Sarah Boozer and Her Time at La Ceiba

The plane lands at the airport, located in the middle of a pineapple field in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. There is no gate to walk into, just a tarmac that takes you to what Hondurans calls an airport. There is one Hispanic food restaurant opposed to the entire food courts American’s are used to. A twelve-year-old Sarah Boozer is in culture shock seeing the differences between this small country and the one she is used to. A bus takes her to La Ceiba, a small village surrounded by barren nothingness and filled with dirt roads and shacks.

Sarah Boozer, a Georgia College freshman, went to Honduras to lead a bible school and a sports camp while the adults built schools and churches for this small coastal village. She spent the entirety of her trip surrounded by the people and the culture she soon fell in love with.

“Seeing Sarah interact with those children was something every mother wants to see. Her kindness and ability to make the connection she did really showed us that this is a real passion of hers,” said Robin Boozer, Sarah’s mom.

One particular memory that Boozer remembers fondly is playing in the rain with the children she had grown so close to while there. The rain had been persistent every afternoon they were there, flooding the village they were working in around the same time every day. “We were all just sitting inside huddled up and all the kids were like let’s go outside and play still and we were all like it’s seriously raining, like no why would we go do that. But we all went and just like seeing how much joy and how much fun we could all have even though it was like torrential down pouring was like so cool. Even though we didn't understand each other’s languages, just being able to share those fun moments and hangout and have fun together was super cool,” Boozer said.

Since that first trip, Boozer has returned to Honduras five times on mission trips led by her dad. Boozer blames her addiction to returning on “the kids and the atmosphere” she has become accustomed to while visiting there.

She fell in love with their humility and generosity. “You could give them a quarter of a peanut butter sandwich or an eighth of a banana and it was seriously the best thing,” Boozer said.

One of the kind people who made an impression on her was not an adult but instead a child named Mylady. “I got to see her every year I went and she remembered me every time,” Boozer said. “She would come up to me with the biggest smile every time I came. She loved to teach me Spanish and I taught her English and it was super cool to be able to share that together.”

A major concern of visiting a foreign country is safety, however while visiting Boozer said she never felt like she was in danger. The group she traveled with had guards with them each time she went. Although her group had guards she said the most unsettling part was the guards that waited outside of stores with giant guns. She remembers seeing five or six men that would wait by the entrance of stores guarding it. “That was really something different because at our local Publix there’s not guys standing outside guarding it. That was just really different cause of course I’ve never seen anything like that. I was like ‘oh my gosh. Someone with a gun. What!’” Boozer said.

What she carries with her from all of these trips are not only the memories but the hope that she can return one day with the skills necessary to help them more than she already has. Boozer is currently pursuing a nursing major and a Spanish minor, which she hopes will allow her to return to help. “I’m minoring in Spanish right now with my nursing major just because I would absolutely love to not necessarily only study abroad but live abroad for a short period of time to help people in third world countries that can’t get the medical attention they deserve and need. So, I definitely want to do that,” Boozer said.

“The needs in Honduras range from just a simple flu type sickness to something very severe and they don’t have access to health care like we do here in the U.S.,” said Craig Stevens, a participant on two of the mission trips Boozer also went on. “The first time I went with Sarah she was still a child getting to play with the kids there and see how they live their lives outside of school to the more recent time where she was a young adult really kind of getting a better concept of the real poverty they live in and the basic needs not being met, medical being one of them. That probably helped drive her into a nursing profession.”

With her goal in mind she is a force to be reckoned with for anyone trying to stand in her way. She is trying to go back as soon as she can. “I’m trying to get my dad to plan a trip right now but I don’t know. Hopefully it’ll work out, but I definitely want to go back.”

Honduras has changed Sarah Boozer forever, not only influencing her to go into the career field she has decided, but also changing her values. “I think it’s just a humbling experience to come back and see everything I have and everything I’ve been blessed with. I feel like I’ve become a lot more giving to others and a lot more appreciative of the stuff I do have.”