Trip Report - Honduras, February 28 - March 7, 2016
“Since Professionals to the World began teaching at our universities we have seen a whole different attitude among our professors and students.” Rutilia Calderon, Academic Vice Rectora of the eight national Universities of Honduras.
Martin Chedid Financial Planner and owner of MCFinancial, Board Member of Professional 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, Executive Director of Professionals to the World
Charlene Potts Writer, Board Member of Professionals to the World
Arnulfo Matute PTTW representative in Honduras
2 Universities- 86 professors and 1895 students
University of Defense- 250 cadets
Primary and Secondary Schools- 53 teachers and 375 children
High school- 115 students
Nursing Students- 80
3 Churches- 375 people
To share our professional experience at two universities and schools in special seminars, with an emphasis on Values and Principles. To present to elementary and high school teachers the children’s book, Principles that Make you Strong, by Charlene Potts. To introduce to pastors and churches in Comayagua the new book, Meant for Greatness, by John Potts and Erik Valenzuela.
To Transform Honduras from a country with innumerable problems into a successful country, blessed by God, a model for the rest of the world.
Chip Paulson, Martin Chedid and John Ristvey worked hard all week, giving 42 presentations. John and Charly Potts held 20 meetings with teachers, professors, directors and the Academic Vice-Rectora of the national university system.
We not only had busy schedules but all our classes and meetings were full. 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 and nursing students. In addition, we met with the Colonel of the Police Academy where over 2000 future police are trained.
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 qualities that will bring their students success, and change Honduras, qualities such as honesty and hard work.
As part of this teaching, the university is working on a diploma for students who complete the Essential Program, a program of the university, 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 to truly change, not only is change needed in the universities, but other areas in the country need to be transformed as well. To this end, we are involved with the military and have the possibility of soon bringing V and P training into the police academy. Now we are also working with pastors and churches, using our new book, Meant for Greatness, as a catalyst. The change begins with changed lives:
Comments from the Trip’s Participants:
Martin Chedid “During one of my talks, I stressed the importance of honesty, integrity, and helping and serving others. After the class a student waited until all the others had left, then came up and told me, ‘I almost didn’t come tonight because I was going to kill myself, but after listening to your lecture, I have decided not to. I used to believe in God, and now I believe once again.’ (He mentioned his parents fighting all the time, and dealing with a sense of purposelessness.) Thank you, thank you for coming to talk to us!”
Chip Paulson: “In one of my classes to nursing students, I told them 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.”
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.”
More comments from our Honduran 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 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 with books, and to encourage them to change, so we can realize the amazing vision of PTTW (to change Honduras).”
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 life experience in Honduras, talk to me or someone who 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!
Mtg with Director CURC Meeting with Vice Rectora Meeting at Police Academy