NY/HELP Honduras - 2006 Annual Report

"Faith through Acts"

During 2006, the people of NY/HELP Honduras continued to try to "show our faith through our actions" in the remote mountains of Honduras. In February 2006, nine men, women, and youth from UCC churches in Salamanca, Arcade, and Honeoye participated in a NY/HELP mission trip to the La Laguna area of Yoro. This trip was one of the most successful that NY/HELP has conducted, on many levels: It was organized well, with the cooperation of Yovany Munguía of our partner organization, Sustainable Harvest of Honduras. Projects were selected by the communities involved. We all worked in fellowship with the people of each community there. We shared their lives as well - which was quite an experience for us New Yorkers!

Projects included helping build latrines in the community of La Fortuna, down at 2900 feet altitude on the OTHER side of the mountain; fencing in the schoolyard at El Calichal, at an elevation of 3800 feet; and of course working in the clinic in La Laguna, up at 4200 feet. (The road up the mountain starts in La Habana at 2900 feet.) Building latrines doesn't sound real exciting, but this simple move can have a major impact on the public health of a community. Fencing in the school yard means the children can have a school garden, where they can learn about new crops and better nutrition. And, of course, we worked in the medical clinic; several of us helped in the clinic pharmacy and also visited several of the local elementary schools.

A second major event was the change of administrative responsibility for the "boarding house"that NY/HELP helps sponsor in the near-by "county seat" of Yoro. For the past seven years, this house has given students from these mountain villages a safe and supervised place to live while they attend grades 7-12. Now the administrative responsibility is being assumed by our fellow UCC organization, Honduras HOPE. NY/HELP will still give support for scholarships for those children from our mountain communities who will be studying in Yoro.

This change was made possible by the establishment in 2006 of a colegio (middle school) about a mile from La Laguna, where young people will be able to attend grades 7-9 near their homes, instead of having to live in the "big city." NY/HELP has committed to help construct the building for this school, with the participation of people from the local communities; the school itself will be run by the Honduran school system.

In showing our faith through our acts, we all were renewed. We bring thanks to all of you who helped support NY/HELP's mission through your prayers, donations and participation. More mission trips are being planned: if you would like to participate or get more information, contact Rev. Rick Cowles at <cowlesr@uccny.org>, David Makepeace at <Dmake@frontiernet.net>, or Ginger & Gordon Comstock at <gcomstock@cnyti.com>.

Gordon & Ginger Comstock