Keeping it global…. A student’s experience in Honduras

Just one week ago, I met with the UW Milwaukee SARUP (School of Architecture and Urban Planning) students to talk about the architect’s role in disaster assistance.  They asked some very good questions,  one of which was, “Does it make sense for an architect to travel to a foreign country and physically build homes:  shovel dirt, carry rocks, stack masonry, pound nails, etc.?”   My answer, with full conviction, was, “Absolutely!”   Early on, I struggled greatly with this idea.  Someone asked, “Is it making best use of your skills?”  What better way to become a better architect than to build it with my own hands.

Immediately following my “Architect Unseen” presentation at last week’s SARUP event, Zach walked up to tell me about his volunteer experience building structures for families in Honduras.  It was refreshing to hear his stories and I’d asked to see the photos from his work.  He responded with a very touching letter and I’d asked if I could share it on my blog.  Fortunately, he agreed.

Thank you Zach because you have inspired me.  I am now more sure than ever that El Salvador is the right thing to do! 



 Below are Zach’s letter and the link to his photos.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


Hello Ms. Glaeser,

This is Zach Pate who talked to you about my excursions in Honduras at your speech in Milwaukee on Monday night. I have to say I’m so glad we had a person talk about the subject of architecture and poverty in third-world countries, it was a very riveting speech and is something some of us Americans just don’t think about that much.

Anyways, this url is a shutterfly website that shows what our group did in Tegucigalpa.  Now I’ll warn you this is a photo pool, so it has about 1,000 pictures from the trip so obviously you don’t have to see every single one but I thought if you were interested you could check this website out. We had a total of about 14 members this last year and also stayed with a Honduran family. I plan on possibly going back on this mission’s trip either this summer or the following. However if you would ever be interested in joining us for one of our trips, I’m sure you would be an asset to the mission’s team, just a random idea to throw out there. My church that sponsors this trip is the CrossPoint Assembly of God in Portage, just north of Madison. I know this is plenty of random ideas to be throwing your way, but again its just an idea. Anyways thanks again, it was a pleasure meeting you.

Zach Pate

AIAS Events Committee




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