Team members grow through a week of living together in Christian community, encountering the great faith of the local church of Honduras, experiencing warm friendships and hospitality and exposure to differences in culture, food, language and of the life of the church. This project is a mission outreach of the United Methodist Mission Church of Honduras (UMMCH), and the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA). Team members will meet, work and worship with the people of the Honduras and with the host churches in the area. Each team will be one of many construction/VBS/medical teams from Missouri doing construction and repair.
Long known as the original banana republic because of its domination by multinational foreign interests, Honduras has recently become more known as a travel destination because of its North Coastal Islands and beaches, its impressive Mayan ruins and pristine rain forests. Although the economy has improved somewhat, Honduras remains the third poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, after Haiti and Nicaragua. About 80% of Hondurans live in poverty and the unemployment and illiteracy rates are each around 30%. The capital city, Tegucigalpa is a city of over one million people. Honduras is the home of a diverse and friendly people representing a mixture of many ethnic and racial groups, often isolated by mountain ranges and lack of roads.
VIM Teams are being scheduled for 2008 & 2009. There are currently 13 United Methodist project sites in Honduras. In 2007 thirty eight volunteer teams served in Honduras consisting of 546 volunteers. Some of the various ways the teams served were; 31 teams working on construction, 8 teams conducted a medical clinic, 12 teams led VBS, 3 teams conducted a dental clinic, 2 teams conducted an eye clinic, and 4 teams did sewing/craft classes. Best of all are the relationships that have been formed between the Honduran Methodists and their North American partners in missions.
The Council of Ministries of the United Methodist Mission Church in Honduras makes decisions about where the teams will serve based upon the priority building projects. The following list highlights the needs at each site:
Cuidad España—construction of a sanctuary, Sunday School rooms, and offices.
Talanga—construction of a security wall, clearing the property and preparing it for construction of a sanctuary and parsonage.
El Paraiso—construction of a sanctuary, Sunday School rooms, and offices.
Subirana—construction of a parsonage.
Fuerzas Unidas—hosting medical teams, a once-a-week clinic conducted by Dr. Ana and John Lamon, light construction work on the educational building to prepare for the new day care center which will open soon.
10 de Septiembre—hosting medical teams, a once-a-week clinic conducted by Dr. Ana and John Lamon.
Danli Central—hosting medical teams, sewing instruction.
La Jagua—hosting medical teams and VBS teams.
Escuapa—hosting medical teams, construction of a Sunday School building.
La Cofradia—hosting medical teams, construction of a kitchen-cafeteria area, Sunday School rooms, and offices, sewing ministry.
La Ceibita—hosting medical teams, light construction.
San Jose de la Vega—hosting medical teams
Que Gualagua – a new church start located between Danli and El Paraiso that is currently worshipping under a carport.
Becas con Bendiciones is a scholarship program in place to encourage the children to attend and stay in school. Each $100.00 annual sponsorship provides a child with a uniform, a backpack full of school supplies, a power bar each day, de-worming medication, a New Testament, gym clothes and most importantly - prayers. The child must attend school full time and turn in 2 report cards each year to remain eligible for the program. You will be assigned a child (your choice of male or female) on the waiting list and receive a photo of the child along with updates on his/her progress. Their school year runs from Feb. through Nov. In La Jagua there are 69 children of school age, with only 10 actually attending full time. Seven of those are currently on the scholarship program, leaving three children on the list waiting for sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring a child, you can contact me for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To set up a team to Honduras please contact: Diane Graslie, Major Project Leader to Honduras
Check the website of the Methodist Church of Honduras for current information for VIM teams and projects. You’ll find the latest photos, news, and needs of Methodist churches in Honduras: http://www.gbgm-umc.org/hondurasini
Portions of the above have been reproduced from a newsletter written by Ron Davidson, with his permission.
SCHEDULING / COSTS
The Honduras VIM coordinators make all lodging arrangements. Team members do not stay with local families because of the degree of hardship it places on them. Please do not make your own arrangements without consulting the in-country VIM coordinators. Meals also vary according to the community you are in, from local restaurants that are identified by in-country staff to retreat center dining halls. Transportation is usually rented vehicles, vans and school buses. The United Methodist church would love to purchase a team bus, if a team or church is looking for a big project!
Please check with Honduras UMVIM Coordinator for current fees. Most of these funds should be in the hand of the treasurer in Honduras 30 days prior to the team’s arrival date. This allows material to be purchased ahead of time and arrangements to be made to accommodate the team. Team expenditures can be paid for with a check sent in the mail or by bank wire transfer. The manner in which the funds are sent will determine when the funds are in hand in Honduras.
Below is a sample budget for UMVIM teams:
The ideal size is 9 -15 members (depending on the site you will be assigned). Several sites can take up to 20 people. Some projects have hosted teams as small as 2 people in the past. The upper limit is determined by the accommodations of a site and the “manageability” of the team by the Methodist staff here. The lower limit is determined by the cost of rented transportation. For this reason, with teams of fewer than 8, there is a possibility of a higher per diem fee, depending on the costs at the specific worksite.
WEATHER AND CLOTHING
Honduras is located in the tropics, but temperatures are defined both by altitude and by season. Most of central Honduras, at altitudes of 2000 to 6000 feet (Tegucigalpa is at 3000 feet), is called tierra templada, or temperate land, with pleasantly warm days, and cool nights. Average highs range from 75-85 degrees, and the lows from 60-68 degrees. All but one of the United Methodist churches are located in this type of mountainous region, and thus have more temperate climates. The one exception is La Ceibita. Because of its location in the coastal lowlands, expect more humid and hot conditions. Temperatures change slightly from season to season, depending on the time of year. December, January, February are the coolest months, and March and April the hottest. The rainy season begins in May or June, and brings a refreshing break to the heat that precedes it. The typical pattern of the rainy season is to have clear weather in the mornings and clouds and rain in the afternoon and/or evenings. Occasionally, the rain may continue for several days at a time. The rainy season lasts through November or December, although there are dry periods during that time.
Spanish is the language spoken in Honduras. Please include at least one Spanish-language interpreter on your team. It may be possible to hire a local person for interpretation. Make pre-mission arrangements for a local interpreter with the VIM Coordinator. The most common reflection written on evaluation forms of VIM team members is they wished they knew more Spanish. The more Spanish you know personally and as a team, the richer your experience will be.
The VIM coordinator in Honduras may suggest that a team hire an interpreter because of the situation. For instance, a team working with both construction and a medical clinic will need more interpreters than a team just doing construction. Health care teams require interpreters that are familiar with medical terminology and the nuances of local culture. Interpreters eat and stay with the team.
If your team plans to work with the children (such as with VBS) during your mission stay – ALL team members must be Safe Sanctuary Trained. This training is now available online at www.moumethodist.org (follow the links to Safe Sanctuary).
Some sites to visit on your “free” days would be Pewter factory located near the airport, and Valle de Angeles, which is an artisan village north of Tegucigalpa. Pray for the people and the work in Honduras.
United Methodist Volunteers In Mission
OF CREATIVE MINISTRIES