March 3, 2008
Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras
14 Hours Per Day! The preliminaries are over and the boys are now into the 8am - 10pm routine of the program with three distinct components: 4 hours of agricultural instruction, 3 hours of trade instruction (carpentry, welding, etc), and 4 hours of junior high, with time in between to eat lunch and supper, shower and do homework.
We are very happy to introduce Arnol as the 8th participant for this year's new group. Arnol is 16 years old and after a week, it seems like he is one of the crew just like all the others. We had initially gone to interview his younger brother, but found that he was 13 -- too young. The parents then suggested "another" son who wasn't present at the time. It turns out that Arnol is someone whom Christian (a second year participant in the program) had recommended late last year.
On Friday, February 22, the second year boys went with Fredy and I to visit the village of Ceiba Rabona. This is the village for whom 3CM and APROCOLA provided the materials in 2005 to install a 3.5km water pipeline to cross a valley and provide potable water to all the residents. Knowing that many projects like this are done to much fanfare and poor long term results, we were ecstatic to find ladies washing clothes, kids taking baths and all the other normal functions of water taking place in this community. The residents worked hard to install this line and have been equally diligent to maintain it so that they continue to benefit.
The art programs continued up this past week at La Roca after their Christmas break. We know that the organization that has been providing these programs over the past three years had their funding terminated as they reached the end of the planned 3 year program. Fortunately they were diligent with their funds and have saved enough to continue at least until June. Now they are seeking ways to replace the financial support from Finland so that they can continue to bring art programs to marginal neighborhoods in Santa Rosa de Copan. As a safeguard against the failure of that program, we are very happy to have Lourdes, a former school teacher, now looking after the center for us.
We had a small group visit for a few days in the last week of February and we worked on a fundraising campaign idea. Please check out the new Fundraising Campaign page to see what it is all about. Donations are received by and receipted through 3CM who maintains the appropriate charitable organization status and reporting with the Canadian government. In addition to sponsoring the operations for one or more of the boys, we have sponsorship opportunities for capital projects on the farm such as the dormitory, the storage and processing shed and the farm keepers house.
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