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Laura Mitchell

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heyson-keylin-and-i2

Heyson Keylin and I

As we posted last year on the website Stinchcombe Teenager Laura Mitchell travelled to Honduras after fund raising over £1000 towards the cost where she joined a team of volunteers encouraging development in a deprived area.

Laura returned home to Stinchcombe on 23rd December having spent 11-weeks in El Carrizal, living with a local family and immersing herself in the culture while helping create opportunities on behalf of development charity Progressio.

Joining a team of volunteers, both from the area and the UK, Laura helped with the construction of a café and gave a number of presentations at a primary school.

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Christmas Crafts

“The main project we had while we were there was working on a café, which was opposite the house I was staying in. Previous volunteers had already constructed the building but there was still a lot of work to do installing the electricity and working on a car park. We were doing this all with pick axes and basic equipment and it was really physical work. It was good to have the local volunteers there to give us some advice. Countries in Central America like Honduras wind up being used as through roads for the trafficking of drugs from South America to the US. The consequence of this is corruption in politics, young people drawn towards a life of crime and mass deprivation. In El Carrizal, Laura said, the main problem was lack of education. We gave a number of

enjoying-the-waterfall

Enjoying the Waterfall

talks at a school and spent a lot of time in particular with the youth network who will go on to work in the café. We gave presentations on recycling, British Christmas and also some lessons in English. I definitely feel like we made a difference to the community we were in. It was a great opportunity and I’d encourage other young people to sign up.”

“I made some lifelong friends, both Honduran and British and we made, in my opinion, a significant impact on the community. Especially in terms of the gained confidence of the national volunteers and their English skills which went from nothing at all to basic conversation. Progressio is an international development charity that supports poor and marginalised people to empower themselves.”

They are just one of the charities in the International Citizen Service, a national government funded scheme that enables people from 18 to 25 to take an active role in development all over the world.

If you’re aged 18 to 25 and interested in doing something similar to Laura, visit volunteerics.org/

We would also love to hear from other people with links to Stinchcombe who would like to share their adventures. Please just drop us a line.

Pictures from Laura Blog which came be read at in full at http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/laurammitchell/4/tpod.html are in the Gallery Section