Friday, June 20, 2014

H is for Honduras

Over the last year we studied the geography, history and cultures of the Americas for Social Studies. During our focus on the countries of Central America, as we read the books summarizing the history of each nation, we found the stories very similar because the majority of this region was under Spanish rule from around the 1500's to the 1800's; and most of these countries declared their independence from Spain at the same time in 1821. There are many shared characteristics of the people and cultures in these countries, and although the geographical features and climate varies, it seems there are more similarities than differences. So why would I have a "favorite" Central American country? And why would I, as a total non-fan of soccer, choose a country other than the one I live in to root for at the World Cup? Simply put, my favorite country is the one I've visited - Honduras.

In the summer of 2008, my oldest son and I were part of a team from our church that traveled to Honduras on a missions trip. It was the first time either of us had done it, and it was a memorable experience!

Some views of the town we were in, La Esperanza.


The picture above was taken from on top of this shrine, La Gruta. There are steps on either side of the white facade. Our whole group posed in front for a picture. We also prayed over the city from this spot.

This was the view from the door to our "dorm room". The blue building on the hill is a school.

The church and mission buildings seen from on top of the nearby hills.

One of the grunt jobs our team did was repainting the metal roofs of the dorm/classroom buildings.

We held two sessions of VBS for the local kids.

This is the school that is near the church. Some of us paid a visit one day.

This hillside is the schoolyard where the children play between classes.

We also visited another school. Classes were not in session when we visited this one, which is a private Christian school where one of our team members had taught the previous year.

It was pretty neat to see poinsettias growing naturally, and blooming in August!

The men of our team (including my son) worked on a roofing job for a local pastor.

Our last day in Honduras was a sightseeing trip. We visited Lake Yojoa and had lunch at a restaurant there.

We then went to nearby Pulhapanzak Falls and almost all of us (myself included!) went on the zipline!


We brought back a collection of souvenirs - some to keep, like this messenger bag; and some to give away.
Of course I brought back coffee!

The modern country of Honduras was once a part of the Mayan civilization. After winning independence from Spain, Honduras was part of the United Provinces of Central America, and gained full independence in 1839. The country has experienced times of political stability, especially in the late 1950s, as well as times of great unrest. During the 1970s and 1980s, the biggest problem facing Honduras was the political instability of its neighbors. And as recently as 2009, there was a constitutional crisis. Violence and crime continues to be a concern. Education is compulsory from ages 7 to 12, and while parents desire better education for their children, the dropout rate is high, especially in rural areas where children are often needed to help provide for their families. As in most countries in the region, soccer is the favorite sport, and Hondurans are currently cheering for their national team at the World Cup. (Read more about Compassion International's work in Honduras, and for the prayer needs of Honduras.)

This post is linked at Blogging through the Alphabet, hosted by Ben And Me.
Ben and Me
This post is linked up at Circling Through This Life for the 52 Favorite Anything series.
Circling Through This Life

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