Poetry in San Pedro Sula (06:02)
In 2012, Spencer Reece, a poet and Episcopal priest, went to the Our Little Roses orphanage in Honduras to teach poetry for a year. San Pedro Sula is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. At first, Belkis, who runs the orphanage, did not know if the program would work.
Our Little Roses Orphanage (04:51)
Many of the girls at the orphanage remember their mothers leaving them there. Many were tricked and feel being told the truth would have been better. Reece attends a Christmas mass with the girls.
Poetry Class (06:17)
About 60 girls live at the orphanage and Reece is teaching poetry to the older girls. He explains the difficulty of expressing emotions through poetry and gives them the option to keep their work anonymous. The class works together on a poem about what home means to them.
Poetry Writing (03:58)
The girls share how they got the ideas for their first poems for Reece's class. He uses Emily Dickinson to teach the girls confidence in writing about their emotions. The students discuss whether or not they want to put their names on their poems.
Dreams for the Future (06:31)
The Our Little Roses' girls want to have successful careers and loving families in the future. The orphanage has a joint Quinceanera for multiple girls turning 15.
Fears of the Future (07:16)
Reece teaches the girls about rhythm in poetry and they create a dance. Many of the girls will be turning 18 soon and will have to leave Our Little Roses. Some are excited about the independence but nervous about the lack of a support system.
Privilege of Our Little Roses (04:09)
The older girls value the privileges being at Our Little Roses grants them. Carolina was kicked out and forced to go to government orphanage. Her best friend from Our Little Roses gets permission to visit her.
Government Orphanage (07:28)
Carolina is able to meet with her friends from Our Little Roses. The orphanage is overcrowded, lacking basic necessities, and dangerous.
Emotions and Poetry (03:52)
One of the girls shares a poem she wrote about violent events in her past. While some of the girls are using the poems to get out their emotions, others are nervous about being too personal.
Parents and Poetry (05:00)
One of the girls shares her poem about how she does not think about her parents. Many of the girls have forgiven their parents and wrote that in to their poems. Reece was surprised that all of them ended in a message of forgiveness.
Loss and Poetry (06:42)
Reece and the class discuss the themes of loss in a poem. He gets the class to open up about relationships they have lost and realizes they consider him part of the family at the orphanage.
Healing and Poetry (04:21)
The girls in the poetry class felt relieved after using the poems to share their feelings about their pasts. The oldest girls attend their graduation.
"The Road to Emmaus" (10:35)
Reece agrees to read one of his own poems after a student asks. She picks "Road to Emmaus" that Reece wrote about his friend dying. Our Little Roses has a good-bye celebration for Reece, and he explains the Bible story of Emmaus.
The Future (09:47)
Reece leaves Our Little Roses. Many of the girls attend college while another moves out of the orphanage. The poems from Reece's class were collected into a poetry book.
Credits: Voices Beyond the Wall (02:01)
Credits: Voices Beyond the Wall
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