This project provides a sustainable secondary education for children in rural Indigenous communities in Honduras. Support for this project has helped us to bring in resources and secondary level teachers making it possible for children in the Copan area to earn their secondary education for the first time.
In addition we aim to empower local people through income generation and food security projects and encourage traditional culture.
Ch’orti’ is the local indigenous dialect in the area of Honduras where we work. As the language was being used less and less it was an area we wanted to focus on encouraging. Bringing the language back also brings back local culture and belonging which is extremely important in Latin indigenous societies.
Thanks to donations to the GVI Charitable Trust, we are able to pay the wages of a local Chórti´ teacher, thus providing an income and keeping this dwindling language alive. The community are 100% behind this initiative and it has grown to become a valuable part of the overall project.
Plan Semilla is the seed plan in Honduras which is another of our sustainable income generation initiatives whereby profits from work by community members will help to cover the costs of education for children.
Recently GVI staff, volunteers and community members worked together to plant maize and bean seeds to kick start the initiative.
As our GVI project manager explains ‘With help from the community we started planting maize and beans. That turned out to be the easy bit, however. The next day we started building a fence. If you have never done this before, let me tell you it is a lot of work. First you dig a very deep hole. Then you look for the biggest heaviest post you can find and put it in that hole. While refilling the hole you have to make sure the dirt is packed very tightly so the post won’t move. Repeat every 2 metres. Only then can you nail the fence to the post. We feel immensely proud of the work done this week. All the blisters and sore muscles were well worth it. We hope to fund the next phase of this project (coffee planting) with the proceeds from this harvest, which will help fund our secondary school.’
On our projects in Latin America we run many sustainable 'plans' which are essentially sustainable income generation schemes aimed at empowering the local community members and providing a sustainable source of funding for education for children of the community.
In Honduras donations have helped us to fund teachers’ salaries for secondary education teaches in the community, offering this opportunity to local children for the first time. In a bid to make secondary education sustainable in the community we wanted to implement a sustainable ‘plan’ for this cause.
After numerous meetings with the communities of San Rafael and Barbasco discussing ideas and how they may work ‘Plan Café’ has been given the green light to begin! Plan Cafe, as the names suggests will focus on coffee, an extremely popular crop in Central America.
Both communities have given a total of 2.5 hectares of land to the project and now we will buy roughly 12,000 small coffee plants that will be planted on the land. The coffee will then be cut and sold, and the profit will go towards the secondary school to help pay teachers salaries. All of this will help create a sustainable income for the school. So now that the land has been given, the next step is to clean it, terrace it, put a fence around it, and plant the coffee plants. All of which needs to be finished by June. It will be a lot of work but with the collaboration of the secondary school students, their parents, and GVI volunteers and staff we have no doubt that it will be successful!
Thank you to everyone who has donated to this project and watch this space for news from Plan Cafe!
The Honduran government provides its public schools with rice, beans, maiz, and oil so that the primary school students can have a hot, filling meal…though not this year. Normally the government food can expect to arrive sometime in February, but this year we still have yet to receive it. However, thanks to the generous support for this project through donations and fundraising the students at San Rafael and Barbasco have continued to receive the daily school lunch that they should. Every week for the past two months staff members have purchased 55 pounds of rice, 55 pounds of beans, and 30 pounds of maiz to feed the 140 students that attend both schools. We will continue to buy these amounts of food until the government food arrives
Donations also helped us to fund a consistent electricity connection at the school. As we fund Secondary education classes at the school in the early evenings light can be an issue, now the secondary students will be able to see better during their early evening classes and the school can be lit on cloud covered days!
With the rainy season now at an end in Honduras, the school at San Rafael is having some general repairs done. The priority and most important of these was to repair the fence surrounding the school. The repairs were conducted by a couple of local workmen with help from some of the fathers of the children that attend the school. The secondary school students also lent a hand after classes! The fence was repaired over 3 days thus providing greater security for the school.
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