Tag: Honduras

Jul 7 2009

Bob’s notes ó Visit to Honduras

Mission awareness trip to Honduras
June 20-27, 2009

Counting Cristina, myself and CFCA volunteer Dani, we are 37 sponsors this week in Honduras. With this number of sponsors on hand, we have a large number of sponsored families to see. We begin our journey in the North up near the Atlantic coast, and wind up in the Ocotepeque project, a dynamic little corner of Honduras within eyesight of both El Salvador and Guatemala.

As the level of awareness deepens in the course of a CFCA mission awareness tripóand after spending time with their sponsored family within the CFCA contextósponsors naturally start asking, ìWhatís my place in this story Ö what can I add to this song Ö ?î

An important role of the CFCA staff in each country is to help the sponsors understand the ongoing reality of their people. With their true calling and special grace, I find the interpretations of CFCA staff to be filled with hope, a practical and strong spirituality and resilient humor.

Charged political situation
Right now, Honduras is in the middle of a deep and powerful ideological war. In Central and South America, there are deep stirrings Ö in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Honduras. It comes down to a real battle for minds and hearts. The situation in Honduras could result in real upheaval. So, we pray, and we work.

Sponsors and sponsored individuals unite in prayer in Honduras.

This group of 34 sponsors truly has been a symbol of Godís love. Even with great distances, poor roads and storms, they have been generous in visiting many families and communities. Thanked to the point of discomfort, they have represented all of the sponsors, in solidarity with the CFCA family.

From Puerto Cortez to Ocotepeque
This mission awareness trip is hosted by Project Ocotepeque. This project is organized in 13 subprojects with a total of 3,794 children and 109 elderly sponsored, and 161 scholars assisted.

Sponsored children and elderly man in the Ocotepeque project

According to the CFCA trip brochure, ìThe primary purpose of the Ocotepeque subprojects A, AU, and B is the formation and education of the children and their families. CFCA helps more than 800 children from these communities go to school, and develops relationships. Parents are trained in activities like tailoring, crafts, and farming, so that they might have their own businesses and increase the household income.î

At our gathering for families and sponsors in San Marcos, Fanny of Santa Rosa offers an original poem written by her mother: ìThis message is for people that see us and know about our needs Ö people who inspire us to reach our dreams Ö people from whom we have received a letter, a picture Ö thank you for helping in our personal growth Ö we are fortunate to have you here with us Ö we love you Ö God bless you always.î

Staff estimates that more than 1,000 CFCA members joined the group in a 6-kilometer solidarity walk on June 25. The walk finished up with Holy Mass, a nice lunch for all, music and a chance to enjoy a water park. There is tremendous interest in Walk2gether (our 8,000-mile pilgrimage beginning December 2009).

There is great adventure in experiencing the profound learning and love of the sponsors, the CFCA families and the entire CFCA staff. I am grateful.

Cristina and I are now off to the National Encuentro (staff formation) in Bolivia.

Godís blessings.

Bob Hentzen

Jul 2 2009

Celebrating freedom

On the Fourth of July, Americans will gather to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, parades and picnics. Although the United States and the countries CFCA partners with do not celebrate independence on the same date, we share many customs and events.

In Central America, most countries celebrate their independence on Sept. 15 with parades and music. The running of the Central American Freedom Torch from Guatemala to Costa Rica, taking a total of 14 days, reenacts the news of their independence spreading through Central America.

South Americans celebrate with large celebrations, flying flags, parades, fireworks and feasting. In India, all cities have Flag Hoisting Ceremonies run by politicians and other officials. Indian schoolchildren gather to sing songs and watch the hoisting of the flag.

Under colonization, Haitians were forbidden to eat soup, a meal reserved for the upper classes. Now on Independence Day, it is traditional to eat soup to demonstrate the equality of all citizens.

People of the Philippines celebrate their independence with ceremonies, historic exhibitions and memorial events. Festivities begin with a flag-raising ceremony and parade in the historic city of Cavite, where Filipinos first proclaimed their independence.

We would like to encourage you to research how the country your friend lives in celebrates its independence. And from all of us at CFCA, we wish you a safe and wonderful Independence Day.

The Independence Days of the countries CFCA partners with are listed below.

