July 2020
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Religious Youth Service

World Peace and the Role of Youth

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Honduras—This project was built on the relationship with an Apostolic Church pastor with whom the Honduras RYS team had worked before. She was very much familiar with the goals of Religious Youth Service. The church offers its facilities as a service to the local townspeople and hopes to develop it more each year. They hold a kindergarten where the younger children can receive a thorough education, both intellectually and morally/ethically. Inside the church facilities, an earlier RYS has built a bakery, a dining area for the children, a dental and medical clinic and a small recreation center.

From June 17th through 27th, the RYS participants helped paint the bathrooms, kitchen and dining area. Another group helped remove rusted and rotten materials to the garbage dump. A third group formed a line and carried 20-pound cement blocks to the playground that was being built. The last group assisted construction workers to lay the cement block walls around the recreational area where the children and all the village people will spend time together.

During breaks, the RYS participants went to the classroom and joined the children in activities such as dancing and playing games.

Working with the children to give them hope for a brighter future fits with the theme of the project “World Peace and the Role of Youth.” By working together with the children, the young people set an example of love and service. By the end of the project, many of the participants created strong bonds with each other through profound, prayerful, playful and exciting activities together. In addition, they could see and strongly appreciate the vision inherent in the theme of this year’s project. Working with the children profoundly impacted the hearts of the RYS participants, enabling them to feel that such efforts could really give birth to world peace.

Several religions were represented, including the Mayan religion practiced by the indigenous people of Guatemala. This was the first time individuals from the Mayan faith were represented at a Friendship Americas Project in Central America.

Upon reflection, despite the hardship of adapting to the location, culture, schedule, vigorous activities, and variety of personalities and religions, many departed for home feeling that they had been able to accomplish goals and fulfill expectations on an internal level. In particular, they felt they had created sincere, heartfelt bonds with the village people and were able to work together harmoniously as a team.

Participants: 22
Religions Represented: 4 
Nations Represented: 4

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