Building a Better Honduras
Since 2008, teams lead by Millbrook Baptist members Debbie Crumpler and Gregg Mealor have worked to build houses for the very poor in San Nicolas, Honduras. This mission work has resulted in 12 houses, inhabited by 51 people, ranging in age from infants to the elderly. Although the houses are simple block construction with a steel roof, and at 19 feet by 19 feet are smaller than most of our garages, they are laterally lifesaving to those families who have no safe place to live. The impact is beyond shelter, as now, mothers can keep their children safe and begin to live with dignity. We have seen children stay in school and not immigrate to the US. We have seen illiterate mothers begin to learn to read as middle aged adults. We have seen children who suffered from severe health issues become healthy because of the home is clean and the fire from the wood burning cooking stove is not vented into the living space.
This effort and money donated toward this activity is multiplied 3 fold, as the municipality provides land, labor and other assistance and a Chicago donor provides support for stoves for the homes and additional support toward labor costs.
This mission is in conjunction with the Dorcus sewing ministry, who, over the course of the year, sews children’s clothing which is distributed to children in San Nicolas. In some cases, this will be the child’s only new clothing they will ever receive. If you sew, please consider learning more about this ministry
Donations are accepted year round and if interested you can join the team for the next trip. You do not have to be a member of Millbrook to donate or to join the team. The work is hard, but the experience is life changing for the people and will be for you.
There are numerous ways to participate in this mission project including prayer, monetary donations, or joining the team. The team leaders are Debbie Crumpler and Gregg Mealor. You can contact them at email@example.com or leave a message at the church office. You may also contact Steven Lingafelt who joined the team in 2014 and 2015.
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Human Impact 7 Years: 12 Houses – 51 Individuals
|2009||1||Mother (Rosa Elena Isidro) with 5 children ages 3 to 16|
|2010||2||Mother (Margarita Isidro) with 3 children – twins (boy & girl) 2 ½ , daughter 10|
|2011||3||Mother (Maria Eulalia Enamorado – 60 years old, adult son Jose Daniel Sanchez Enamorado|
|2012||4||Mother (Reina Florentina Guzman Lopez), Husband (Santos Onorato Arita) and daughter Sonia Maribel Arita – age 12|
|2012||5*||Mother (Dolores Santos), Grandmother (Leonor Benitez) and daughter Maria Daniela Santos – age 8|
|2013||6||Mother (Sandra Yolanda Bejarano), Husband (Jorge Eli Pena) and two sons and two daughters|
|2013||7||Mother (Guadalupe Villanueva) with 3 daughters|
|2014||8||Mother (Reyna Isabel Aguilar Lara) and 4 children ages 3 to 11|
|2014||9||Mother (Erenia Yanet Monroy) and 6 children ages 2 to 18|
|2015||10||Mother (Marilu Espana Cortes) and 6 children ages 10 months to age 15|
|2015||11||Mother (Dilcia Xiomara Herrera) and 2 daughters ages 3 and 11|
|2015||12||Mother (Rosa Elvira Martinez Villeda) and 2 sons ages 7 and 10|
|2016||13||Wife, husband (Natalia Benítez Portillo , Oscar Morales ) and 3 children ages 5 , 8 and 14|
|2016||14||Mother (Rosa Lidia Morán Mejía ), grandmother, brother and 2 daughters ages 3 and 8|
|2016||15||Wife, husband (Floridalma Vásquez Molina , Javier Geovanny Orellana ) and 4 children ages 15 months to 9 years|
|2016||16||Mother (Roxana Yamileth Mejía), domestic partner and 3 daughters ages 4 to 17|
|2016||17||Mother (Ana Isabel Vásquez ), domestic partner, brother (age 14) and 2 children ages 4 & 5|
|2016||18||Mother (Maritza Vásquez Ulloa), domestic partner, and 3 children ages 18 months to 7 years|
|2017||19||Mother (Tomasa Martínez), Father (Marciano Contreras), 1 daughter age 10|
|2017||20||Mother (Marlen Suyapa Mejía), 5 children (all daughters) ages 3 to 17|
|2017||21||Mother (Wendy Patricia Mejía), daughter age 20 (Yenifer Merari Mejía), 4 children (all sons) ages 3 to 14|
|2017||22||Mother (Cristina López), son age 23 (Manuel Antonio Recino), daughter age 21 (Alba Maribel Recinos), 5 children ages 6 to 18|
|2017||23||Mother (María Juana Pérez Gutiérrez), Father (Manuel de Jesús Martínez), 2 daughters ages 4 & 7|
|TOTAL||23||39 adults and 72 children (32 boys, 40 girls) = 111 people|
History of Building a Better Honduras
In 2008 we were introduced by Jose Rodas to an opportunity to partner with a local municipality, San Nicolas de Copán in Honduras. The municipality had land set aside for homes to be built for the neediest residents of the community and were looking for churches and other charitable organizations that could provide materials and labor. Jose serves as the construction supervisor, translator, historian, and provides transportation for the group.
