By ABC-7 Reporter Marissa Monroy
Fort Hancock, Texas -Norma Hinojos isn’t your average history teacher.
Having traveled throughout the world, she often shares her firsthand experiences with her students at Fort Hancock Junior High. On Wednesday, she had the unique experience of relating her nearly half-a-dozen trips to Haiti to her students.
“Even though we live on the border and you think we see the poverty and stuff, when you go to Haiti, it’s totally different,” Hinojos said. “You see the poorest people living in trash, to me it was very eye-opening.”
Hinojos often visits her best friend who now lives in Haiti with her husband. She has spent up to six months at a time on the island.
“It kind of looks like paradise, but then you look at the people and the way that they live,” Hinojos said. “They’re hungry and now with all that’s happened, they’re going to be even hungrier. There’s not going to be any food for them.”
She often tells her students how fortunate they are with the educational resources provided to them.
“I tell them, ‘be grateful for the schools that you have and the classrooms,'” Hinojos said. “Some of the kids (in Haiti) were all stuffed in one chair and I told them, ‘you have computers, you have desks, you have your own chair.'”
Hinojos said the earthquake’s devastation will only hamper her friend’s missionary work with the group, Joy in Hope. The earthquake left 75 percent of their buildings in ruin. She said she feels helpless being so far away, and yet, selfishly thankful that no one in their group — volunteers or locals in need — was seriously hurt.
“It can happen anywhere and we have to be the type of person who’s willing to go out and help at any time,” Hinojos said.