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Burritos needed for Honduras

By Tina Ou     2/22/12 6:00pm

A new Saturday evening dining option has recently emerged: Rice students selling Chipotle burritos for $7 by the south colleges grove and by West Servery.

The students are part of Nourish International, and the money they earn from selling the burritos is going toward a six-week trip to Honduras this summer to create sustainable education resources for children. Five students are currently planning to go on the trip.

Rice students will be working with Honduran nonprofit organization Partners in Education - Roatan to reach their mission goal, according to Nourish International Chapter Leader Victoria Delgado. Delgado, a Jones College sophomore, said the Rice students in Nourish International approached several organizations in different countries with an emphasis on organizations with education-oriented goals, and PIER seemed to connect the most with their mission of bringing sustainable solutions to impoverished communities.



To raise enough money for the trip, the Rice chapter is holding the fundraising event Get Nourished with Chipotle this semester with the goal of raising around $2,000. Delgado said the Rice students will work with various help groups that PIER offers children in Honduras and interact directly with Honduran children and teachers. In addition, they plan to develop self-learning kits for the children.

According to Delgado, the students intend to work with Rice professors to learn how to prepare learning kits, which may include lesson plans and materials from teacher supply stores. The learning kits will cover a range of difficulty levels and focus on basic math, science and English skills.

"The materials in the learning boxes will allow students to creatively teach themselves using a very hands-on approach," Delgado said. "The problem the children currently face is a lack of materials as well as a lack of teachers. The learning kits will be a way to provide both the lesson and the teacher all in one box."

Delgado founded the Rice chapter of Nourish International last year after visiting a friend at the University of Texas at Austin who was involved in the Nourish International chapter there. "In just our first year, we've created a solid membership base, raised almost $2,000 and started plans for a six-week service project in Honduras this summer," Delgado said.

Nourish International Chapter Coordinator Sarah Miller said the organization, which has chapters at 24 college campuses, has approved 18 projects in 12 different countries. During the project abroad, students are expected to blog about their experiences. After returning from their trips, students must complete a project report.

While the Rice chapter has decided to focus specifically on education, other colleges have also targeted issues such as agriculture, supporting small businesses, water and public health.

"We seek to learn and have [the students' experience] be a mutually beneficial project with the international community," Miller said.

Delgado said she agreed and hoped the Rice students who participate can bring back what they learn.

"We are hoping that our project will bring a sustainable resource to the children that participate in activities through PIER that will allow them to build confidence in their educational abilities," Delgado said. "We are also hoping to return with a wealth of knowledge from this experience that will give us future opportunities to find a place in the nonprofit world."

Duncan College sophomore Kathia Dumelle said to prepare for the trip, she and other Nourish International members have been learning about the culture in Honduras. In addition, she has been reviewing the Spanish language.

Dumelle said though the trip will only be six weeks long, the idea is that the learning kits and knowledge the Rice students give to the children and the Honduran community will have a lasting effect.

"We hope to have an impact on the students there," Dumelle said. "We want to make a sustainable impact so that we can leave our mark, and the work that we do there can be perpetuated by the community."

For more on Rice students' efforts to fundraise for the Honduras trip, visit http://www.razoo.com/ story/Ricechapter. More information on Nourish International can be found at nourish.org.



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