From the Woods They Emerged

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“I do this to help them have hope for a better future,” explained Señor Gutiérrez.  The teacher had hitched a ride part way and walked the rest of the way to be there when the students arrived.  One by one they began to emerge from the woods.  Twenty-six yellow tops, twenty-six chocolate brown skirts or slacks.  Each student was a seventh or eighth grader in a community no larger than about 400 people. 
They come every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon to the two-room elementary school in Las Minitas.  Noé Gutiérrez teaches in the morning in San Francisco del Valle, and three afternoons a week he rides a mo-ped to Las Minitas to teach these students—for no pay.  It’s a bit of a challenge, considering that they have no books.
We had received a letter requesting some help to buy books for these rising 8th and 9th graders for next year.  The teacher, the pastor of the local church, the president of the Patronato, and the president of the group of students had all signed the letter.  So I wanted to see for myself what’s happening there.  I saw what’s happening.  It’s hope.
As I usually do, I asked the students “Why are you doing this?  It’s a lot of work for you after you do your work in the fields, isn’t it?” One by one they responded.
“Yo quiero ser una doctora.”  (I want to be a doctor).
“I want to be an engineer.”  “. . . a business administrator.” “. . . an attorney.” “. . . a computer operator.”
Do they understand everything about these careers?  Surely not.  Will they all reach their goal?  No.  But some may.  Señor Gutiérrez is encouraging them to think beyond their Las Minitas world of poverty, disease, and hopelessness.  He has asked simply for help to buy books for these students.  At about $40 each for 26 students, it seems to us to be easy to do.  But for Las Minitas it may mean that the other kids will have to go hungry.
Most villages in Honduras have needs and we can’t meet all of them.   But maybe can meet some of them as the needy emerge from their woods into the light.