NY/HELP Honduras - 2005 Annual Report

Since 1989, NY/HELP has been working with the people in the village of La Laguna, located in the mountains of Yoro in northern Honduras. Although our medical clinic remains in the rural Indian village of La Laguna, we have expanded our efforts to include other nearby tribal communities. We have also increased our networking efforts with other organizations.

Two small trips in 2005 helped lay the groundwork for an expanded program planned for 2006. The April 2005 trip (with Dick DeNise of Honeoye UCC and Dr. Gordon Comstock of Arcade UCC) served in the nearby community of El Pairaiso, where Dick worked with local people building stoves and chicken coops. In October, Jeff Mason of Arcade UCC traveled through this area, talking with local teachers about students eligible to go to secondary school and live in the "boarding house" that NY/HELP supports (along with Honduras Hope) in the "county seat" of Yoro, about 20 miles (and 3 hours) away. Following this year's great experience with living and working in a community setting, we expect future trips will want to work on various community development projects along with local people.

NY/HELP has helped support an agricultural extension teacher from Sustainable Harvest International for the past five years. Fish ponds, pineapple farms, chicken coops, and many other projects have resulted from this collaboration. In addition, SHI personnel, such as director Yovany Munguía and local aide Rigoberto Castro, have been extremely helpful in coordinating plans for our trips.

Nine students started the year in the "boarding house" in Yoro, under the supervision of the house parents, Pastor José Feliciano and his wife Petronida. Although two students left the house for various reasons, seven finished the year, including our first high school graduate, Norma Cárcamo of La Laguna. Two junior students were given extra stipends so they could go on educational field trips with their agriculture class.

The clinic in La Laguna continues to serve about 200 patients per month, providing care to pregnant women, care for acute problems and first aid for emergencies, and medicines for chronic medical problems. These people would otherwise have to walk down the mountain and travel three hours to Yoro to receive medical care. Our nurse, Mirtila Garcia, received her training with support from NY/HELP.

The people of the La Laguna region greatly appreciate the love they receive from our New York churches, and all of us connected with NY/HELP also wish to say, "muchas gracias" for your support and your prayers.

NY/HELP is a project of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ

and of the Disciples of Christ,

under the auspices of the Commission on the Global Church of the New York Conference.

Website: <www.uccny.org>, click on "Resources" then "Web Links", then click on "NY/HELP Honduras"