Blogs from Gracias, Western, Honduras, Central America Caribbean


Central America Caribbean » Honduras » Western » Gracias October 14th 2014

I get to write my final blog entry for trip from the comfort of my home, using a keyboard rather than my tablet. This time I have no excuses for poor grammar or major spelling errors. Good News! I came home with the same 11 team members I started with! Well, maybe not the same. We are tired, a little battered and bruised, but we are inspired by, proud and satisfied with all we accomplished. We began the week as strangers in a foreign country with a small parcel of un-cleared land. When we left, we had new friends, a love and respect for Honduras and its people and the foundation (literally and figuratively) for a family to ensure their future in a safe, stable home environment. I learned so much! Construction Skills Who knew this ... read more
Leaving Our Mark
We Left Our Hearts
Celebrating a Week Well Done

Central America Caribbean » Honduras » Western » Gracias October 9th 2014

I am still struggling with blog posts and I am not sure where they are going or when they show up in this blog. Today was a good day on the site. Good news, we finally reached depth in our trenches. Even better news, the heavy rains last night did not make them fill up, collapse or float away as I dreamed they might. You guessed it. Today we filled the trenches with the rocks. Some of us made concrete in a pit and the masons began building the foundations with the rocks and cement. Several team members were really good at figuring out the puzzle of which rock fit best where, while others, like me, just lugged rocks and dropped them where we were told. I was surprised when the super asked our team to ... read more
Making the puzzle work
Mixing concrete
A Family at Home

Central America Caribbean » Honduras » Western » Gracias October 8th 2014

Yesterday's blog truncated when publishing and I can't seem to find the rest of the blog or the pictures. each evening/morning I curse technology as I struggle with internet connections, large, photo files and transferring between devices. Sorry. One of our formally horizontal members came to the site today wearing a 'Hump Day' tee shirt. This was a source of amusement for us all, and a puzzlement to our Honduran friends as we kept asking, "What day is? What day is it?" Each time we dig to depth in our trenches, the prescribed depth gets deeper. They are no longer trenches, they are RAVINES. Today however, we had additional help from some very strong Honduran workers. Several of us took turns under the tent bending rebar into stirrups to use in the home foundation. Today my ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Honduras » Western » Gracias October 6th 2014

Yesterday was an uneventful, but long travel day. Flights were on time, but the lines in Honduran immigration were almost 90 minutes long. Our drive from San Pedro Sula to Santa Rosa was close to 4 hours in a 15 passenger van, with 15 passengers. Not quite my new SUV, but it worked. The lush landscape and mountainous views made the drive interesting. We checked into our comfortable welcoming hotel, "Hotel San Jorge". They provided a delicious dinner of chicken, beans and rice. Today was a day to acclimate and explore the local culture. We started with an orientation to Habitat Honduras provided by our in country host, Luis. We reviewed the history of Habitat, safety concerns and learned a few 'Luisisms'. My favorite for today. . . "Remember to 'squeeze the lemon' before getting in ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Honduras » Western » Gracias October 6th 2014

Happy World Habitat Day. I think it is cool, that today is. A United Nations declared day to acknowledge the need for decent, safe affordable housing throughout the worled, and we are here in Honduras working towards that end. Although I wan to write about our building and cultural experiences, as a team leader, this experience is very different in that I am focused on the well being, safety and type of experience my team members have. With that being said, today was a rough one. They were dropping like flies!!!!!! We started with 12 original team members. The first dropped prior to leaving Raleigh due to complications from a pre-trip vaccination. One of our young team members woke this morning with aches and fever. We tucked her into bed, loaded her room up with crackers, ... read more
The trench progresses

Central America Caribbean » Honduras » Western » Gracias September 29th 2014

While sitting in my cozy, comfortable home, typing away on my computer, packing the essentials for our trip, I am reminded again how fortunate I am to live the life I do AND have the opportunity to serve others. My last trip (18 months ago) to build Habitat Home in Honduras had a profound and lasting impact on my life. So much so, that when presented with the opportunity to train to be a team leader and take a group of people to Honduras to help build and advocate for affordable housing, I jumped in with both feet. As a team leader my focus on this trip will be different. Although I will build alongside my team and our Honduran partners, my primary responsibility will be my team. Their safety is first and foremost. It is ... read more

I am a little behind in my blog. Wednesday, I hit the wall physically. I worked hard all day, and by the time I got back to the hotel I was capable of little more than shower, food and sleep. We began our day by building rebar frames to be used in the construction of the roof support around the perimeter of the house. We worked as a group and were quite effective in getting the task done. I moved onto making my first adobe bricks. I enjoyed the task and quickly fell into a nice Pattern. I played my music, worked alongside other team members and got the opportunity to dance when I needed to stretch. The masons and their helpers found my antic entertaining, as I could see the laughing with with (at) me ... read more
Adobe bricks
Human compactors

After a short delay, our water arrived this morning. With all the space cleared, brick making began in earnest. Again, I felt efficient. I made 30 bricks over the course of the morning. A mason's helper make 3 lempira per brick. At the current exchange rate, I would have earned roughly $4.50 for half a days work. I am not as efficient as one of the standard helpers, but you can see how little the average earnings are. From the blog I wrote for the Habitat Wake website. “Yesterday I hit the wall. All the hard physical labor had finally taken its toll on my body. After a good night’s sleep, I felt revived. However, I was cautious about overdoing it. It turned out to be a bl... read more

I am struggling with the internet connection tonight, more than other nights. It has been a long day with lots of hardwork and activities. Our first task on tyhe job site today was mixing pinestraw into mud. We use our legs while wearing way too big rubber boots. Think Lucy and Ethel stopping grapes, only a lot harder. I only fell once and did not do a faceplant but caught myself on my hands. It was hard work and a good workout for my butt, legs and abs. Afterwards we took to the less strenuous activity of collecting pineneedles on a nearby coffee farm. That was a welcome pleasant reprieve from the hard physiucal labor. On the walk back with the pine needles, a local women invited us into her yard, where she had just finished ... read more
Working with the rebar
Collecting pine needles
Luis and the ladies

Roosters crowing, dogs barking, and firecrackers popping. This is how our day began at 4:30 this morning. Revelers celebrating Easter lit the fire crackers, which made the dogs bark, and likely had nothing to do with the roosters crowing. However, we got up and went to watch the sunrise Easter parade through the streets. We marched along with the residents of the city as the statues of Jesus, Mary and other Saints danced through the street on their way to church. It was all very festive and a unique experience. A yummy breakfast of local watermelon, eggs and pancakes was followed. We then loaded into our bus with Luis, our driver and Max, our local guide for the day. We traveled by bus to Belen Gualcho. There we toured a 500 year local church. This included ... read more
Along the ride
Easter Parade in Santa Rosa de Copan

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