Sunday, December 4, 2011

Report of communty surveys performed in Mataderos Tribe communities. Municipality of Yoro, Honduras

This is a very interesting report of a survey of the communities of the Mataderos indigenous tribe, located around La Laguna, in Yoro, Honduras. It describes the current state of the communities, and discusses the needs for improvement that are perceived by the people themselves.

The report was compiled by Yovany Munguía, our NY/HELP coordinator, and translated and read by David Makepeace.

The audio version of the first part of this report is available at the link below. Other parts will follow.

NOTE: The first several sentences are very quiet, so you will need to turn your volume up. The volume increases after that.

Thanks to Skip Tillinghast of Arcade UCC for his help in posting this file.

Friday, October 28, 2011

NY/HELP Honduras – Report for 2011

NY/HELP Honduras began in 1989 as an ecumenical project of the NY Conference of the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ. Since then, many people from all across NY State have traveled to Honduras and many others have provided financial and spiritual support for this program.

In 2011, NY/HELP continued to thrive, with support from churches and individuals all around New York State. While a hoped-for Winter trip did not materialize, due to conflicting schedules, a very successful Summer trip occurred during two weeks in August. Dr Gordon Comstock represented Arcade UCC. Also on the August trip were Emily McCormick from St Peters UCC in West Seneca and her friend Carrie Richter (both speak fair Spanish), retired teacher Judy Toner of Salamanca UMCC and her 14-year-old grandson Austin, Pastor Craig Wilson of the Brewerton Christian Church (who participated as part of his ministry studies at UCC’s NY School of Ministry), and retired welder Dick DeNise of Honeoye UCC (who has been to Honduras even more times than Gordon!). Gordon worked in the Clinic at La Laguna, seeing almost 100 patients with the aid of our Honduran nurse, Mirtila Garcia. The others spent several days in near-by villages, working with local families to construct stoves and latrines.

We brought two donated laptop computers for the new Centro Básico (Junior High) which NY/HELP helped construct over the past several years. Earlier this year, NY/HELP obtained a solar power system for the school. The laptops we brought were an immediate success with the students: these were the first computers they had ever touched!

A high point of the trip was the soccer (“fútbol”) tournament that NY/HELP sponsored. Four villages sent their teams; the first place went to La Laguna. This has been an annual event for several years; one looked forward to by everyone.

The most difficult part of the trip for Gordon was when he had to run a meeting of the Health Committee in Spanish. He did get through it, after a false start; but he needed nurse Mirtila’s aid (she doesn’t speak English, but she understands his Spanish and can explain it to others!).

We are currently working to find support for intestinal surgery needed by 3-year-old Josue David Cárcamo, grandson of the principal of the Centro Básico, who has complications resulting from his premature birth.

We found out at the end of the trip that our Yovany Munguía, our part-time coordinator in Honduras, is leaving his job with our partner organization Sustainable Harvest International and going to work with a community-development group in nearby Yoro. He assured us that he would continue as our coordinator, however. He has made our trips and projects much more effective, as he is there all the time.

NY/HELP would like to thank all of you for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support for the work in Honduras. We would like to think it “shows our faith by our acts”!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August Honduras Trip Completed, Travelers Will be Home Soon

Things have gone well on this trip, tho 2 of us did get ¨traveler´s diarrhea¨ for a few days. They´re better now. We had a moderately busy clinic, tho the 2 days the others were gone, there were only about 10 patients a day rather than the usual 20-25. Still, very interesting cases. The rest of the group went to La Kiloma, 2000 feet elevation BELOW La Laguna´s 4100 foot altitude, and built some 7 or 8 stoves and 10 latrines (mas o menos) and several more stoves in La Laguna. We delivered the two computers to the Centro Básico, and the kids were almost delirious there! They were practicing with the computers by the time the morning was over, and were better than the teachers by then!

There are 5 computers at the Clinic, which are used mostly once a day by the elementary school in La Laguna (but I watched the kids in 5th and 6th grades and they were learning a lot!).

We had meetings with the Health Committee, and are trying to improve communications between our nurse Mirtila Garcia and the Committee. They have a lot of questions that they want us to answer, and we will need a meeting soon to discuss these (and then send them a response).

Last night, there was a banquet for Yovany Munguia, our NY/HELP coordinator, who is leaving his day job with Sustainable Harvest at the end of the year. He says he will be working on community development projects in Yoro, and will still be helping NY/HELP.

More later!

hasta la vista,

Monday, August 15, 2011

NY/HELP Report from Yovany

A Welcome for NY/HELP at the Centro Básico (Middle School)

Yesterday (Sunday) was a day of rest and the whole NY/HELP group was on the football field in Mataderos, enjoying the sun, grass and good football, sponsored by New York, who gave prizes for the three top places.

The community of La Laguna was was fairly, the first place winner.

