PLYMOUTH — Plymouth High School graduate Katie Day will be embarking on her second mission trip to Honduras next summer.
Day was one of 13 Butler University students to be involved in the week long trip her freshman year and now, as she finishes her junior year at Butler, has taken on an internship this semester that includes the planning and recruiting of volunteers for the project scheduled for May 2011.
The projects organized though the Butler Catholic Community are all service oriented. Day said that during her first experience in Honduras the group cleared out a trail, erected a cross for a priest that had been recently ordained and visited orphanages in the area.
“This time we hope to interact more with the kids in the orphanage we live at which is La Sociedad Amigos de los Niños, as well as visit other local orphanages, one of which is specifically for children with HIV and AIDS,” she said. “Approximately 100 children with HIV and AIDS are housed at the special medical facility.”
Although there are some grants provided by the Butler Student Government for projects, Day said it is very hard to obtain one since Butler has a number of worthwhile student projects and students are fundraising all the time. She estimates that each of the students involved in the Honduras Mission Project will have to raise between $1,200 and $1,300 to pay for airfare, bus travel, accommodations, meals, and other expenses.
Day also hopes to be able to raise enough funds to stay in Honduras for two extra weeks in order to do research for her senior honors thesis on Honduras in conjunction with peace journalism.
“I’m a journalism/political science double major,” she said. After my first trip to the country, I chose a minor of Peace Studies. This is actually what I want to do for the rest of my life. Going to Honduras reminds me that’s the way I want to live.”
Over the last few years, Day has traveled to several other countries as well, including England, Ireland, Italy, and France. She has also traveled throughout the states on various mission projects and school-related opportunities. Day returned from an internship with C-SPAN about a month and a half ago to help care for her brother Eric who had undergone surgeries for a brain tumor.
When asked how her parents, Ron and Lori Day feel about her leaving the country, she said, “My parents try to focus on the positive and let me do my own thing, but I know they are nervous, too.”
Shortly after her first trip to Honduras, the country’s government was taken over during a military coup that ousted the democratically elected president. Day said the country is a lot more stable now, but emphasized they will be traveling with a translator and bodyguard at all times.
The group will fly into the capital city of Tegucigalpa and then travel by bus for about four hours to Nuevo Paraiso where the orphanages are located.
Day credits Plymouth High School with her introduction to service.
She said, “During my senior year at PHS, they started a mentor program with freshmen that touched me. In fact, I still keep in contact with some of my kids; it’s crazy that they are getting ready to graduate! That year I also volunteered for one trimester at Riverside Intermediate in a special needs classroom, and I think that was the most worthwhile thing I participated in during my high school career.”
Anyone wanting more information about the mission trip or to help sponsor Day can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org . Checks made out to The Butler Catholic Community and can be sent directly to The Center For Faith and Vocation; c/o Father Jeff Godecker, 4600 Sunset Ave; Indianapolis, IN 46208.