La Roca
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NEWS

Aug 27 , 2005
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras

Howdy, I'm baaaaaaack! Triny and I spent the month of July in Canada where I went to work and Triny went to rest after a hectic finish to her school year.

While it was a very busy time, it also had some fantastic results for 3CM/APROCOLA. We had a great response to fundraising efforts for 2 projects here in Honduras largely through the efforts of our BC connection. Thanks a lot to Dr. Brodie, Christiane Ahpin and Dr. Saunders for helping us out with contacts, meetings and moolah. The first project is the water line to Ceiba Rabona described in our last news update of May 22. The challenge has gone out to a couple Rotary Clubs to find ways to raise the funds needed to bring water to this little village that has no economic or political clout to make it happen on their own.

The second project is our 'super training center' in Santa Rosa de Copan for children from rural schools that normally have no hope of extending their education beyond grade 6 for economic and geographical reasons. So far, through lack of better imagination or creativity, we are calling this Project Hope (Proyecto de Esperanza). This is a big project worth about Cdn$425,000 and all the details are on our Project Hope page (click on the name to visit that page). It looks like we should have enough money this year to launch this project -- counting on momentum and people like you to help us complete the project in time for the local February 2007 school year. As always, we invite you to participate in a team and come check it out for yourself -- see exactly where your donations go!<

Last week, I took 4 young boys downtown that had been working at cleaning up the grass and entrance to La Roca. They were rewarded with a new pair of tennis shoes thanks to a donation from a friend in Cochrane. This was the first time 2 of them had ever owned a pair and now 2 young girls are busy cleaning up the flowers and pulling weeds to earn shoes for themselves. While not trying to promote 'child labor' we have found that it is very important for the kids to earn 'items' from us rather than just giving out stuff. The simple fact is that North Americans have developed a generation of people in areas such as ours here where many people refuse to try to help themselves -- they prefer to wait until somebody gives them something.

At La Roca, we have been continuing the computer classes that we started in June thanks to the donation of 5 notebook computers by the father of one of our volunteers. It is really cool to teach a class to kids that otherwise would never touch a computer, and to see them grasp concepts totally foreign to their current station in life. Like all kids, they like the games, but so far the only game we have on the computer is chess -- so I don't mind them playing that one after class as it teaches forethought and consequences better than any other I know of.

Last night Triny and I went downtown to watch the kids in our art programs participate with 2 other marginal neighborhoods in a presentation in the central park as part of our city fair. They did a great job with their music, their gymnastics and performance art to an audience that crowded main street for the event. I was really proud to see their confidence and smiles (once they were off stage of course). That is a huge result from their participation in programs at La Roca like the art one "Culture & Creativity" -- sponsored by the government of Finland through the local Historical Committee (previously through the local House of Culture which kind of imploded through political interference). This is a great opportunity to publicly express our appreciation to Ms. Patty Bueso and her team that are doing a great job taking art to kids that otherwise are excluded from that component of life.

For the past 2 Sundays, the kids from the local Catholic catechism class have been using the center for events and another local church has used it twice in the past month for events with various subgroups of their church. We're happy that other groups are able to take advantage of the beautiful setting that we have for our youth center.

Tomorrow some of the kids are looking forward to cooking up a stirfry at our house followed by a trip to the local fairgrounds. Hopefully next week we have no food poisoning to report...