Jan. 1
Feb. 27
Dominican Republic
May 24
June 12
June 26
July 5
July 20
July 26
July 28
Aug. 6
Aug. 15
Sept. 7
Sept. 15
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua
Sept. 16
Sept. 18
Oct. 9
Dec. 9
Dec. 12


Updated July 1, 2011

Feb 12 2009

Solidarity walk begins the new year

CFCA President Bob Hentzen and 1,000 fellow walkers celebrated his upcoming walk† from Guatemala to Chile with a solidarity walk in the community of San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. The solidarity walk, which took place on January 23, was almost three miles long and took about two and a half hours.

Guatemalan staff members and CFCA families organized the solidarity walk as a way to kick off preparations for Bob’s walk to Chile, which is set to begin Dec. 29, 2009. The route Bob will travel will weave through 12 countries (see below for a list) in Central and South America and is scheduled to conclude in April 2011.

During the solidarity walk, the 12 countries were represented by their national flag along the three-mile trek.

We hope you’ll enjoy this video clip of the solidarity walk.

Bob will be walking through Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Chile, although not necessarily in that order. The official route is still being finalized.

The purpose of the walk is to facilitate the building of community and strengthening of the bonds of solidarity among our CFCA families, sponsors and co-workers. Bob will use this walk to thank the families for the inspiring example of their daily walk, and tell them that we love them. He hopes to help counterbalance some of the isolation of poverty and offer the poor a sense of identity with the CFCA community.

“On my journeys, I find that CFCA truly walks with the poor and enables many people of good will to do the same,” Bob said.

In 1996, Bob walked more than 4,000 miles from Kansas City, Kan., to Guatemala. His upcoming walk will continue that trek.

Dec 31 2008

Ringing in the New Year in the CFCA community

By the CFCA Prayer Team

As we give thanks for the old year and look with anticipation to the new one, let us walk in solidarity with our sisters and brothers around the world throughout the day. We have listed below the time it will be here in the United States when the New Year arrives at each of our projects. We encourage you to say a quick prayer for each of the projects as your day progresses.

Country Pacific Mountain Central Eastern
Philippines 8:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
India and Sri Lanka 10:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.
Tanzania, Uganda,
Madagascar, Kenya
1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.
Nigeria 3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.
Liberia 4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Brazil 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.
Chile 7:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.
Bolivia, Dominican Republic 8:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m.
Venezuela 8:30 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:30 p.m. 11:30 p.m.
Colombia, Ecuador,
Haiti, Jamaica, Peru
9:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m. 12:00 a.m.
Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras,
Mexico, Nicaragua
10:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m. 12:00 a.m.
1:00 a.m.

Please pray:

Gracious God, I pray for my sisters and brothers in ______. May the New Year bring them hope, joy and peace.

And from all of us at CFCA, we pray the New Year also brings you hope, joy and peace!

Receive CFCA’s weekly Prayer Partners e-mail.

Nov 5 2008

Notes from the Field #4 – Honduras

Melissa Velazquez, a mission awareness trip coordinator for CFCA, talks about the support of education in Honduras by CFCA parents.

Sep 17 2008

Bob’s report: Visit to Honduras

Mission Awareness Trip
Aug. 23 ñ 30, 2008

What kind of a country can we offer them?

Alongside a tremendous wealth gap, endemic corruption, organized crime and neighborhood gangs, you see the beauty of family relationships, the inspiring example of a struggling mother, the youthful spirit with close to half the population under age 19, a fertile land and a strong work ethic.

We can add a tremendous resilience after tragedies like Hurricane Mitch (1998) which killed some 5,000 and destroyed 70 percent of the crops. Unfortunately, thousands of promising Hondurans, most of them young, leave the country every year, most of them for the U.S. Basically, they are seduced by human traffickers who rake in $5,000-$6,000 per head per trip north. Farm families abandon their land and go into life-threatening debt for this one chance. When the sojourners are caught and deported, the families remain in debt for many years.†

Family testimony at morning prayer

Our group arrived for Sunday morning Mass at Las Mercedes Parish in El Progresso after the church was full, so we rounded out the doorway, greeting Father Raymond Pease, a veteran of 40 years in El Progreso.

Lourdes, her son, Cristian, 11, and daughter, Katia, 13, gave a beautiful testimony as part of our morning prayer on the second day of the trip. Lourdes and Wilfredo (working today) have seven children. They have hopes for better housing for their family, but for now, they are living in one room on property owned by Lourdesí mother. Lourdes is very grateful for the sponsorship of Cristian and Katia, so grateful that she serves as a liaison with the 169 sponsored families in Barrio Sandoval in San Pedro Sula.

