Honduras is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch tore through that part of the world and smashed headlong
into Nicaragua and Honduras. It seemed to focus more on Honduras and sat over
that tiny nation for 10 days. Nothing was spared. It literally destroyed the infrastructure of that country. Electricity, roads, bridges, schools, clean water and, most importantly, 14,000 people dead and missing. The former president of Honduras once said that Mitch put his nation back 100 years. The aftermath of something like this was devastating on the people: diseases of all kinds resurfaced; cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, malaria, just to name a few.
The physical infrastructure of the country continues to rebuild, even after all
these years. Mission Honduras LeMars is dedicated to assisting the poor of Honduras in an effort to improve their lives.
Honduras is a democracy of about 7 million people, located near the middle of the long isthmus that connects Mexico with South America. The national language is Spanish, although English is often spoken in some areas. The climate of Honduras is tropical, but is tempered by the higher elevations of the interior. In Honduras there is no spring or autumn, they refer to two seasons, the dry season and the wet season. About 90% of the population is Mestizo, or persons of Spanish and Native American ancestry, and roughly 60% of the people are rural. Tegucigalpa, located in the district of Francisco Morazon, is the capital city. Another reason for selecting Honduras for this mission initiative was the contact we had made with two Roman Catholic nuns
who were working there at the time our program began. Sister Valerie Knoche and
Sister Barb Zimmer are member sisters of the 'Servants of the Immaculate Heart
of Mary,' out of Monroe, Michigan. Sister 'Val' worked in Honduras for 32 years and Sister 'Barb' for 22
before returning to Michigan where they continue to work in the Hispanic