August 16, 2009
Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras
Our world has changed somewhat since our last news update. We still have 19 boys in the program and the program continues to march forward. The students have planted a large number of cedar trees as well as lemon trees and a small variety of other fruit trees. Our noni seeds finally decided to germinate and are developing into seedlings that we will soon transplant as well. In the absence of electricity, the chicken coop was converted to a greenhouse where we develop all our seedlings for transplanting.
The changes relate more to the fact that the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the president on June 28th, an order carried out by the military at 5am. The arrest warrant was issued for his insistence on implementing a plebicite that had been ruled constitutionaly illegal by both the Court and the Congress. In an attempt to reduce the subsequent violence and attempts by mobs to spring an imprisoned president, the military gave the president an unauthorized free ride to Costa Rica.
Since that time, there have been regular demonstrations both for and against the action -- all amid international condemnation for a non-existent military coup. There are good people and there are troublemakers on both sides of the issue. However, the consequences are being carried by the poor and middle class Hondurans. Public hospitals occasionally go on strike - denying service to the very people they claim to defend (the wealthy people do not use public health services). The boys in our program, along with all the other students in Honduras, have not had a full week of classes since the third week of June. The teachers union has decided that this issue is just too important for them to return to the classes and educate the youth. Seems to me that it would be a better idea for them to go to work like everybody else and dedicate their time educating their students on their rights and obligations as citizens - building a better nation full of responsible participants.
There is no question that Honduras is a society lacking in justice for the poor. Unfortunately, the solution is not in changing their constitution, but rather in enforcing the one they have equally among all citizens. Enough about politics and revolutions. Apart from education, life is relatively normal here in Santa Rosa and as long as you can avoid the large cities, there is not a lot of concern for security.
Back to The Moses Project... we had a very encouraging fundraiser at the Radium Golf Resort in July. The basic cost of the event was underwritten by Timko Developments so that all participants entry fees went directly to 3CM and subsequently Project Moses. Many suppliers for Timko and friends of 3CM donated items for a silent auction or sponsored a hole in the tournament. Several participants in the event simply wrote cheques to 3CM after hearing the brief presentation by Dr. Brian Brodie (who has been involved with us since 2001) as well as a short video that we put together with images of the program. Carter Nagel did a fantastic job as MC of the event and Dawn Kloster did a great job with a corps of volunteers (Jean, Nikki, Tom, Tricia) to put the event together. A big thanks to everybody involved - we raised over $22,000!!
Construction on the permanent residence has continued along and we are ecstatic that on Wednesday of this past week we finally succeeded in getting the public power lines activated to our farm. We were on the verge of running out of work until we could weld the roof over the west wing second floor and our power plant which has been a tremendous blessing for drills and saws just didn't have the juice to run a welder. In the meantime, the guys on site (under the direction of Joe Self) have been parging the inside walls and ceilings (lower floor ceilings completely finished now) as well as ensuring that all of our plug-ins and light switches are properly installed. This past week they moved to outside parging and this coming week I am hoping to steal the 3rd year boys to help run wiring through all the conduits that are buried in the walls and floors for the electrical services.
We're really looking forward to our first graduation this fall and looking to put together one or two groups to come down in mid to late October. Apart from attending the graduation, this (these) groups will also help with planting further fruit trees.
We are still looking to raise somewhere in the range of $50,000 to complete the construction of phase 1 as well as our quarterly $12,750 payments for the land (which drops to $5,700 in a year), so if you have any great ideas or are willing to share your blessings with these future leaders that we are raising up from rural Honduras, please contact us at email@example.com. Alternatively, check out our Fundraising Campaign or Donate pages to get involved. We will still be seeking further funds to complete the second floor of the facility so that the following year we can once again begin to increase the enrollment -- providing opportunity to more aspiring youth and decreasing the average cost per participant. Every contribution helps as it all adds up.
We always welcome your feedback, so feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.