May 07 , 2005
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras
Happy Mother's Day!!! It is a beautiful sunny blue sky this morning as I sit outside typing away while my wife prepares breakfast for her brother and family (who crashed at our place while visiting Triny's mom nearby). I figure until Triny is a mom, this is semi-acceptable...
We have not gone on any really exciting trips since March, nor started any fantastic new programs. So this update wins no Pulitzers. However, in the past month we have been the recipient of two very nice projects. One is 5 notebook computers that Drew's (our Peace Corp guy) dad collected in St. Louis and mailed up to our office in Canada. I brought one down with me a couple weeks ago and the other four arrive next week with a group of guys from Alberta. The kids are excited about computer class since they all know what they are from TV, etc., but few in our neighborhood have ever had a chance to use one. Thanks very much Mr. Blandford and others who collaborated!
The second item was some garbage cans that the graduating class from HEM bilingual school donated. For those back home, this may sound silly, but for anybody who has visited Honduras, you can appreciate the value of this item. Educating that garbage is not suitable paving material for our roads is an ongoing process and these garbage cans will help us in this battle. Thanks HEM grade 11 students! Last week I took a couple of the guys over to HEM school's science fair and the guys thought it was pretty cool to see chemicals spontaneously burst into flame or to see first hand how pictures are printed on photography paper.
I met with town officials from San Juan de Opoa on Thursday to review the status of our water well project. We have one community remaining that is a priority -- called La Ceiba. This is not the large party city up on the east coast; this is a small village located on the bank the river valley. According to the officials in San Juan de Opoa (they manage the municipality), this is the last remaining village in their jurisdiction that still really has no water. Obviously they can walk to the river and carry buckets back up the river bank, but that is a tough climb without heavy buckets -- much more so carrying water. Plus, the river is anything but clean. Anyways, elections are this November and our concern is simply that if the leadership of this municipality changes with the elections, we may loose the emphasis on meeting this critical need in the marginal areas where people have no real political influence on the municipality.
So, we have a group coming next weekend for one week -- in part to investigate how we can help this community and how we can do it quickly. The second component of this trip is to investigate opportunities to assist in micro-economic development. We are located in a region of extreme unemployment and low skill development. This is not to imply that we do not have intelligent and well trained doctors, lawyers and engineers -- it simply reflects the living condition of the average Honduran in Western Honduras. We are a minimum of 2 hours from any major market (San Pedro Sula has about 4-500,000 people) and in an area with a consistent water shortage and lousy access to communications from a business perspective. Each of these factors put us way down on the list of places to locate your factory, office, etc.
A local youth has been working on a proposal with me to help address this in a way that is affordable without the weight of the World Bank behind us. Please pray that the group coming down will have wisdom to review the proposal and determine if this is the direction to go. If they approve, please be forewarned that I will start solliciting money on this site; something I have never done before.