The Honduras Water Project is a service-learning field course in development that happens for 3 weeks each May. The course involves pre-trip classes, reading journals, a group project, as well as an overnight retreat. The Honduras Water Project provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge by helping bring running water to impoverished people in Honduras. Students receive credit in the Social Science program at King’s for their involvement. The Project is also a great opportunity for students to get exposure to another culture and gain field experience in the application of development principles and practices.
The King’s University has been partnered with World Renew (formerly CRWRC) the Northern Alberta Diaconal Conference, and Diaconia Nacional (Honduras) for more than 20 years to make what we call The Honduras Water Project possible.
For most of us in Canada, taking a drink of clean, safe water is just a matter of walking to the tap in our home or workplace, and doing just that – having a nice cool drink. For many people in developing countries, however, that is just a dream or simply not possible. Their water source may be contaminated, or it may be quite a distance away from their village and needs to be carried home.
Since we began, teams of approximately 10-15 students from the King’s University have traveled to remote villages in Honduras, to assist people in obtaining safe, clean drinking water and to learn the principles and practices of sustainable community development. They do this by building a simple, effective low-maintenance gravity water system. Most of the team members are young adults who give up a month’s wages or more to contribute to an important development project that also builds a relationship between communities in Canada and Honduras.
Many organizations and churches contribute financially to provide the materials for the projects; pipes, mortar, sometimes a pump, tools, standpipes, etc. However, team members need to raise the funds to get to Honduras, and cover the cost of board-and-room and transportation while they are in the country. The teams will be involved in several fund-raisers including car washes, silent auctions, bake sales, local yard clean ups, et cetera in order to raise their trip fees of approximately $3500 each.
To make a donation to this year’s team click here and enter “Honduras Water Project” under the “Specify how to designate donation” option.
Who do we serve?
The community that the 2016 HWP team worked in was Varsovia, one of the 8 districts of the Azacualpa community in the southern Honduras municipality of El Triunfo, Choluteca. The population of the community is 327 inhabitants distributed in 89 houses and has some basic services such as electricity, mobile phone and public school from grade 1-6.
The main sources of income for members of the community are related to agriculture as a means of subsistence. Another small group in the community dedicate themselves to work in the shrimp industry. Most of this group is engaged in wage labor, earning an average of $5.00 per day which helps them to support their families.
One of the vital needs of the community is potable water for human consumption since there are no clean water sources nearby. There is a well some distance away, however during the summer season it dries up leaving families to wait in line for long periods of time in order to obtain two buckets of water. This water is used for drinking only and the nearby river water is used to wash clothes, shower, and for hauling homes for cleaning. The children are the most affected by the poor water availability as they suffer from many diseases such as diarrhea, vomiting and parasites, as well as poor hygiene. One of the alternatives to solve this need would be to have a potable water project that helps to bring water through pipes to each one of the homes.
“The Honduras Water Project was an opportunity to develop cross-cultural ties of trust and respect so as to restore the broken relationships between Hondurans and the Western world. We came to serve, to learn and to connect. As we learned the community’s story, we were able to envision the web of unjust events and actions that brought it into the current state of poverty. We realized the importance of healing and restoration in all forms: for truly it is this which enables people to endure, hope and rediscover purpose in a world that fails them. Whether breaking ground or breaking bread together with the Hondurans, I was so often struck with my desire to do exactly what I was doing at that moment: to serve and share in the lives of developing communities in need.”
– Jordyn Brandsma