In January of 2017 I arrived in Yoro, Honduras to learn Spanish and volunteer for five months. Nearly four years later, I have founded NutriFund and am still here.
My volunteer work began at the San Yves Nutrition Center and it was there that I met a four year old boy named Ariel, who had been there several months. His dad would visit every couple weeks, but only for an hour or so and was on his way. Shortly after Ariel recovered and returned home, I visited his family. I discovered that, in order to visit, his dad had to wake up at dawn for a three hour walk through the mountains and then pay for a one hour bus ride just to see his son. And then he had to repeat the process to make it home before dark. On top of it all, he had to give up a day’s wages.
Witnessing a father’s sacrifice and dedication to his child and yet the inability to adequately care for his son left me feeling incredibly frustrated. It opened my eyes and pushed me to reflect on my own background and upbringing. I began to see that food, health and education were things I took for granted because of the home into which I was born. In contrast, the home into which Ariel was born has already exposed him to a near death experience due to hunger. It had little to do with a difference in dedication or drive that our parents have to care for us. Our positions could just as easily be switched.