Facts About Our Work in Honduras
Food For The Poor (FFTP) began serving in Honduras in 1999, after the Central American country was slammed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The charity works with its partner CEPUDO, which is based in San Pedro Sula, and the Order of Malta. There are 134 projects under way, including water treatment and water purification, education, animal husbandry, sustainable community developments, agriculture, micro-enterprise, medical, sanitation, housing, and support for orphaned and abandoned children. FFTP also serves Honduras through donations of goods.
In March 2020, Food For The Poor responded quickly when COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, became a pandemic. FFTP in partnership with Matthew 25: Ministries supported the manufacture of masks in five sewing centers throughout Honduras. More than 77,700 masks have been produced, which created income opportunity, as well as free masks for families in need.
- By the end of December 2020, there were more than 130,000 coronavirus cases in Honduras, according to worldometers.info, filling hospitals and putting clinics over capacity.
- The need for food is critical. Since March, FFTP has been distributing food baskets to more than a thousand families weekly.
- More than 30,000 families have received a two-week supply of rice, beans, corn meal for tortillas, and MannaPacks. These actions have been supplemented by donations of avocados, bananas, chickens, and other food items whenever possible.
In 2020, FFTP shipped 346 tractor-trailer loads of essential items to Honduras, including 40 tractor-trailer loads of items specifically for COVID-19 relief, and 51 tractor-trailer loads of hurricane supplies in response to back-to-back hurricanes.
On Nov. 3, 2020, Hurricane Eta made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane just south of Puerto Cabezas, on Nicaragua’s northern Caribbean side of the country, which caused devastating flooding in most of Honduras. Less than two weeks later, on Nov. 16, Hurricane Iota took basically the same path and made landfall as a strong Category 4. The catastrophic storms unleashed winds of 150 mph that flooded five departments, claimed nearly 100 lives, destroyed roads, nine bridges and left more than 200,000 homeless in the Central American country.
In Honduras, approximately 80 percent of the crops were also destroyed by flooding and landslides. The hurricanes added to the woes of communities already grappling with the loss of jobs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. FFTP and its donors are helping farmers replant crops through several projects that will increase food supply to areas hardest hit.
FFTP and its donors are committed to repairing and building homes for those who were displaced by the hurricanes.
In 2020, FFTP donors built 279 homes for a total of 9,489 homes since inception. The Choloma Community Development Project is now the largest community development project under way in the Central American country.
Four of the five phases have been completed:
- Phase I consisted of 30 homes with access to water and sanitation, eco-stoves, water purification units, trees, vegetable gardens, an elementary school and agricultural technical assistance.
- Phase II consisted of 30 additional homes with access to water and sanitation, eco-stoves, trees, vegetable gardens and a community center.
- Phase III consisted of 17 homes with access to water and sanitation, eco-stoves, trees, kitchens, a welding shop, sewing center, vegetable gardens and concrete drainage ditches.
- Phase IV involved the construction of 100 homes with access to water and sanitation along with a clean water project.
- Additional phases, which include an extra 200 homes with water and sanitation, eco-stoves, water purification units and a third school, will be completed in 2021. This project already has completed the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant, concrete ditches, expansion of the current water distribution grid, water purification plant, construction of a kinder-preschool and income-generating activities, including a plantain project, bakery, plantain chip factory and a welding shop where residents will be manufacturing beds that will then be purchased by FFTP to be given along with the homes. The community has more than 350 homes and over 1,750 community members
FFTP donors have built and expanded two medical facilities in Honduras. The first, is a large clinic on the island of Guanaja. In 2019, FFTP completed renovating and expanding the emergency room wing for internal medicine, orthopedics and surgery. The charity also renovated the nation’s second-largest hospital, Mario Catarino Rivas. The expansion has helped to accommodate COVID-19 patients.
In 2019, FFTP completed an improvement project at Gracias Hospital, and responded to an outbreak of a parasitical tropical disease called leishmaniasis by building a patient treatment annex wing. The charity responded to a massive dengue outbreak with the purchase of foggers to fumigate the areas and mosquito nets for thousands of families. Most recently, the new wing has been used as additional space for COVID-19 patients.
In 2020, FFTP installed 47 community water wells. FFTP in partnership with Water Mission has built eight Living Water Treatment Systems for clean water near Olancho, Honduras. The charity also is working to build another 10 LWTS in 2021 for more than 25,000 residents in these communities:
- Barrio El Espino, Catacamas
- Colonia San Carlos, Catacamas
- Barrio de Jesus, Juticalpa
- Barrio La Hoya, Juticalpa
- Jutiquile, Juticalpa
- El Pataste, Catacamas
- El Encino, Catacamas
- Toro Muerto, San Esteban
- Barrio Buenos, Santa Maria del Real
- El Marañon, Cortes
In 2020, FFFP built, repaired or expanded eight schools. Since 2009, FFTP has built, repaired or expanded 163 schools in Honduras.
In 2018, FFTP built a 4,000-square-foot transportation school with a commercial virtual vehicle simulator, which simulates vehicle types, road conditions, weather patterns and other various driving scenarios. The beneficiaries of this project come from local impoverished communities and receive more than 480 hours of training that includes computer skills and email etiquette, as well as practical application.
- There is a shortage of truck drivers, so employment upon graduation is virtually guaranteed. A major road infrastructure project is under way that will better connect the neighboring countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, and will run through centrally located Honduras.
- Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and two devastating hurricanes, 12 students graduated in 2020, half were women.
- More than 85 drivers have graduated in since 2018, and with an average family size of five, the number of beneficiaries is 425 people.
- Half of all the students will be women on scholarship. They will receive food donations and a monthly stipend while they are in school and cannot work. The goal is to prepare and equip women with the skills for this high-demand work field.
In 2020, FFTP donors helped with the care of 2,803 orphaned and abandoned children in the 44 children’s homes in the Angels Of Hope program.
Honduras has 15 fishing villages. In November, the country was hit by two devastating hurricanes, Eta and Iota. The fishermen in these villages used their FFTP fishing boats to assist in-country partner CEPUDO in the rescue effort. More than 3,000 people were saved from rooftops, treetops, and isolated areas where Naval boats could not access. FFTP donors have since provided rescue boats and training to be better equipped for the next crisis.
In 2020, a greenhouse plan was implemented and will be complete in 2021. The greenhouse will provide agricultural training, produce for food security, as well as surplus produce for income generation.
In 2020, FFTP and CEPUDO started the Los Achiotes Sustainable Community Development for 74 families struggling to live in an area deemed uninhabitable. After Hurricanes Eta and Iota, the families were evacuated and relocated to shelters, where they’re currently living. The new land where the community will be relocated remained dry after the hurricanes. The land has been filled and leveled, and the instillation of wastewater and sanitation components have started. In 2021, 50 of the 74 homes will be built, along with roads, ditches and access to electrical power. Social interventions will be provided to prepare the families for the move. A school also will be built, and Water Mission has donated a Living Water Treatment System for clean water.
The population is approximately 9.3 million residents. The language is Spanish and Catholicism is the largest religion. The currency is the lempira and the GDP per capita is $5,728.