Bienvenidos! Thanks for joining us. We are thrilled to be a part of Nourish International UNC’s fourth consecutive project in collaboration with FIPAH (Fundación para la Investigación Participativa de Agricultores de Honduras) in the Yorito and Jesús de Otoro regions of Honduras.
Nourish UNC’s longstanding, fruitful partnership with FIPAH models the kind of mutually beneficial exchange our chapter seeks to build in our relationships with every partner organization. We keep sending teams to Honduras because FIPAH never fails to propose compelling projects and our interns return to the US every year raving about their experience. For some Nourish interns, one summer with FIPAH just isn’t enough: rising senior Claire Kane, who established Nourish’s partnership with FIPAH in 2008, returned a second time to film a documentary about the organization, a gem of a film called Saving the Seed. (check it out! www.savingtheseed.org) In addition, one of our 2011 co-leaders, Sarah Cox-Shrader, is already a FIPAH veteran, having led the 2010 project during her gap year.
This year, the project was proposed by the youth committees, or CIALS, with which FIPAH works. They requested that the Nourish team lead workshops on computer literacy, English and photography over the course of 8 weeks. At Nourish, we are passionate about addressing community-identified needs, which made this proposal especially attractive.
Throughout the spring semester, Sarah has worked closely with her co-leader Margo Balboni, who will sadly not be traveling to Honduras with the group. We assembled a wonderful team from a competitive pool of applicants, and and after months of preparation, we are ready to hit the ground running. Team members will be divided into two groups working and living in separate regions. In Jesús de Otoro, we have Alexander (Zan) Lowe-Skillern, Andrea Pino de Silva, Avani Uppalapati, and Kristin Qualters. The Yorito crew consists of Akhil Jariwala, Asia Morris, Mary Craig, Shalini Chudasama, and Sarah. Of these teamsters, all are UNC students except for Sarah, a rising Yale sophomore, and Mary, who will start her junior year at Brown this fall.
Most of the team members will dedicate their time exclusively to the educational workshops, with one important exception: Asia, our Postcards for Progress point-person. Working with local primary schoolchildren, Asia will implement an arts exchange project as part of a wider movement to increase children’s global awareness. She is also using her time in Honduras to evaluate the general model of this dynamic young organization.
All of the team members except for Andrea will converge on Sarah’s house in Washington D.C. on the night of the 28th so we can depart together the next day. We hope you will stay tuned in the coming days and weeks. We will publish weekly dispatches from each region, doing our best to share with you the challenges and joys of what is sure to be a deeply enriching summer for all involved.
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