Hi, my name is Ashley and I am the third grade teacher here at Cofradia’s Bilingual School. I am from a small rural town in Alberta, Canada and am 19 years old. I arrived in Honduras just over 2 months ago now and I couldn’t say that any other place has ever felt like home as quickly as it has here. Originally coming to Honduras, I was only supposed to be a short-term volunteer, and left home in August and came back on November 5th.
When I first read about CBS, I was immediately interested and knew that it was something I couldn’t pass up and seemed like it was just the right fit for me. Yet the closer my departure date got, the more panicked I became. Before coming to Honduras, I had never travelled on my own, let alone left home for more than 2 weeks. To say that I was terrified of the decision I had made is an understatement. But regardless, I set my fears aside and set off.
The atmosphere of Cofradia is like nothing I’ve experienced before and very different from what I imagined. Although things are very different than the living conditions I was accustomed to, after only three days I began to fall in love with everything the town has to offer. From the beautiful view of the mountains, to the amazing culture and food I have never experienced something like it before.
The school itself and the students there continue to amaze me every single day. The amount of appreciation and gratitude that you feel from teaching these kids is something I will never forget. Looking back on my first few days here in Honduras I remember talking to some of the other volunteers and having them tell me that I should stay longer than 3 months and finish the year with them. At this point I laughed and told them repeatedly that it would be nice to stay but that there would be no way I could leave my family, my friends, and everything I knew back home for that long. Aaand now, here we are! I will be going back in January to finish off the year with third grade!
Even though I am only going to be gone for 2 months, and I’ve only been here for 2 and a half months, the thought of leaving my new friends and my students breaks my heart! The other volunteers have made my experience a million times better and made the transition way easier. They are so supportive and always willing to lend a helping hand whenever needed. Being able to be around like-minded people who have the same goals as you, is truly a comforting feeling. The students also never fail to make me smile, and are so sweet. They truly can turn your day around with just a smile and a hug. It truly only takes a couple of hours of getting to know them to see how amazing each and every one of them are.
So, all that being said, if you have ever considered volunteering abroad, or if you haven’t, I would so strongly recommend coming to CBS. Whether it’s for 2 weeks, 2 months or heck 2 years, I guarantee it is not something you will ever regret. Not only will you be able to meet a mix of really awesome volunteers you will always be able to call your family, but you will also get to meet some of the most incredible students and families who will welcome you into their homes with so much gratitude. This is truly an incredible experience and I am so blessed to have been able to come here and am so excited to go back!