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”!