Posted by: Honduras Mission Team | January 24, 2013

Day 3 – Monday

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Most of our travelers went on a CFCA outing today.  The Christian Foundation for Children and Aging has a program in Santa Rosa de Copan that serves all of the outlying rural area and small towns.  Most of the girls in the orphanage come from these small towns and rural areas.  It shows our team the culture and conditions from which they came.

There, we helped distribute benefits to families of sponsored CFCA children.  Since the children here in Honduras are about to go back to school, this benefit was a backpack filled with school supplies.  We witnessed the children looking through their backpacks with excitement at all of the new supplies. It was not unlike our own children when they prepare for back to school in August.

We also helped take pictures of the children to send to their sponsors. CFCA takes an annual picture of each sponsored child to show their sponsors how they’ve grown and are progressing.  The children were dressed in their very best attire and were excited to be there.  They all had such beautiful smiles.

We were invited to lunch in the home of one of the mothers of a sponsored child. To feed our group of 14, it was necessary for the neighbors to lend plates and utensils so we could all dine together. The meal consisted of seasoned broth in which we added chicken, rice and yuca.  We were also served fresh baked tortillas. It was all delicious!
Despite a six inch gap where the walls meet the roof, the home was clean and well-kept. Stacked along the wall were large bags of corn that the family will use to make tortillas. Customary to the culture, the house mother served our food and stayed amongst the group but did not partake in eating.

Next, CFCA introduced us to a project they have been working on with a community of six families.  Together, with CFCA’s guidance, these families used oxen pulling plows to clear a plot of land to plant plantains. The land was steep and the soil was hard. The families told us of the blisters they acquired on their hands.  They didn’t tell us this to complain; you could see the glint of pride in their eyes that comes with a sense of accomplishment.
The families planted approximately 485 plantain plants. After they harvest the plantains, they will sell them to support their families. The income is divided evenly based on the amount of time each person works in the field.
In addition to the plantain field, the project has a fishery where they raise fish for market and to eat. Presently, they are raising 12,000 fish with the capacity for 15,0000 more.  They also raise chickens and a few pigs and hope to expand the pig sty in the future.

Overall, CFCA is striving towards sustainability.  It is in teaching the families to provide for themselves that will help ensure they have a future.  It is a hand up rather than a handout.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

In the evening St. Michael’s held a Career fair to introduce the older girls to successful women in different professions.  We invited 4 people to speak.  One of our travelers, Lauren Doerfler and three local women spoke about nursing, owning a business, becoming a nurse practitioner, and a nun.  Our goal is to let the girls know that despite their challenges, if they have a dream, work hard, work harder, and don’t give up, they can become successful members in their community.  We had some extra time before the last professional was able to get to us, so a few other travelers, Mike, Amber, and Dani talked about their jobs and education.  We can only hope and pray that we sparked some interest and started some of these girls on a path to a happier future!

As a special treat for all the girls and nuns, we brought in pizza for dinner.  Eight to ten girls sit at a table.  The groups have girls from all four age/maturity groups – Chica’s, Pearla’s, Diamante’s, and Esmirelda’s.  Our travel team was able to join girls at the tables to enjoy the meal!

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