In Contrast, It’s Good to be American

An eye-opening experience undoubtedly.

On Monday, two Honduran men, Professor Henry Garcia and Aldrin Borjas, took a tour of the Penn Points news room with nothing less than shocked faces.

Henry Garcia, and Aldrin Borjas overlook the Penn Points news room. Photo by Brian Dunne

Garcia, the regional director of Perspire Choluteca school district in Honduras is here learning how an American school works. Things such as teaching strategy, format and what type of facilities we use are all questions to which he is seeking answers.

With the help of his translator, Mark Mentzer, Garcia said, ” The biggest difference between our school district and Penn Manor is we have very little materials, don’t have enough desks and chairs and no audio and visual learning equipment.”

“One of the things we’re hoping to do is a teacher exchange.” Garcia said, “where teachers from Honduras would come here and teachers from here would go to Honduras. Hopefully that experience would create a positive attitude for the teachers.”

“We can learn a lot of things from coming here and seeing the education in America,” Garcia added.

Honduras is the second poorest country in the Americas, and it shows in their budget.

“Teachers make about $400 a month and we have about 300 teachers,” Garcia said.

That’s a sliver of the $67 million annual Penn Manor’s budget.

Henry Garcia, Aldrin Borjas, Steven Mentzer, Mark Mentzer. Photo by Brian Dunne

With 6900 kids in their district, compared to 5500 in Penn Manor, there isn’t enough money for every kid to have pencils or every teacher to have chalk. This makes education in Honduras very challenging, to say the least.

Mentzer explained that the money the school receives is paid directly by their central government. Yet, the school district is extremely reliant on generous people around the world to help pay for education for their students.

By Jessen Smith