Trip Report - Honduras February 28 - March 7, 2016
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.
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
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
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.
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.