Upcoming Trips and Key Dates
Trip to Guanacaste to continue detailed planning for LWW system construction and installation.
Community development team trip.
New water facility dedication (planned).
Medical team trip.
We began our community development project in Guanacaste, Intibucá, Honduras in 2012. This very remote village with a population of 375 is in the mountains of Honduras.
Medical, Dental and Vision Clinic: We began our mission work in Guanacaste with a medical, dental and vision clinic. While there in 2012, we held several meetings with the village to develop a plan for community improvement.
Local Coordination: The principal of the grade school in Guanacaste has been a critical asset for Friends of Honduras. His leadership qualities and love of the village were noticed from the very beginning, and so we chose him as local coordinator for our projects. He has been invaluable in the success of the community development, and we provide him with a phone and the tools he needs to keep us informed and to be our lifeline to the village.
The Poultry Project: During our medical brigades, we saw a lot of malnutrition with muscle waste and distended bellies. Most villagers had only one meal a day consisting of rice and tortillas.
In 2013, we provided funds that enabled the villagers to build a chicken coop, purchase chickens, and chicken feed. Laying hens provided enough eggs for the schoolchildren and villagers to add eggs to their diet. Protein in their diet has resulted in an increase in muscle and less distended bellies. The villagers sell excess eggs for chicken feed. It is a self-sustaining project except for buying occasional medicine for the chickens and replacement laying hens every two years.
Clean Water: Water was a major priority for our team because each day the villagers walked two hours carrying five-gallon containers of water on their backs. There was a long pipeline throughout the region that ideally would have brought water, but with breaks along the pipeline, water did not reach the village.
So in the spring of 2014, one of our group, an engineer, and a geologist from Engineers Without Borders, examined the pipeline finding an 80% loss due to leaks. We were able to raise enough funds to repair the pipeline, resulting in running water to the village.
Grade School Support: The grade school consists of grades kindergarten through sixth grade. The village school lacked even the most basic of school supplies. Throughout the years, we have been able to provide many improvements. The children were provided books, and school supplies. Going forward each school year, we provide each student with a new uniform, along with shoes and socks.
High School Tuition Support: In Honduras, high school consists of grades 7-10. Since there is tuition for high school, many children are unable to go. We provide tuition assistance, so that motivated students can continue their education.
Kindergarten Project: The kindergarten classroom was in an abandoned storage shed. There was only one door and there were no windows. In 2015, we were able to raise over $10,000 for construction of a new kindergarten classroom building. The villagers built the school and were paid for their work.
Medical, Dental, and Vision Clinic: Our medical, dental and vision teams continue yearly clinics. Since initiating our community development project seven years ago, our medical professionals have seen great improvement in the health and wellness of the community, especially in the children. They are growing well and their overall health has improved. Dental health has improved dramatically as well.
International Team Communication: We provide a smartphone for our village coordinator. We are in communication through WhatsApp, an instant messaging service. It has been invaluable in keeping us connected. We know quickly when someone is ill and need of care. We can refer the case immediately to our doctor and treatment is advised. We receive photos of our patients, our projects, the villagers and school children in activities of daily life as well as special events.
Clean Water:Even though the village has running water, it is intermittent due to ongoing line breakage. And due to the leaks, the water is subject to contamination. We are working in conjunction with Living Waters for the World (LWW) on a water purification initiative. On a previous trip we met with the Honduran director of LWW to perform a site assessment for a LWW treatment facility.
Well renovation in San Marcos: In the process of discussing plans for a LWW system in the area, we learned of an abandoned well in nearby San Marcos. It’s manual pump mechanism had been broken for several years. Seeing this as a possible site for a LWW system, we engaged a well drilling team from Pimienta, Cortez, Honduras with which we had a long-standing relationship. We funded a crew to investigate the well and they found it to be salvageable. They blew it out (aka cleaned) and found it had a production capability of around 30gpm. They subsequently returned and installed a new pump head and handle, so that the villagers now have access to clean water again. We hope that this well, coupled with a LWW facility, will result in a dependable source of bottled water that can be distributed to Guanacaste and other surrounding villages as well.
Grade School Support: This year electricity was installed in the classrooms enabling us to install lighting. One of our donors donated a laptop computer. Another donated a projector. Our medical team purchased children’s movies in Spanish and brought them on their August mission trip. The children were delighted to watch movies for the first time.
Agriculture: Once Guanacaste had a consistent water source, it opened the opportunity to start an agriculture project. We provided “seed money” to help the villagers buy tools, plants and seeds. They were able to plant beans, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, and yuca—-a type of potato. The entire village is benefiting nutritionally from this project.
Online Communication: Our new website will continue to grow and expand in support of both our internal needs to exchange information and our fundraising efforts.
We continue to support all of our previous projects. Other projects we are in the process of completing or proposing include:
Swing Set Project: The next project will be a children’s swing set. A drilling company in Houston uses scrap pipe to fabricate complete swing set joinery. They donated a set to us. The villagers already prepared the site. The swing set will be installed during on our next trip.
The Heifer Project: We are in the initial stages of investigation into The Heifer Project for the purpose of buying farm animals for the village.
Expansion: Aguacate is a nearby village with the same level of poverty as Guanacaste. Although we will continue our community develop and support to Guanacaste, we are hooping to expand our outreach of community development to Aguacate. We have provided them with a medical, dental and vision mission in 2016 and 2017.
Fundraising: Without our donors, our projects would not be possible. We have churches and individual donors supporting our initiatives. The addition of another village for community development necessitates additional funds. We are planning various fundraising events and presentations on our work to help raise needed funds.