with young children, high school students, school teachers, university students and professors and the comments I have heard reflect the impact they have made.

Our goal is to change Honduras through those we have impacted and little by little it is happening.

Think about coming on a trip with us. We meet a genuine need in the universities unmet by others and have a lot of fun sharing together. Of course we can use financial help but more importantly we need you to share your experience with the students and professors. You can make a difference. Our next trip will be in March, 2014.

God bless you.

John

End of Year Report - 2012

posted Jan 8, 2013, 8:14 PM by Main Administrator   [ updated Jan 7, 2014, 6:40 PM ]


Finishing the Center of Integral Formation (CFI) in Comayagua was the highlight of the year. Our goal, the completion of this building, once seemed unreachable. But as you can see by the pictures, it is now finished. As of October, 2012, we needed $35,000 to finish the work. PTTW contributed $5900 toward this goal, but that still left $29,100, and we didn’t know where we would we find the money.

Then in October, the projects class of 20 students at CURC, the Central Regional University in Comayagua, laid out a plan to raise the funds, along with a schedule for its completion at the end of November. The students followed their schedule, raised the funds and finished the building.

How did they do it? They prepared and sold food, held auctions, bingo and raffles, and solicited and received donations from the community. A lot of materials were donated for the construction, such as paint for both the inside and outside of the building, tiles for the floor and other materials. In the end, they only needed to raise $14,000 in order to finish everything.

          

This is a good lesson for all of us. How much can be accomplished with the desire and commitment to make it happen. We should never underestimate the ability of students to accomplish the impossible.

Classes begin again in February, 2013, when the building will be used for what it was designed to become. The university director, professors, and Arnulo Matute, our PTTW representative in Honduras, are putting together a management and program plan in order to be ready for classes.

The CFI will be used for the teaching of values and principles, and conferences on topics of concern to the students. Because it is our goal to develop character in students, there needs to be an outlet for this teaching. The students are eager and ready to do social projects in the community, projects like working with street kids, visiting children in the hospital or other projects. We are anxious for the CFI to also be a center for these projects. The faculty and staff would like the CFI to become the model for other universities in the country, hopefully bringing great change to Honduras.

            

For the first time since 2004, we had not planned any trips to Honduras in 2012. However, I did travel there to inaugurate the finished building. As you can see, it was not quite finished when I was there, so they had a second ribbon cutting the next week, after it was painted. There were many students at the first ribbon cutting and many professors at the second one.  

I also had the opportunity to hear personal testimonies from students and professors on the impact the teaching on values and principles has made in their lives. The professors were enthusiastic about the changes in their students through this teaching and they and the director want to make the teaching a part of the curriculum for all of their students.

Consistent with the purpose of PTTW to develop students academically, emotionally and spiritually, Arnulfo Matute has taught classes of importance to students at the national university in Tegucigalpa, UNAH. Through the year he has taught classes to many students on dating, vocation, memorization, teamwork, making right decisions, self esteem, temperament and the purpose of life.

He has also trained many professors in the teaching of values and principles at universities in Olancho, Comayagua and the military.  

Joel Garcia in Comayagua has been consistent in working with us on conferences and has helped open doors for us in the university and the community.

We have regretted not being able to take a group of professionals to share their experience with these young Honduran university students, as we have for the past seven years. However, what was accomplished was that a group of students took ownership of the construction and made it happen. That is significant.

This coming year we hope to take a small group of professionals with us to Honduras in late March. We need professionals in business, civil engineering and the medical field, especially nursing, as well as in other areas.  
Come with us and help change their world! 

John Potts
Executive Director
Professionals to the World

Professionals to the World is a 501.c.3 educational organization.  Send your tax exempt donations to 
Professionals to the World
32 Nighthawk Way
Westcliffe, Colorado 81252

Update - June 8, 2012

posted Sep 15, 2012, 12:07 PM by Main Administrator   [ updated Sep 15, 2012, 12:21 PM ]

Thank you for your quick response to our request for funds to complete the roof on the new CFI in Comayagua. We have $2400 to send them and they have some cash as well so it looks like the roof will be on soon.

Arnulfo, our representative in Honduras tells me that there are people there who want to contribute to the construction and some students at a trade school and their teacher are providing the labor.  This should lower the cost of the construction.  He is hopeful of finishing the building this year.

I will post photos of the (hopefully) finished roof when I get them. Thanks again for your generosity and please keep us in mind as this project proceeds.

Update - May 30, 2012

posted Sep 15, 2012, 12:01 PM by Main Administrator   [ updated Jan 7, 2014, 6:40 PM ]

For the first time in 15 years, we do not have plans to go to Honduras this year.  We have always wanted Hondurans to take ownership of the work we have been doing together and I believe this is beginning to happen.

As you know we raised funds to build a CFI (Center of Integral Formation), on the national university campus in Comayagua.  The ground was leveled, the foundation was laid and the walls were set in place.  The work was stopped when the entire university system became involved two years ago.  During the interim, Oscar Meza, the director of the university worked hard to get approval to continue the building, resulting in a formal signing of an agreement in May, 2011.

