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 127 projects under way, including water treatment and water purification, education, animal husbandry, sustainable community developments, agriculture, micro-enterprise, medical, sanitation, housing, and support for vulnerable children. FFTP also serves Honduras through donations of goods.

Throughout 2021, FFTP has continued to respond to the dire needs for masks, sanitizer, food baskets, and a variety of needs stemming from both the pandemic as well as the continued impacts from the two devastating hurricanes in November of 2020.

  • By the end of August 2021, there were more than 324,000 coronavirus cases in Honduras, according to worldometers.info, filling hospitals and putting clinics, which are already scared, over capacity.
  • The need for food is critical. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, FFTP has been distributing food baskets to more than a thousand families weekly.
  • More than 60,000 families have received a two-week supply of rice, beans, corn meal for tortillas, and MannaPack meals. These actions have been supplemented by donations of avocados, bananas, chickens and medical items whenever possible.

In 2021, FFTP shipped 352 tractor-trailer loads of essential items to Honduras.

On Nov. 3, 2020, Hurricane Eta made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane just south of Puerto Cabezas, on Nicaragua’snorthern 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 has worked diligently to help farmers recover crops by helping rehabilitate farms and the inputs that are needed to help crops thrive for avocados, beans, coffee and plantains.

FFTP and its donors are committed to repairing and building homes for those who were displaced by the hurricanes. 

In 2021, FFTP donors built 1,041 homes for a total of 10,530 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, are almost complete. 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. Additionally, since January 2021, FFTP donors have built an additional four clinics across Honduras to help ease the burden for COVID-19 and dengue outbreaks, as well as to increase the capacity for the delivery of general health care needs.

Since the beginning of 2021, FFTP has installed 44 community water wells. FFTP, in partnership with Water Mission, has also built nine Living Water Treatment Systems for clean water.  

Thus far in 2021, FFTP built, repaired or expanded 12schools. Since 2009, FFTP has built, repaired or expanded 175 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, 47 students graduated in 2020, half were women.
  • More than 101 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 2021, FFTP donors helped with the care of 2,382 vulnerable children in the 35 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. Water With Blessings has created a crisis plan to provide clean water quickly after natural disasters. This plan involves proceeding with delivery of the Water Stations, now, to be entrusted with CEPUDO until such time as they are needed for the next hurricane (or other storms). As hurricanes occur with great frequency in the Caribbean, this in-country storage approach allows for a more rapid response in cases of future need.

In 2021, four greenhouse projects were completed in youth homes. The greenhouse projects provide agricultural training, produce for food security, as well as surplus produce for income generation. As a country that relies on agriculture as a primary economic sector, this is great experience and training, as well as an opportunity to keep children and young adults living in group homes engaged since schools closed due to COVID-19 in March 2020.

In 2020, FFTP and CEPUDO started the Los Achiotes Sustainable Community Development for 74 families struggling to live in an area deemed uninhabitable and are now planning Phase II. 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. Phase II plans to complete a Market Assessment and build and expand profitable businesses and income-generating projects to provide economic opportunities for the families to become – and remain – self-sustaining.

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 $5,100.

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