Elizabeth (Liz) Dillon, a second year Master of International Studies student, is currently interning in Zambrano, Honduras with The Leadership Center (TLC), an organization funded by the U.S. nonprofit organization, Leadership Mission International (LMI). TLC is an English immersion and faith based college for young women with the goal to empower them to become leaders in their communities.
Liz’s internship has been eye-opening and humbling. On her first night in the country, she experienced an eight hour power outage due to severe thunderstorms. Learning to survive without power and sometimes water has become part of Liz’s weekly routine Her daily commute to work includes hewn rocks, gravel, mud, a river and two streams. When major rain falls, the roads wash out and the rivers and streams become so flooded that they are impassable by both vehicles and pedestrians.
Even with the challenging conditions, Liz has found her internship both professionally and personally enriching. At TLC, she has constructed lesson plans and taught two college classes. She has successfully assisted students in applying for a grant that will support a field trip to Copan, Honduras. Liz has even found time to volunteer as a cook, host campus events, and participate in several athletic teams.
Liz’s internship is partially funded by the John William Pope foundation to conduct research for her final Master’s Capstone project. Her research focuses on finding initiatives that can mitigate food insecurity in Central Honduras. In an effort to reduce food insecurity, Liz has assisted in the process of planting peppers, picking coffee beans, grinding and selling coffee to provide income to TLC for food. Working with TLC students, Liz has also installed a water tank for the Los Mescales Community that will provide the community with water for drinking, bathing, washing dishes and care for home gardens and crops. These hands on experiences will strengthen her research.
Liz feels fortunate to have participated in an international internship where she was able to make an impact on the TLC students and the Los Mescales community. She is thankful for the support she has received and looks forward to continuing her research upon her return to NC State.