Kirsten Rotz is a VIDES volunteer from Idaho who is currently serving with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. In addition to teaching English and PE, she helps care for the 30 girls, ages 6 to 14, who live with them during the week.

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A hard-knock life

Notes from the Field - casa hogar is a children’s home. These types of institutions are incredibly common in Honduras and Central America, at large. They come in all shapes, sizes and types. Here in San Pedro Sula, most casa hogares are associated with a church or school. At Escuela María Mazzarello, the casa hogar has been in existence for 15 years, but in the past five years it has seriously begun to evolve. 

The full circle of donations

Notes from the Field - When was the last time you participated in a donation effort? Gave some money? Cleaned out your closet or pantry? Volunteered? Bought an item whose proceeds went toward donations? When I was younger, I remember raiding our pantry during food drives at school – usually just clearing out the things that I didn’t really want to ever have to eat.

From the inside looking out

Notes from the Field - When I applied to be a VIDES volunteer, living in community with the sisters was a strategic move. One, I wanted to be living in a safe environment; I trusted that a community of nuns would be able to provide that. Two, I wanted to grow in my faith. Three, I particularly like structure and order, which life in community promises.

Unconditional love – and lice

Notes from the Field - I had hoped that perhaps here the awkward moment in a strained relationship would simply be lost in translation, and I would be free of conflict. And I admit I fell victim to an assumption that nuns always get along with each other. I should have known better though.