May 22 , 2005
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras
We've had a busy week! We had a team of "gringos" come down to investigate some projects. OK, OK. Technically they weren't gringos since they were Canadian, but I certainly heard the word more than I have for some time. This group was anything but homogeneous, yet we had a good time. We had a doctor, 2 college students, one teacher, one engineer, one contractor, one youth worker and one investor.
The purpose of this group was to investigate a water project in La Ceiba, Copan. Our first attempt on Tuesday was thwarted by the lack of our Honduran contact who was quite sick, so we returned for try #2 on Thursday. The trip was all the more exciting because we were venturing into the back areas where cars don't travel and even our 4x4's had difficulty navigating. The last 30 minutes or so consisted of hiking down a valley, across a river and up the other side. Crossing the river on a cable strung "hammock" bridge was an interesting experience all on it's own -- complete with some rotted and missing boards. The locals probably thought we were nuts taking pictures of each other dearly hanging on to the cables as we tiptoed across. This trip was done under a Code Red Hurricane Warning issued by the President of Honduras the night before. Fortunately, all we received was a light sprinkling and despite the terror induced rush, we had a great time.
This little village consists of 17 residences and just over 100 residents living without drinkable water, electricity. The dirty water source they have trickles out of a small tube in a little draw in the terrain and is not fit for man or beast and provides no assistance for irrigating crops. The water source is high on the other side of the valley in a different province and must be brought approximately 3km down the valley, across the river and up the side to the village.
We are now seeking the $23,000 that it will cost to bring this project to life. Just imagine: for about $200 per person, we can eliminate a host of water borne disease and incredibly enhance the basic quality of life for this village. It seems expensive compared to the wells we dig, but despite numerous attempts by the locals to dig wells, they have been unable to find water on their side of the river.
Our group also delivered a bunch of school supplies, basketballs, uniforms, clothes, etc. to the Paz y Bien girls orphanage in town. I'm not sure who had more fun: the girls receiving the goods or the group hanging out and playing basketball and 'hand slapping' games. At the Hector Emilio Medina Bilingual School, we delivered presentations to 4 grades: Dr. Brodie taught about STD's to the 10th & 11th grades, Ron introduced the 9th grade to the tarsands and Kari introduced a new spelling game to grade 8. The team also painted our kitchen, 2 bathrooms and both offices for La Roca, so we are ready to go with our computer classes as soon as we can put together some desks in the one office. They also put the false ceiling in the bathrooms and one of the office (we only have to complete the last office now).
Finally, the group reviewed and critiqued a proposal for a learning center for rural youth from the Copan / Lempira regions. This is a Cdn $350,000 project and I encourage you to check out the details by clicking on the following name: Project Hope.