Initiatives

Water

Limited access to water and water is contaminated

  1. Piped water from natural springs to homes – where applicable. 5 piped water projects completed, one more in progress
  2. Ferro-cement water tanks and rain water collection – 6 built so far and each hold 4,500 gallons
  3. Purifying water – Both Potters-for-Peace and Slow Sand Filters being introduced (>352 homes already have filters).
  4. Latrines – Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) Latrines being constructed (>145 built as of May 2013).
  5. Pilas - These cement-based structures are the multifunction work space and small water storage container for the Honduran kitchen.  My May 2018 we assisted with the construction of 92 pilas. 

Nutrition

Inadequate calories for the amount of daily physical labor and inadequate micro-nutrients due to limited food choices

  1. Reduce calorie expenditure getting water and firewood. By doing this, the limited amount of food available is adequate for the reduced calorie burn.
    • Reduce time and calories spent getting water – see water projects above.
    • Improved cookstoves – reduce wood use by 50% which reduces calorie burn by 50%. Because people do not have to collect so much firewood they save calories. Additional benefits are elimination of indoor smoke and reduced risk of burns to children.  As of May 2018, about 328 cookstoves have been built.
  2. Agricultural projects – Fish farming at the household level has proven very successful.  In May 2018 we started working with area coffee farmers to improve outcomes and help them get better prices for their coffee. 

Education

High illiteracy rate and very few children can afford education beyond the 6th grade

  1. Support local teachers who are high performers to ensure they stay in the area.
  2. Provide expanded teaching materials and school supplies for students and teachers alike.
  3. Created a scholarship program to help support the best students who would otherwise not be able to attend school after 6th grade due to family poverty. We are in our 9th year of scholarships (May 2018) and maintain scholarships for children in 7th grade through 10th grade.  We have also helped a few students complete advanced training.  One woman is now a teacher in Portillon and another became a nurse.
  4. Health education both in schools and as needed in communities.

Health Care

The nearest existing health center is 1-2 hrs walk away, often not open and limited medication availability

  1. Trained two local women to become Community Health Workers. 
  2. Created a Revolving Drug Fund to improve local access to much-needed medications.
  3. Provide curative medical and dental health when on site.
  4. Introduced a fluoride rinse program in area schools with a 95% reduction in dental caries.
  5. Perform basic health education to schools and groups.
  6. Work with the local midwives to improve pregnancy outcomes and women's health in general.

Poverty

it is estimated that more than 50% of the population lives on less than $2 US per day. Most people are less than subsistence farmers and must do migrant farm work to stay alive.

  1. Micro-finance loan program.  The local population was too poor to apply to regional micro-loan agencies so we started our own.  Loans range from $50 - $200 and require a 6 month payback.  The program is very successful at the micro level. 
  2. Basic business education classes are held to improve business knowledge for interested community members.
  3. Expanding an existing fertilizer cooperative so more local people can take advantage of low cost fertilizer.
  4. Organizing women who create local handicrafts and assisting in marketing.