This past week, we were honored to host our fourth Rotary Trip to Honduras with a small group of Rotarians representing the Rotary Clubs of South Richmond and Charlotte Providence.
Rotarians enjoyed a fellowship night hosted by the Rotary Club of Merendón. With the electricity out in part of San Pedro Sula, the patio party became one lit by candle light. Speakers addressing the group were provided with cell phone “spot lights”! The club members carried on without skipping a beat.
The group trekked to the Lago de Yojoa area and took in a few sites including the Chocolate Farm. They learned about cocoa and how chocolate is made. They also took a short hike, learned about Mayan religious sacrifices and ceremonies, and heard an unforgettable story about “Butt Mountain”! Before leaving, everyone tried pure hot chocolate and made purchases of soaps and lotions made onsite.
The group traveled to Peña Blanca and enjoyed visiting with FOB staff at the Barnabas House. They toured the facilities, received an update on FOB programs, and had a lunch prepared from foods grown in the Barnabas House gardens.
South Richmond Rotary, an FOB community partner with Los Hules, was pleased to learn that their community recently graduated from the program after 5 years! Los Hules completed FOB’s preventative health education program and had been active in the Early Childhood Development Program. FOB’s staff noted that the leadership of Los Hules was strong and had begun seeking out resources to meet the community’s needs. This is a huge goal of the program and everyone was thrilled to hear this news.
South Richmond’s new partner community is La Aquita and the group made a special trip to visit it. The community’s teacher and kindergarten class was ready for the visit and greeted everyone with big hugs! Everyone enjoyed talking to the teacher, the leader of the parents association, and the children. They also made a home visit and were touched by the level of poverty in the community.
The Rotarians enjoyed meeting with the Valle de Sula Club and visiting Rotary projects throughout San Pedro Sula. Everyone was impressed with the level of commitment, passion, diversity of projects, and quality of work. The group toured Rotary projects in four San Pedro Sula schools. It was incredible to see the work being accomplished and the need. A new roof had been installed on one school during Easter week. Updated bathrooms and clean water was being installed in another. Large water tanks were placed at an elementary school with 1,600 children. Many children are being helped and it was wonderful to see such progress in very poor areas.
Luckily, the Rotary group was able to see FOB’s NICU Team in action. They visited the NICU at Leonardo Martinez Hospital and learned of the huge need for the team’s trainings. Both US and Honduran medical professionals addressed the group and emphasized the critical need for respiratory therapy training in the hospitals.
FOB is blessed to share many goals in common with Rotary and enjoys partnerships with Rotarians in the US and in Honduras. It was a pleasure to see Rotarians from both countries join together to discuss projects and a common love for the people of Honduras.