In 2009, a team of 5, including 2 from Millbrook, travelled to San Nicholas for 10 days to build a house for Rosa. Rosa is a single mother with 5 children who were ages 2 to 13, who were all living with her sister, Margarita, and her 3 young children in a three room structure with 3 walls and dirt floors. Rosa’s new home consists of a 380 square foot cinder block house with 2 bedrooms, a bath and combination kitchen/living room. Both Rosa and her children worked alongside the volunteers every day to put in their required sweat equity.
In 2010, another team returned to San Nicholas for an 11 day trip to work on a home for Margarita, Rosa’s sister. Margarita worked alongside the volunteers working on her new home with help from Rosa and Rosa’s sons. The team learned that the home where Rosa and Margarita had been living was about to be torn down because it had been built on government land in the path of a new highway under construction.
In 2011, the team returned to San Nicholas to build a house for Maria and her 2 sons, one of whom is disabled. Because Maria was employed and was not able to provide the required sweat equity, she paid the salary of one Mason in exchange. In an act of community spirit, Margarita, Rosa, and Rosas sons helped with the construction of Maria’s home. Additionally, local high school students spent two mornings volunteering with the construction. We were able to distribute dresses and shirt and shorts sets made by Millbrook’s Dorcas Sewing Ministry to the children in the community.
In 2012, we made another successful trip to San Nicolas in August. A combination of great weather, the trust relationships built up over the years, and lots of good luck, we were able to fully construct a home for a husband, wife and daughter. The family told us they had dreamed of this for a long time and often thought it could never happen. Again the prior recipients chipped in every day to help another family join their community as fellow neighbors. We also distributed numerous clothing items sewn by our Dorcas Sewing Ministry and brought smiles to children throughout the community with additional donated items.
In 2013, the team traveled to the San Nicolas, Copan community to build another two homes for families selected by the municipality. These homes were a duplex, which saves building materials by sharing a common wall, rook and part of the foundation. One family of six lived in a one room dwelling without running water, electricity or toilet with family income averaging $15 per week. The second faimly consisted of a single mom and three children, one of whom has respiratory problems, attempting to survive on $20 or less per week. Clothing created by the Dorcus sewing ministry was distributed to many children.
In 2014, the team traveled in August to San Nicolas and two homes were constructed. One family was a single mother with 4 children, ages 3 to 11. The mom earns about $6 per week making fireworks. The second family was a single mother with 6 children. This was a particularly tragic situation, in that the lady’s first husband was murdered and the lady’s second husband, a policeman, was also murdered, leaving her with 6 children to support. The mom is providing for her family by selling used clothing, from which she earns about $5.50 per week. The Dorcus sewing ministry worked the full year prior to the trip, sewing 50 dresses and 50 shorts & t-shirt sets, which were distributed to the children.
In 2015, the team returned to San Nicolas in July to construct 3 homes, which is the largest number of homes constructed in a single year. Although not completed with the team left, the houses will be completed by local labor within a few weeks. This brings the total constructed to 12 homes. One family of 6 children, ranging in age from 10 months to 15 years, led by a single mom will occupy half of a duplex (19’ x 19’). The mom has a weekly income of about $6.85 from washing and ironing cloths and selling oranges. The other half of the duplex (also 19’ x 19’)will be occupied by a single mom with two children. The mom earns about $9.00 per week doing household chores and working as a farm laborer. The third home is occupied by a single mom with 2 children. This mom makes about $12 per week as a maid. The Dorcus sewing ministry, as in years past, began sewing cloths for the 2015 trip as soon as the team left in August 2014 and 82 dresses and 50 shorts & t-shirt sets were distributed to the children.
In 2016, the team arrived in San Nicolas in August to begin the construction of 6 homes (3 duplexes), a significant increase in the number of homes constructed in a single year. These homes will provide a safe and clean environment for 13 adults and 18 children, the youngest being 18 months and the oldest a grandmother of many years. This year the team was bolstered by Reah Foster from Rogers, Arkansas. Reah’s church, New Hope Assembly of God, has financially supported this mission from the beginning. The Dorcus Sewing Ministry provided 85 sets of dresses, shorts and tops, which were distributed to those in the community. Please open the 2016 report to the church (link located on this page) to see pictures of each family and the children who received clothing from the Dorcus Sewing Ministry.
In 2017, a team of 6 traveled to San Nicolas in August to begin construction of 5 homes. Three homes were single family homes at two locations in San Nicolas, perhaps a mile from the construction of last year. Homes 4 and 5 are in a duplex adjacent to the homes constructed last year. This year, in addition to the Dorcus Sewing Ministry providing 78 dresses, shorts and tops, 60 school sets (2 composition books for high school students, 3 composition books for elementary students), 27 dental and personal hygiene kits, and 20 pairs of shoes were distributed. Of particular note this year was the improvements in living conditions in the houses constructed in prior years. The team observed that in the small (about 4 feet space) around the homes, some homes now had a chicken or two and a few had planted banana trees, thus the folks are continuing to build a better life, thanks in part to the generosity of those who have given in prior years. It is notable that with the work of this year, more than 100 people have a home. Please open either the 2017 report to the church or the report of each family in their home.