Supporting the children of Honduras
and their families since 1973
Lenca Distribution

Distribution of food and trees to the Lencas prior to the Covid-19 lockdown

I trust that you are all well and adapting to this new way of life. I should be writing the newsletter now but have no means of getting it printed. So, I thought I would share (with those of you that have e-mail) the news as I write it.

Honduras has been in lockdown now for two weeks. This has just been extended until 12th April. Their health system is very fragile and has been ravaged by corruption. The biggest fear is that any financial aid will be mis-appropriated, as it has been in the past. As in many African countries, the poor are robbed by the upper levels of government, officials and the armed forces. Please pray that this will not happen.

The mums with babies and toddlers get a box of baby milk as well as a food bag. This was summer.

Honduras does not have any structure for social support so, if you do not have   money, you may starve. There must be a lot of desperate mothers who have no money and cannot get out to work to earn any to buy food. The government are trying to send out packs of basic foods, such as Cesar takes to the Lenca. Unfortunately, these will only reach a few. The men delivering them are to be seen huddled together in the back of a pickup truck with scarves around their mouths for protection. They could, in fact, be a cause of spreading the virus around the country. We are encouraged to wash our hands as much as possible but when water is in short supply, as drought conditions still prevail, this is not easy.

Lenca children got a lollipop as well as a biscuit and juice.

Now to more cheerful news. Cesar, Ada and some of his friends such as Santos managed to make a trip up the Lencas with 800 food bags, 200 fruit trees. I learnt that Santos, our chief builder, originates from this area and has made several trips. This particular trip was marked by very cold weather and a clinging damp mist. Looking at the photos, you wonder how cold some of these people and children feel. They do not have the thick clothing necessary for the cold.


The team transferred into four wheel drive trucks to get them up the mountain.


This lorry was full of these food bags when it left.


You lick the inside of the biscuit before you eat the rest. This treat does not come very often so you need to make it last.

This Lenca little girl in all her finery was taken in the summer months.

On this visit they took 200 fruit trees of varying varieties. These are usually given out one per family but they farm communally and so they aim to always have a crop in season as the trees mature. This trip included lemon grass plus a fruit used for juice that I have not heard before. The others are the more common fruits such as oranges, lemons, Guava and mangos.



Seed planting by the men of this hamlet.

Santos, our builder was also needed on this trip, as we are looking into piping water from the local reservoir to the Lenca community in this area. You might ask why a children’s charity is trying to supply water? Currently we need to take bags of basic foods three times a year to this community, because most of the children and adults suffer from malnutrition, as defined by the world health organisation.  However, transporting bags of food for six or seven hours, three times a year is not moving these people forward in terms of food security. Two years ago, we bought seed so that they could grow their own food. Seed is easier to carry and produces more food for the cost. Sadly, we found that the corn and beans failed due to lack of rain. The smaller seed crops did better. Since then we have supplied small seeds and fruit trees. The Lencas are an agriculture based people which need to grow saleable crops in order to survive.

Lack of rain and the hot sun have destroyed this crop of maize.

Water is a problem in this drought corridor, which stretches across parts of Latin America. So, we started looking into how the Lenca situation might be improved. We were told that there was a reservoir nearby, so Cesar and Pauleto the Mayor started asking questions and looking for answers. Pauleto journeyed to the capital, Tegucigalpa, to get permission from the government department to access water from the reservoir. This happens to be the office where Ada, Cesar sister, works. Permission was granted but the need remains to transport the water and store it.

This is the water tank it looks a bit like a Mayan temple.

During the trip, they visited a block built tank that was built 36 years ago.  Sadly, it leaks badly and so is not fit for purpose. Cesar took a qualified engineer with him to inspect this tank and advise on the project. The conclusion was that the tank could be patched up but it would only be good for about two years. Ideally, we need to build a new tank. We began looking to build a tank the same size but the people requested one half as big again. This is understandable as the more water they have, the more crops they can grow. The other consideration is that water is only turned on for a few hours on relatively few days, so you have to collect as much as possible. I remember visiting a pastor and his wife many years ago. They had a pila, a large concrete tank, like a tall horse trough. They had a hose pipe in the corner with a trickle of water coming out all the time. This is typical of the water supply in Honduras. No pressure! You rejoice if water comes out of the tap. The water pressure is virtually non-existent unless you have a header tank. Such tanks can only be afforded by the financially well off.

No decision has been made yet as we await quotes from the engineer. It would be nice to build the larger one as it will probably be the only one they get in the next 36 years. Under guidance, the community will provide all the labour needed to help keep the cost down. We learnt that there was piping in place from the reservoir to the tank but this will probably need replacing in places. I dream that one day that I will be able to stop taking bags of food to the Lenca community, in La Paz, because they will no longer need them. This is the aim of the project.

God bless you all