We had a pleasant drive from San Pedro Sula, and then enjoyed several nice receptions by children and families, complete with hand-made banners and lots of hymns. One of the dads, Don Lorenzo, shared a song which he had composed about CFCA. Moms and dads talked of their participation (by the hundreds) in the various aspects of the project.†
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Jul 28 2008

Her parents bought her shoes…

Bart and Annie Winter are volunteering with CFCA for a year†in Ocotepeque, Honduras. They arrived in Honduras just a few weeks ago, and will be sharing their experiences with us throughout the year.

There are many significant moments in every life. In the life of a sponsored elderly woman named DoÒa Delia, those moments include her marriage, the births and deaths of her children, and, also of importance, the fact that as a child, her parents bought her shoes.

The following is a glimpse into the life of one member of the CFCA family here in Ocotepeque.

DoÒa Delia poses for a picture near the project offices.

DoÒa Delia poses for a picture near the project offices.

On Monday, Miriam (the project coordinator) invited us to visit one of the sponsored elderly who has been ill. Her name is MarÌa Delia, but she goes by DoÒa Delia. She is 74 years old and lives in a tiny (6◊6 ft) house, which consists of a dirt floor, four mud walls and a patchwork tin roof. She has no electricity, running water or latrine.

On the way to her house, Miriam tells us that DoÒa Delia has quite a personality. Sheís known for wearing pants under her dresses and her favorite hat is similar to one that a drum major might wear to lead a parade. Later, upon reviewing DoÒa Deliaís file, we also learn that she likes to wear makeup so that she looks nice for the people she meets. It is clear that she is a strong, spunky individual despite her age and the circumstances of her life.

DoÒa Delia was born†in 1934, to her parents, Francisca and Arturo. As a little girl, she helped provide for her family by making cigars and quesadillas to sell on the streets. She was never able to attend school, so she never learned to read or write. She remembers that her parents bought her a pair of shoes – a significant point of pride because, at that time, most children went barefoot. At the age of 14, DoÒa Delia married her boyfriend, Merejildo. She went on to give birth to 14 children, 8 of whom died either at birth or as babies. When she was 40, her husband died, and after a time, she began to go with Rafael Antonio. Since then, they have lived in a poor neighborhood within the city limits of Ocotepeque.

Tucked into the corner of an overgrown lot in this forgotten neighborhood sits DoÒa Deliaís house. Smoke from her small adobe oven pours out from the 6 inch gap between her walls and her roof. Upon entering her humble home, the first thing that strikes you is the heat. The second thing that strikes you is DoÒa Delia, lying upon her bed in a red sweatshirt and sweatpants, with a matching handkerchief tied around her hair. Despite the heat, she is covered in a wool blanket. Her face is soft, like worn leather, but her eyes are alert and she is quick to smile at the sight of Miriam, or la profesora, as everyone here calls her.
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Jul 16 2008

Bob’s report: Visit to Honduras

Mission Awareness Trip
June 21-28, 2008

On the first day of the trip, a huge number of families waited for us with fireworks, flags and live mariachi music. Max participation of children, scholars, staff, parents, sponsorsóamong them talented singers, dancers and poets.†

CFCA scholars in Ocotepeque, under the direction of staff member Juan Ramon Santos, have formed a very talented dance troupe.

Sewing business thrives
An inspiring testimony was offered on the Monday morning of the mission awareness trip. Dona Albertina and her three children, Lester, Manuel and Tanya, spoke of the challenges of living with a husband and father afflicted with a drinking problem. Albertina learned to be a seamstress through courses offered at CFCA. She now has a growing sewing business operating out of their home. She and the children attribute their more dignified living to the encouragement and help they receive from their sponsors and the CFCA community. Lester graduates this year with a degree in business. Tanya and Manuel are doing very well in 7th and 9th grade.

Sponsors had meaningful experiences with the families they visited, and they listened to powerful personal testimonies. Just in Ocotepeque, 12 new children and one aging person were sponsored on this trip. In addition, this enthusiastic group has requested 74 folders of children and aging people who are waiting to be sponsored. May God bless their efforts.

We were privileged to hear the testimony of the Osorio family. Both mom and dad work hard and produce a modest income for the family of seven. After thethe birth of their first girl, Gabriela, now 16, they were blessed with four more children, Jose, Cristian, Oscar and Eduardo. Luis, the father, is a gentle man made of iron. He makes a modest income hauling firewood from the forest using only a leather forehead strap (mecapal) and ropes. Martha markets door-to-door the fine aluminum bread pans she makes at home.

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