Project Honduras 2009/2010 has geared up and is in full swing. There is a brand new team of students led by 2nd year students and returning Project Honduras team members, Marika Butler and Ryan Carrington. While the trip to Roatán is not planned until March, the team has been selected and is already knees deep in project selection, planning, and fundraising efforts. For those who are unfamiliar with the program, Project Honduras is a hands-on development project focused on fostering a sustainable relationship with the community of La Colonia on the island of Roatán in Honduras. This is currently the third year of the program, which began in 2007.
Much improvement has been made since the group’s trip last year. Most notably the school’s second story is finally completed, after delays over contracted workers provided by the municipality. In collaboration with the community of La Colonia, projects being considered for this year include improving sanitation in the school, establishing a school computer lab, creating a sustainable means of overcoming the community’s waste management problem, working with youth in La Colonia to mobilize them as leaders and give them alternatives to delinquency, and teaching English to better equip community members to take advantage of the nearby tourist trade.
The trip this year has become especially important in light of the current political situation in Honduras. On June 28th, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was sent into exile over disagreement on his plans for constitutional change to allow him to run for an additional presidential term. An interim government led by the former Speaker of Congress, Roberto Micheletti, has been running the government despite international condemnation of the deposition of a democratically elected leader. Currently, Zelaya has returned to the country and is seeking shelter in the Brazilian Embassy. Various talks have been held between the two sides to resolve the dispute before November’s elections, but a deal has yet to come of these discussions. Needless to say, the political crisis has shifted attention away from addressing important policy issues such as poverty, with the U.S. Government, World Bank and other international donors suspending aid. This situation makes it even more critical that Project Honduras continue to provide the humanitarian assistance to La Colonia than it has provided the last two years.
Look for updates and information on upcoming fundraising events!