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November 26 , 2007
Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras

Thank you to those who purchased marmalade that I took back to Canada with me this past month. That helped us celebrate the end of the program year with the 8 boys in The Moses Project. We found the hotel options a tad expensive, so we loaded up the pickup truck at 5:30am and set out for Tela in the fog and the light rain. It was a chilly first hour for the 4 boys in the back of the truck, but when we stopped for breakfast in a gas station parking lot in San Pedro, they were all smiles. Amazingly we had our first sunny day that I can remember since August. We went to the TelaMar resort in Tela for the day and the boys had a riot in the water park and the Carribean ocean - it was the first time that 7 of the 8 boys had ever seen the ocean despite only living 3 hours away.

The boys finished strong and we're proud to announce that Ayurin Inocente landed on the top of the pile when it came to veggie production. He had some strong competition from Junior and Leonardo, but in the end, Ayurin proved that being the smallest in the group had no bearing on his ability to work.

Earlier in the week, the boys had their graduation ceremony at the Western Honduran Arts & Trades School. Each boy received a diploma recognizing their completion of 500 hours of instruction in carpentry. Their instruction was very 'hands-on' and in the course of the year they produced china cabinets, medicine cabinets, book shelves, doors, wine glasses (using lathes) and even bunk beds. We are very proud of them for their accomplishment, and even more so for having completed the year with all of their fingers still attached to their hands...

While I was in Canada a couple weeks ago, the boys and Fredy also took another load of veggies to the girls orphanage in town thanks to the donation of somebody up north. This time they took corn, cabbage, coffee, marmalade, oranges, manderines and star-fruit. We still have more corn to deliver, but we're waiting for some peppers and broccoli to mature. Fredy and I will be the gardeners to finish the year since the boys have now returned to their homes for "summer vacation" although it is winter here just like up north.

The boys tell me that all of them will be picking coffee during their break. This process over the next 2 - 3 months is normally how most rural families earn up to 50% of their annual income as all brothers and sisters chip in as soon as they can walk with some kind of container strapped around their next to hold the coffee cherries as they pick them.

In August of this year, we began the process of promoting the program in the rural schools and villages with the objective of obtaining applications to be part of the next group of 8 youth that will join the program in 2008. In October we made a commitment to rent a different house that is capable of housing the returning 8 youth plus the incoming 8. Since the second week of November, we have been going out to the villages to meet with the applicants and talk with their families. As a result, we have established this Sunday as the day for interviews with the applicants and their parents. This is the final step in the process of selection of the new leadership interns. In collaboration with this process, 3CM is launching a campaign to raise sponsors to help us maintain the program on an ongoing basis. If you do not receive a brochure from 3CM and would love to participate, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can get the information to you.

In news of La Roca, the youth center in Santa Rosa de Copán, we're very excited to inform you that some children from our center were selected to represent Honduras at the annual arts presentations hosted this coming year in Antigua, Guatemala. We're proud of Paty, Miguel and Yari for all their hours working with the kids and for Alma's help in making sure that the facility was open and clean for their classes. This coming year we're going to see a change in La Roca when Mirian takes over the role of Alma. Mirian has been helping us in The Moses Project this past year and graduates this month with a technical diploma in social work. We are very grateful to Alma for her years of service and dedication to the center at the same time as we look forward to an injection of energy and new enthusiasm from Mirian.


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