A presence, multiple solidarity projects

 GUAIMACA - HONDURAS

 - The solidarity of the benefactors made it possible for us to establish the Marie Poussepin Center (MPC) -

  

Guaimaca (Honduras), Project's Group of the Solidarity.- It was Hurricane Mitch in 1998, with its aftermath of devastation in Honduras, and the request of Cardinal Sean O'Malley, then Bishop of Fall River, Massachusetts, to be part of a diocesan team, that as United States Province, we read the pressing call of the Lord. Pope John Paul II had made a call, in the synod of Bishops of America, to the cooperation of the Churches of the North and South. 

Health Workshop at the CMP

ORIGINS

This was how Sister Maria Ceballos in 2001, and later other sisters, joined the diocesan team to attend to the needs of the population, with the support and participation of members of the parishes and university students of the Diocese. As a nurse, Sister. Maria began offering health care in a room in the parish hall. Soon she saw the need for the education of the young women from the villages that had only elementary school. In 2004 we established ourselves as a community in the town of Guaimaca.

Comprehensive education and promotion of young women

The solidarity of the benefactors made it possible for us to establish the Marie Poussepin Center (MPC) where the girls could live and go to the Institute of the city. Thus, the young women who finished their elementary school could continue their secondary education. Since 2007, we adopted the IHER (Honduran Institute of Radio Education) system, making it possible for the young women to receive all academic education, graduate from high school and pursue university studies. A Catholic formation based on values and their training in social and technical skills through specialized workshops, also prepares them to be multipliers of what they receive in their own villages.

 

Healthcare

What we started as a simple dispensary in a room of the parish, has been operating since March 2016 as a health center, in our own property. We started moving our medical services there and now we are adding to the building so we can offer dental services. We currently offer primary health services, dentistry and alternative medicine. We also coordinate the Medical and Dental Brigades that come from the United States to lend us their collaboration.

Working with the laity

One of the most singular and rich characteristics of our missionary experience in Honduras, which has made possible the service we offer, has been from the beginning the presence of laity from the parishes and universities of the State of Massachusetts, which later extended to other Catholic volunteers and volunteers from other religions, with whom we have worked, side by side. They have provided funding, advice and specialized work according to their talents and preparation, for long or short periods of time. For several years we have had the support and collaboration of Honduran professionals and lately the support and advice of UNITEC, a technical university in Honduras. From its beginnings, the Marie Poussepin Center works with volunteers, both Honduran and from the United States, and since 2012 a group of Honduran Associates participates with us.

 
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Human promotion at Nazareth Farm

One of our lay collaborators sensed the need to ensure the continuity of the work started and donated a farm with an extension of 20 acres for agriculture and 173 acres of forest. Little by little, and thanks to the financing of small projects, we have made it ecologically cultivable. Mahogany trees, fruit trees, medicinal plants, coffee and banana have been planted and lately, thanks to the construction of "casa mallas" (greenhouses) we can cultivate green pepper, kidney beans and tomato more effectively.

In addition to providing medicinal plants to the clinic and providing food products for the nourishment of our young women, the farm secures a very important economic resource for the Center, it is a source of work for men and women with large families and has become an incentive for our neighbors, who are now encouraged to cultivate their lands. The agricultural work on the farm is part of the training of our students and gives their parents an opportunity to collaborate actively with the Center.

The community of Guaimaca, today

Our community, composed of seven sisters, enjoys the richness of internationality and the fact of having since 2014 an extension in the formation house in Tegucigalpa, the capital. We and the young women in formation are inserted in the parish and we ensure a pastoral presence in several villages. 

In both places, we see ourselves living the Charism of Marie Poussepin, through a work that liberates from ignorance with all its consequences; a healing work of body and spirit; a redeeming work that opens perspectives of self-realization to people and families. In this triple mission, the protagonists are the same beneficiaries. With them and for them we are opening paths in which God always meets us, and makes us experience his Divine Providence daily.

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