Honduras: KinderCare & Hurricane Shelter
Founded: Fall 2006
NGO: Honduras Children
Location: El Porvenir, Honduras
Majors: Primarily Undergraduate Engineering Majors - Civil, Environmental, Mechanical, and Chemical
El Porvenir is a community west of La Ceiba, the largest Caribbean coastal city in Honduras. Although El Porvenir literally means “the future”, this community has become an impoverished and hidden sector of the city. Residents of El Porvenir find work at the nearby pineapple plantations or the beach cantinas, often leaving children unattended during the day. Schools in the area are open unpredictably and many of El Porvenir’s children are looked after daily by the community’s elder women, known as The Grandmas. EWB-MTU has been contacted to help support The Grandmas by designing and building a day-care/nutrition center for the child-ren of El Porvenir.
Several Grandmothers in El Porvenir look after 35-40 children who are often lacking proper nourishment and education. Resources are needed to help provide a nutritious meal and education. Honduras Children, a local non-profit, would like to build a daycare/nutrition center to serve the community. The project is divided into 4 specific tasks: 1) drinking water, 2) sanitation, 3) site layout and structure, and most importantly, 4) child well-being, health and education.
The Michigan Tech chapter has traveled on three assessment trips to El Porvenir, once in Summer of 2006, July, 2007 and again in March 2009. They assessed the health standards, surveyed the site for elevations, determined water quality and sanitation standards, and work with the community to ensure that the daycare center will be a useful and sustainable project.
The short term goals are to provide a center where up to 40 children per day may obtain 1 hot nutritious meal and housing for a permanent teacher at the nutrition center. The center will have onsite sanitation, power from the grid, and drinking water piped from the cloud-forest source in nearby mountains and that is flash chlorinated once annually. The long term plan is to hold reading, science and computer classes for children through the teenage years. Finally, a designated area of the center may also be used for classes and a social area for the women in the community. 1 director, 2 paid staff, and 2 full-time volunteers will staff the daycare/nutrition center.
Between and after the assessment trips, the Michigan Tech team is working to complete an initial design for the four project areas (water, sanitation, structure and child well-being). This project will ensure the community’s participation, interest and ownership in the project. A final design will be completed in Spring 2010, to be implemented as soon as the NGO obtain money to fund the project (Hopefully August 2010 or March 2011.
EWB-MTU hopes to move the development and quality of life in El Porvenir forward by encouraging ‘green design’ and sustainability in this project. EWB-MTU is working to build the best possible daycare center within the local culture, using local materials and labor and encouraging community ownership. EWB is also pursuing partnerships with other NGOs and humanitarian organizations to support and complete this project.
Honduras Children Purpose:
Honduras Children is a diverse group of volunteers and sponsors collectively working to make life better for children in the La Ceiba area of the north coast of Honduras. The organization works together to support their education, nutrition, families and communities. By facilitating the interaction between culturally deprived children and our amazing, caring sponsors and volunteers, we expand the children’s horizons while in turn, providing our volunteers and sponsors with life changing opportunities to give to children who deserve so much more than they have.