Staying in Gracias, Lempira, Honduras has reminded us about how important it is to be grateful.
First, we want to thank God as is customary here in Honduras. Also, thank you to your families for allowing us to come on this trip.
Thank you to everyone who donated to the Mobilize AguaClara crowdfunding. We are truly grateful for those gifts.
The two weeks we spent in Honduras were jam packed with adventures, rehydration salts, and water. At times it could get difficult to keep ourselves grounded and understand the reasons why we went to Honduras and were able to go in the first place. Because of this, we’d like to take the time to recognize some people and things that made the trip both worthwhile and unforgettable.
The first person we need to thank is Monroe. It’s very clear that without him, this project wouldn’t exist, and we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see and serve the thousands of people in Honduras that our technology benefits. Without him, we wouldn’t have had our first moment where we truly felt like engineers.
Another person critical to the existence of our program is Jacobo. His work as the director of APP, has brought many years of insight to the lack of clean water in communities across Honduras. The dedication he brings to helping his communities has been truly inspiring, and has helped propel AguaClara to heights otherwise unimaginable.
Perhaps the most interesting and toughest man in Honduras, Jorge provided us with life lessons that we would never have learned and dance lessons that we would never have pushed ourselves to do. He taught us the Honduran ways of engineering solutions to the numerous fabrication issues we ran into. The spirit and joy that he constantly exuded taught us to enjoy life to the fullest. Jorge, keep doing you.
They call Antonio the man of many hats, or in our terms, the jack of all trades. His time spent meticulously planning for our arrival and trip, and trips past, was something that we frequently overlooked. His tireless work in the 351 days a year when we aren’t visiting also goes unappreciated by many. Because of this, we thank him for his dedication to implementing, maintaining, and spreading our technology and influence across Honduras.
Many 20-something year-olds rarely ever achieve the accomplishments and maintain the humility that Byron has. To be the operator of the current largest AguaClara plant, and to be dubbed “The Next Antonio” is something that many of us may never achieve. His accomplishments are something that should not be overlooked by our successes in lab. His genuine interest in the work we do at Cornell is a testament to the fact that knowledge needs no degree.
For many Cornell students, the thought of leaving our bubble never crosses our mind. Spending two weeks in Honduras was, for most of us, the first time we were ever forced to be outside our comfort zone. To be able to live without the luxuries afforded to us by our bubble for two years, and to give them up to help others is admirable. It is what many of us aspire to be, but never pursue due to fear and apprehension. Skyler embodies just this: an exceptional engineer. One whose sole passion is to help others no matter the sacrifices necessary. For this, we thank you Skyler for being a role model.
Driving a stick shift van full of Americans up a narrow road on the side of a very steep mountain would seem like a daunting task to most people, but luckily, we had the best van drivers in Honduras, maybe in the world! And so we say thank you to Denzi and Elliot for allowing us to visit various parts of Honduras safely.
Thank you Honduras for all the beautiful memories.