Last summer, when I was 14 years old, my parents, grandmother, sister, and I took a trip to Roatan, Honduras. When we left, I had the normal thoughts of a teenage girl on my mind. Would there be cute boys? Would I get a tan? Would the rooms be nice? I was looking forward to lounging on the beach and relaxing. Once we were on the ground and waiting outside for a ride, I started to notice my surroundings. Yes, they were beautiful, but I also noticed a lot of impoverished areas. The drive to our resort, The Henry Morgan, fascinated me. I have traveled before and have definitely seen lifestyles different from my own, but I did notice one difference in Roatan. Everyone was happy regardless of their situation. The trip progressed nicely and we all had a wonderful time. On one of our last days of vacation, we rented a taxi and toured the island. Being such a small island, we drove around the entire place and explored the local areas. We passed by orphanages, medical clinics, and run down shacks. The whole day I was truly moved by what we saw. I knew at that moment I needed to help, I wanted to help, this island out. A very close encounter I made with the people of Honduras was when I met a vendor on the beach with her baby. She told me a story of how she adopted this child because the family could not feed the baby due to their financial conditions. Apparently this happens all the time and is a regular occurrence in Honduras. Many places in the world need aid, but what drew me to this was not only were they in need of it, the people left a mark on me. Throughout those days, I met some of the best people I have ever encountered. They were genuinely nice, something I rarely encounter during daily life in America. The people not only needed it, but they really did deserve it.
My whole outlook of life was changed on this trip. Everyone complains for what they don't have and are never truly happy with what they are blessed to own. In Roatan, the people did not mutter one complaint about what they were lacking (which was significantly more than most might I add), they were happy and positive with what they did have. This trip taught me to be more grateful for what I have, and inspired me to aid a country who's people needed it. Once I was home, I looked into helping out Honduras, Roatan specifically. During this past year at school, I planned a fundraiser to help donate supplies to the Roatan Children's Fund, an organization which runs the very orphanages I had encountered. I managed to send down hundreds of dollars worth of much needed supplies. I am going to continue working on bettering the Honduran Community as it is now something I hold very close to my heart.
I try and take away a piece of knowledge from every one of my trips, Costa Rica taught me to step outside of my comfort zones, Mexico to overcome my fears, and Cayman Brac that no matter how powerful you may feel, nature is above you. In all of my travels though, Roatan, Honduras is the trip that will always have the most impact on me and inspire me to better the lives of others. With that trip, I was finally able to unlock one of my passions, helping others. I learned to view things with a more positive outlook and to go into a situation thinking about what I am blessed to have, not what I don't. I am thankful for everything I have today, and I want to share that with others who are less fortunate. Roatan, Honduras changed me,. and this change was for the better.