So the partial building has been there for the past two years looking like a Mayan ruin.  Since we did not have the funds to continue, I challenged the university to sell the books that we had printed and to use the proceeds to continue the construction. 

Although they did not sell as many books as we desired, they did sell some. They have sold about 640 books and have $3770 in the account.  That leaves them short only $3142 needed to put the roof on the building.  We don’t know where the rest of the funding will come from but would like to help them along if we can.

Oscar has not asked us for money but this is not a large sum of money and it would greatly encourage him and the university in their work, if we were able to help them to finish this stage of the project.

We have a legal agreement with the university system to build and manage this building and it took a lot of work to make that happen.  It is hoped to be a center where values and principles can be taught along with many other things that students need.  We feel committed to build the building a little at a time as funds are available.  Getting the roof on would be a big step forward.

Oscar and others decided to go ahead and put up the framing for the roof with the money they had with hopes that they could raise the additional funds to finish the roof.  They started the work on May 8 and finished on May 19 as shown in the photos. 

    

Director Meza may have other ideas as to where the additional funds will come from but please help us with donations of any amount if you are able.  I’m sure any help you can provide will encourage director Meza who has been a consistent friend in the university system.

Thank you so much! We'll be sure to let you know how it's going.

John Potts
Executive Director
Professionals to the World

Please send your tax exempt contributions to

Professionals to the World
32 Nighthawk Way
Westcliffe, Colorado 81252

End of Year Update - 2011

posted Sep 15, 2012, 11:59 AM by Main Administrator

Christmas 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
As we near the end of December, it is time to reflect on the events that have taken place this year.   We would like to tell you about three things: the accomplishments of Professionals to the World (PTTW) in 2011, work left unfinished in 2011, and a new opportunity for 2012.
 
Accomplishments of 2011:
  1. PTTW separated from Ministerio Renuevo.
  2. We officially and legally changed the representative of Professionals to the World in Honduras to Arnulfo Matute in Tegucigalpa.
  3. We officially signed an agreement with the national university system (UNAH) in Honduras for the construction of the Center of Integral Formation (CFI) in Comayagua.
  4. John and Arnulfo met with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Honduras, regarding the teaching of values and principles to all the military. The Chairman wants to make this happen.
  5. Three of us North Americans and two Honduran leaders spoke to 1415 students and 145 professors during the trip in September.  Included in this trip was the opportunity to talk at universities where we had not been previously.
  6. We added another university to those that are using our book on Values and Principles.
Arnulfo Matute has accomplished a lot since taking over the responsibility of PTTW.  His teaching at the university has been so effective that he was interviewed and an article printed in the daily Tegucigalpa newspaper, El Heraldo, on September 12:

Arnulfo’s talks to students, El Heraldo explained, “focus on academic development in areas in which students are deficient. This week’s talk covered speaking in class.”

He has taken the initiative of visiting several more universities to talk about our program.  As a result, the universities in Juticalpa and La Ceiba intend to begin working with us in the coming year. 

Arnulfo has also maintained contact with the universities and the Air Force where the values classes are being taught.  These include the National University in Comayagua (CURC), the Engineering School in Tegucigalpa (UNAH), the National Forestry School (ESNACIFOR) and the Air Force base in Comayagua (Palmerola).

Work left unfinished at the end of the year:
  1. The CFI in Comayagua: The work is only half done and remains a high priority in our objectives.
  2. The teaching of values and principles in all the universities in Honduras: We continually work toward this goal.
  3. The teaching of values in the military: This is still uncertain, although Arnulfo continues to be in contact with them. 
It would be nice to finish everything we had planned to accomplish this year but unfortunately, that did not happen.  The biggest issue is the CFI in Comayagua.  We are waiting for the director and professors at CURC in Comayagua to take the initiative in selling the books on values before trying to raise more funds.  The cost to complete the building is about $35,000 which seems realizable if they sell the 3000 books we have already printed.  The director of the university plans to require all new students matriculating in February to buy the book.  This could be up to 900 if things are executed as planned.  This is really in their hands and we have emphasized that this is their program.

Our desire is that every new student be required to attend a class on values and principles.  This goal is taking a lot longer than we had hoped, but little by little, more teachers are including this teaching in their program. We are trying to be patient but at the same time, do all we can to make it happen. 

We had hoped that the military would be teaching the book by this time, but are still waiting for this to begin.  Arnulfo is ready to do the training as soon as they want it. To misquote a centuries old writer, “The millstones of (the state) grind slowly….”
   
New opportunity for 2012:
This coming year we hope to start a new, five-minute radio program in Spanish for radio stations in the USA and Honduras. 

This idea came from Erik Valenzuela, who went with us to Honduras in September.  He has a lot of experience with radio, and wants us to write short clips using the many principles in our book on values and principles.  Erik will relate these true stories from many different people, illustrating such principles as kindness, hard work, competence, courtesy, hospitality, courage and others.  They are basically stories from personal experience that will help inspire and instruct listeners to develop these principles in their own lives. 

