SOUTHCOM supports local Honduran students Published Oct. 24, 2023 By Tech. Sgt. Rachel Maxwell 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) COMAYAGUA, Honduras -- 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, Maj. Gen. Evan Pettus, joined top representatives from the Honduras Ministry of Education to inaugurate the expansion of a school dining facility in Comayagua, Honduras, on Aug. 4. On behalf of U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program, a contribution of $25,000 was donated for the purchase of construction materials to the System of Technological and Agricultural Innovation Centers (SCITA by its Spanish acronym). “This donation is a symbol of U.S. Southern Command’s support for the community of Comayagua, and to the education sector of Honduras,” said Pettus. “It shows the strong ties that the U.S. and Honduras are continuing to foster.” SCITA is a public, highly specialized agricultural sciences boarding school that educates roughly 300 children, grades 1-11, on full scholarships from every department of Honduras. Pettus commended the students for their work saying, “You have an important mission here – educating and mentoring future generations who will go on to make the lives of Hondurans better through the use of technology and sustainable agriculture practices.” The US continues to look for opportunities to strengthen its partnership with Honduras, while also supporting Honduras’s enhancements in education. On Jan. 11, The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa announced a formalized three-way alliance between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Honduran Ministry of Education, and the Honduran private sector to support educational reforms and improvements to school infrastructure. This alliance supports the efforts of President Xiomara Castro, through the Ministry of Education, in the implementation of the Plan for the Refoundation of the Educational System. Professor Daniel Esponda, Minister of Education for Honduras, explained that the first element of the Refoundation Plan is feeding schools. He instructed the young boys and girls at the school to take ownership of their experiences and knowledge and put them into practice within their communities.