CFCA sponsor Laurie Chandler recently returned from a visit to Santa Barbara, Honduras, to visit her sponsored friend, Fredy.
Laurie traveled on an individual sponsor visit to meet Fredy and spent some quality time with him and his family.
Laurie shares her travel experience with us and how meeting Fredy left her smiling all day long.
By Laurie Chandler, CFCA sponsor
For those of you who might be considering a visit to your sponsored friend, I would say, “Please do, if you possibly can!”
On May 21, 2013, my sponsored friend Fredy, his father, Rigoberto, and I were able to spend a day together in the city of Santa Barbara, Honduras.
Fredy is 12 years old, in the fifth grade and lives in a small village.
When we met in person, I discovered how remote Fredy’s village was. I learned that Fredy and Rigoberto walked for 90 minutes from the River Ulua and then over a mountain to reach the bus station that travels to Santa Barbara.
On my next visit, I hope to make that trip, to see his home and school and meet the rest of the family.
The staff gave me the warmest welcome imaginable, and our day was filled with sharing and fun.
One of the gifts I brought for Fredy was a small photo album of the important parts of my life.
Inside were photos of Fredy, my family, my home, my church, Christmas, Maine, and my other sponsored friend, Dixie, in Costa Rica.
I wrote about each photo in Spanish, which was good practice for me.
During our visit, Fredy carefully read the book to me, which led to more sharing about our lives.
It was wonderful to hear him reading and to see what he has learned in school.
One of Fredy’s friends had been writing his letters for him.
If you could only have seen our smiles when Fredy proudly told me that his next letter to me was in the mail, and he wrote it all by himself.
I think we were both smiling at each other all day!
After we spent about an hour with the photo album and talking, talking, talking, it was time for lunch.
Riding in the air-conditioned truck was a treat in itself, as it was extremely hot and humid.
Next, we enjoyed a nice meal of fried fish and plantains and then it was time for shopping.
Manuel de Jesus, CFCA Santa Barbara project coordinator, was agreeable to an extra adventure — exploring the ruins in the mountains nearby.
Lastly, we toured the CFCA office, and it was heartwarming to see how many staffers had grown up in the CFCA family and to see the scholarship students doing their community service.
CFCA provided a translator for our day together, although I talked with everyone in Spanish as much as I could.
Saying adios was sad, but I left thinking how much we will have to say to each other through our letters, now that I can visualize his life much better.
It was very fun to also secretly pass along a surprise birthday gift and card, which he will receive in a few weeks on his birthday.
The staff gave me a T-shirt that the older CFCA students wear, which I will have on as I share the story of my journey with my community.
The words on the back say it all: “Soy un agente de cambio positivo!”
[I am an agent of positive change!]
Blessings to all in the CFCA family,
Laurie Chandler, Maine
Sponsor a child in Honduras