Today (Monday), part of the group was to complete the construction of stoves, other completed an improved roof. Judy, Austin and the girls (Carrie and Emily) were in the Centro Básico (Middle School), installing computers and teaching the first steps of computing to the students.
Meanwhile Dr. Gordon continued with 30 to 40 patients a day at the clinic.

Everything has been busy today as the afternoon had meetings with the Tribal Council, some materials were
delivered to families, and handicrafts produced by women were bought.
Tomorrow will be the last day working with the tribe and they continue to work until noon, leaving La Laguna at 2 PM and arriving in La Habana, to stay there and leave early on the17 for San Pedro Sula, for a deserved rest after week and a day of hard but rewarding work on behalf of needy families of the Mataderos tribe. Some members go to Yoro to visit the Boarding House (and Petronilla, the house mother), which still supports NYHelp, and learn about their current situation.

Some of the activities, we send in photos ...


House with a bad roof.

House with an improved roof.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

All is Going Well

I received an email from Yovany Munguia today. He is our in-country coordinator who works for Sustainable Harvest. Below is what he reported.

I got Craig on Monday at 5pm and took him to the hotel and all well. (Craig's plane had been delayed & he arrived one day later than the rest of the group) On Tuesday we went to La Habana and then to La Laguna and joined the group, who had come to La Laguna yesterday, after shopping for school supplies and food for their stay in the tribe.

Yesterday, 6 of them went out into the community of Kiloma, loaded with materials for families, and school supplies for three schools and a kindergarten. They will stay in the community and work on it and in El Paraíso, building latrines and improved stoves. It was a tiring trip, and some were on foot and others on a beast, at least 5 km in the company of at least 8 members of those communities that accompanied them. They will be there until Saturday, returning in the evening of that day. Everything is going well so far.

Dr. Gordon remained in the medical clinic working with Mirtila. I will see him again on Sunday 14, which is a day of rest and we will have some meetings. That day there will be football (soccer to us), which is done every time NYHelp is in the villages. Participating teams are La Laguna, Mataderos, El Paraíso y Kiloma, which are communities where the group will work on this trip.

Good. On Monday, the 15, I will report more about how the work progressed.

When I hear more I will post it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August Honduras Trip Underway

Seven people left from 3 different airports this morning headed for San Pedro Sula, Honduras for a two-week mission trip. Just getting there has been an adventure, apparently. Gordon and 2 college students, Emily McCormick & Carrie Richter were delayed leaving Chicago (the first leg of the trip from Buffalo to Honduras) for 2 hours due to engine trouble. The plane out of Miami apparently was delayed also, but not as much. It looks like they will arrive in San Pedro Sula about a half hour late. One group from Syracuse (Judy Toner & her grandson Austin) was on time as far as I know and should have arrived at 4:30. Dick DeNise flew from Rochester and was due to arrive at 4:30 also. Craig Wilson, who left earlier than the others from Syracuse did not have as much luck. Within 5 minutes of landing in Miami, his plane was waived off due to weather. By the time they were able to land in Miami, the plane to Honduras had left. He is spending the night at a hotel in Miami with the home of getting on Monday afternoon's plane for Honduras, thus arriving 24 hours late. The twist on his adventure is that all his belongings are in his back-pack, which the airline would not allow him to carry on the plane, or gate check, and has not been reunited with him as yet. Hopefully, all will be reunited tomorrow afternoon and by the time Craig arrives the supplies are obtained so they can head up to the mountains.

The good news is we were able to obtain two donated laptop computers to take to the middle school in Mataderos. Both are Dell computers which have been refurbished, one by a man in Arcade who does this for a hobby to donate them to missions. The other was worked on (it has "issues" mostly a virus) at a newly opened computer store here in Arcade, who donated his time. We really appreciate both of these folks for their donations.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

August Mission Trip to Honduras Looking for Laptops

Seven volunteers will be traveling to the Mountains of Honduras for a two-week mission trip the second week in August. Various projects are planned including building latrines, stoves, roof repair (or replacement), as well as work in the medical clinic and with the schools.

Donations of money are always needed and encouraged to buy supplies that will be needed for the projects. This time, we are also looking for donations of one or two laptop computers to be used in the Middle School recently completed in the mountains.

To donate (either money or a laptop), please email Gordon & Ginger Comstock at

Your prayers are always invited as well.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Summer NY/HELP Honduras Trip Scheduled

The next NY/HELP Honduras trip is scheduled for August 8 through August 20. If you are interested in participating in this trip, please contact Gordon & Ginger Comstock at or David Makepeace at for more information.

Our NY/HELP nurse in La Laguna, Mirtila Garcia, will be having gall-bladder surgery shortly. The cost for that is about $600. Another child from La Laguna, Josué Suarez, will hopefully have surgery in the near future as well; he has a blocked blood vessel to his liver, which causes episodes of intestinal bleeding. His surgery will also cost about $600. Donations are needed to cover the expenses of these surgeries, and can be sent to NY/HELP Honduras, c/0 Arcade UCC, 297 Main St, Arcade NY 14009.