The meetings with the different businessmen and women went very well, and we were glad to know some of them would be at our first workshop that afternoon. We waited in the conference room the afternoon and watched them trickle in; some of them brought their young kids along, and quite a few seemed to know each other well. Our fearless translators joined up with each one of our three groups, accounting, marketing, and management. The tables had about 10 entrepreneurs around them at a time, and our translators, Jose, Libni, and Isaac helped us introduce ourselves to the group and have them do the same.
Jumping right into the workshops was somewhat of a struggle for some of the groups. This was expected, but, thanks to God, practice makes perfect. The entrepreneurs were at various levels with their specific businesses, some already standing for decades with an established name, while others might have only been around a year. This definitely made it difficult to encompass all of their businesses with what we had prepared. Trying to meet them where they stood individually proved frustrating with the language barrier present.
After going through our lesson models twice more, we began to realize areas that we could improve on and how we could smooth out all the rough pieces. The business men and women were very interactive the entire time, sharing ideas and asking questions across the table through the duration of our time together. It was especially encouraging to see the owners of the businesses we were able to visit earlier at the workshop, and some of us got the chance to talk to them in between sessions. One carpenter talked about past Taylor student workshops he had attended, and how he has been able to implement what he has learned to his workspace. Over the past two years he has been able to apply these lessons and see his company grow. He came back today because he knew that he always could learn something new.
The workshops here at Catacamas were beneficial to our team in more ways than we expected. We learned priceless information about local business of Honduras, what was most helpful for them during our time together, and what aspects of business they simply were not ready to dive into. All that we learned will definitely help us fine-tune our presentations when we head back to Tegucigalpa later this week. We were all incredibly grateful for this opportunity to share some of the knowledge we have gained through Taylor University, and be able to reflect Christ through the principles we emphasized.
Following our time worshiping at Iglesia Reformada, we traveled four hours to the city of Catacamas. Catacamas is a city in the northeastern region of Honduras in the state of Olancho.
The drive through the continuous, green mountains and various towns allowed for us to develop a deep appreciation for the beauty of God’s creation seen in Honduras. Additionally, the time gave us the awesome opportunity to bond more as a team. (You learn a lot about people after 4 hours in the same vehicle.) We finally arrived at our hotel later that evening and began to plan out the logistics for the upcoming workshop. We also were able to reflect on our impressions of Honduras, have a group devotion, and share prayer requests.
The following morning, we met with Leti, a representative from a local partner, Diaconia Nacional. D.N. provides local training for aspiring entrepreneurs throughout Honduras. The microfinance division provides loans, capital, and access to business information individuals need to succeed. We spent the first-half of the day visiting various businesses in Catacamas. A carpenter, Javier, was very eager to give us a tour of his carpentry shop, and would have gone on about his work for hours if time had allowed. Even though it was only a short visit, this experience was so informative to our team. Leaving his shop, we headed to the local market of Catacamas where we met owners of local grains and meat stores. It was encouraging to see how the local businessmen and women had been able to succeed with their businesses with help from the Diaconia Nacional.
Our team has successfully made it to Tegucigalpa! Although there were some flight delays, we made it on time and were greeted by Jose and Isaac, two representatives for Partners Worldwide, who will be our translators for the remainder of the week. They were incredibly helpful from the moment we landed, transporting us to Mission Caribe, located in the heart of the city.
Today was a eye-opening introduction to Honduran culture, beginning with a trip up the mountain with Jose and his wife, Andrea, and Isaac to a local restaurant where we had the chance to relax and experience our first taste of some traditional foods of the country. Following this, we drove to a city known as “Valley of the Angels,” a quaint tourist town with a beautiful overlook of the valley below us. We were able to shop as a team and get to know our hosts better before heading back for the night.
Despite the long day of travel, our team is enthusiastic as a whole to focus on the presentations we will be giving starting Monday. We will be attending a local church tomorrow morning, and traveling the city of Catacamas afterwards. Thank you all for your prayers so far, and please continue to pray for a good chance for all of us to rest tonight, and that will continue to adjust well to the new culture and its surroundings. We praise God for the safety and hospitality that He has blessed us with so far!
The Honduras Team.