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Azacualpa, Honduras – A Rotary Mission Project

Hello all,

Just wanted to give you an idea what I’m up to during the week of July 9 to 15.

My Rotary club, Champaign West Rotary, is partnering with the Baptist Church of Savoy in the building of a children’s home in Azacualpa, Honduras.

Our club got this idea from Debbie Hirschi, our current but soon to be past president. She is a member of the church and they have built a number of structures (cottages to house children, a dining hall) to assist with the growth of the children’s home over time.

Our club had been looking for an international project and Debbie had the (really great) idea about partnering with her church.

I am headed there with Woody Chenault and Mike Hirschi (the club’s new three amigos) and we will purchase all the materials, hire the labor, and get started on the construction of the cottage our club is building. Come November, another team will go there and work on putting the roof on the cottage. Then, in January, we hope to send 8 to 12 people there to finish the cottage, furnish it, dedicate it, and move in 12 new orphans.

One of the problems that we’ve identified and which we are hoping to make a small but needed impact upon, is that the orphans in Honduras frequently end up in the drug trade and have a negative impact upon our country, smuggling drugs in and selling them on the street. The kids that can grow up in a children’s home like this one and stay in school, have a good chance of having a positive life, earning a decent living, and having a positive impact on Honduran society.

We clearly cannot help everyone, but if our cottage can give 12 kids a chance at an education and a real life, that its truly worth the effort.

The three amigos will be meeting with the San Pedrosula Rotary Club while in Honduras and we hope to establish a formal relationship with them, potentially expanding our influence in Azacualpa. Their club already has built a neighborhood there and they are looking to build a community center. Maybe we can work with them and expand the positive influence of Rotary beyond the children’s home.

Anyway, keep the three amigos in your thoughts and send us positive energy as we get this project under way. The photo above shows you the kids at play and a glimpse of one of the cottages similar to the one we will be building.

If you have an interest in the environment and our National Parks (one of most important things about living in the USA – if you don’t visit them, you are missing out on a truly fantastic experience), see the post prior to this one for a short summary on my July 4th excursion to Crater Lake, Oregon. For photos of other National Parks, you can visit my travel website [ mballard.smugmug.com ] and check out Glacier, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone, and Denali. The United States under President Teddy Roosevelt started the national park system, the first of its kind in the world; I highly encourage you to check them out and get in touch with the natural beauty our country has to offer.

Investment postings will resume when I return from the Rotary project. Until then, best wishes for a great summer!

Mark