Shirley Auvigne has done more for the people of Honduras than most people do for their own communities.

The NAIT teaching and learning specialist has been to the Central American country about 20 times since 2002. She’s been involved in everything from sponsoring children and building houses for poor families to organizing medical teams and bringing them down to help the locals.

“Initially I sponsored a child there and I had the opportunity to go and meet him, and that just kept drawing me back,” Auvigne said. “Now I have a lot of children that I sponsor down there, so that takes me back regularly.”

On her next trip, Auvigne is bringing four carpenters with her to build a home for a woman who is raising her five grandchildren in a shack made out of sugar cane.

Auvigne won’t be doing the manual labour on this trip, though she’s quick to point out that she often does swing a hammer on her missions. This time, she’s in charge of logistics and watching over her mom who is coming along to lend a hand.

“They are very genuine, kind, generous people, even though they have very little,” Auvigne said.

She and her group of five take off for Honduras in early March.