The university is primarily focused on agriculture and serves many students from poor backgrounds. Here they learn about sustainable agriculture, ecology, and alternative sources of energy. Many of the students are on full scholarships, which cover not only their tuition and materials, but also housing, clothes, food, and everything else they might need. The students take classes and work in different areas, and all the food the students eat is grown on the campus. Field work is part of the curriculum, and their motto is "Learn While Doing." Seniors do theses based on field research, and many of them study abroad in order to do that research.
Our stay in Catacamas was punctuated by events organized by the university just for us. There were tours of the campus, cultural activities, presentations by students, and many opportunities for cultural and personal exchanges between their students and the Ferrum visitors. We were treated with wonderful hospitality and thoughtfulness, and we all enjoyed it tremendously.
Flor Azul is a place up on a mountain where the most wonderful boys live. There are over sixty boys between the ages of twelve and twenty-two. All of them have experienced extreme poverty, most of them have experienced abuse or violence, all of them have hearts as big as the world. The time we spent with them was magical, and we were able to connect with them individually as we played, learned, and taught English, art, and geography. Mostly we had a chance to talk to them and get to know them and to be humbled by their graciousness, humility, and love.
Just a few photos of some of the performances and puppet-making crafts. We visited three elementary schools, two kindergartens, Flor Azul, and the university in Catacamas. Overall the students performed this play eight times, for different ages, always with wonderful reactions. The best were the kids who had never seem puppets or theater of any kind.
The students and faculty who traveled together to Honduras for a service-learning course wrote about our adventures on this blog, both during and after our travels.