We have written about 20 stories so far from our own experiences or from interviews.  If you have a story you think should be shared, please contact us as soon as possible.  You can write it out or we can come and interview you.  We need a lot of help, and we want a broad range of people and backgrounds.

We hope to have these stories broadcast on a daily basis, meaning we need hundreds of stories to cover the whole year.

In our world of negative media, a bad economy and an uncertain future, we hope to encourage listeners to think positively, and to do those things that build effective lives and make for good relationships.

We want to thank all of you for your support this past year, and to wish you a joyous Christmas with your families. We pray that God will bless you abundantly in the coming year.

John and Charly Potts of Professionals to the World

Update - October 4, 2011

posted Sep 15, 2012, 11:55 AM by Main Administrator

Oct 4, 2011

Dear Friends,

My, it’s nice to be back in our crisp, clean Colorado, with the leaves turning gold. The USA is still the land of (usually) orderly traffic and clean restrooms, drinkable water in the faucets, and tranquility to think our thoughts. If you want to appreciate your country, visit Latin America for a few days.  We must never forget that we have this incredible land because of the faith, values and bloodshed of our forefathers.

We miss the sweet bananas, fresh pineapple juice, the rolling green hills, and most of all, the warmth of the people of Honduras. They remind me of an old English friend who didn’t have much in the way of worldly possessions, but who used to say, “People are our treasures.” When we gave Marjorie, Joel’s wife, a birthday gift, the thing she most appreciated was the message we wrote on the card.

Joel and Marjorie, along with Marjorie’s parents, are some of the treasures who mean so much to us in Comayagua. Joel is an agricultural engineering major at the university there, and has been helped by a scholarship from PTTW for several years. We spent several pleasant evenings with them. Arnulfo and Silvia are dear to us as always, and we truly appreciate the professors and director at the university. Roberto Contreras, the owner of five Power Chicken restaurants in SPS, is a much loved friend. 

This week Arnulfo is supposed to train teachers in the military how to teach Values and Principles. If this actually takes place, it will saturate much of the country with the need for honesty, competence, creative thinking, hard work, the importance of reading, and so forth. Those of us who grew up hearing George Washington’s famous words, “Father, I cannot tell a lie,” take these things for granted, but these principles are paradigm changers to most Hondurans. When they learn about right moral values and right behavior, they often seem to be set free. It is as if they suddenly realize, “Oh, now I understand how life is supposed to work!”

Students and teachers responded well to Barb Hermanson’s writing classes. At the end she received gifts and notes of appreciation, and a former student, a teacher, from several years ago wrote and asked her to teach the class in a private Catholic school in San Pedro Sula. Public schools in the US that have put Barb’s teaching into practice have seen amazing improvement in their students’ national test scores. Jim had a tough week, with three days of no classes. But his Friday classes for professors at the university in Comayagua were well attended. He later learned that one of the profs was an atheist, probably a Communist, who tried to influence students in a negative way. The man sat through an hour and a half of Jim’s teaching, and afterward spoke cordially with Jim. Often Communist professors do not like our message, so we hope that Jim, with his gentle, persuasive manor and intellectual approach, made inroads in this man’s thinking. Jim taught philosophy of education and the importance of physical education at the national university in Comayagua.  

Eric Valenzuela, the pastor of the Latino church, Iglesia El Camino, that meets in our church here, spoke to several congregations, convincing them of the importance of obeying and teaching right principles. The Gospel has permeated this culture, but there has been a disconnect between believing and doing. Eric, who was born in Guatemala, but is now a US citizen, was obviously comfortable in Honduran culture. He won many friends and gave us valuable insights into Latin America.

Eric has also given us a new idea for teaching values in our own country. There are countless Spanish language radio stations in Colorado, and Eric assures us they are always looking for material. He has access to many secular stations, and wants us to write five-minute spots on values and principles, which he or others can read to listeners daily. Latinos listen to the radio all day every day. We hope to tell many stories teaching right thinking and behavior. We also have the possibility, because of Eric, of sending these broadcasts to stations in Central America.
Because most of the people who made our teaching arrangements were untrained, this trip has been one of our most difficult, often seeming terribly disorganized.  We have fought discouragement all along the way, both before and during the journey, continually asking ourselves if we are accomplishing anything of lasting value.
We have returned home convinced that the things we have been teaching have taken root in the lives of many Hondurans. Once, in a moment of fatigue, John told a professor he didn’t know if we would be back. She pleaded, “Oh, please don’t abandon us!”

And how could we ever cease this rewarding work when the opportunities to teach good things are endless? This week the five of us plus businessman Roberto Contreras and Honduran lawyer Noe Vega,  spoke to 1,415 students and 145 professors in two departments in the national university in Tegucigalpa, and four schools of higher education, two bilingual schools, the air force academy, and the national university in Comayagua, as well as 665 people in four churches.   

God is still at work in our world!

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