Womens Group Update

General Information
Currently the women’s group is holding meetings every Thursday of each week at 2pm. Among the strengths of the group has been the identification of objectives and goals for the short, médium and long-term. Additionally the group has developed rules and regulations and is working on the development of a work plan. The groups solicitation for supplies from CARE International has been approved, however they are still waiting for all the goods to be granted to them.
The group has been working on selling food each weekend and catering meetings and events for organizations or special occasions. They are recently decided that for each activity they do, a certain percentage will go towards the group as a whole and be put in the bank and the other portion will be divided amongst the group of women, however the specific amongst have yet to be determined.
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Arts & Cultural Festival Update

General Information
Despite not having received funds or one positive funding request, in April of 2011 we decided to hold another arts and cultural festival due to the high demand and interest from the part of the communities. Kency Cantillano, former Un Mundo practicum student offered to volunteer and Benjamin Henle, former Festival coordinate both offered their time to coordinate the Project for three month, allowing for the planning to be done with much detail and success. We also tightened the budget was to accomplish project goals with limited funds.
We received applications and interest from artists from all over the world, and in the end we selected two artists from Oaxaca, three from Tegucigalpa, three from La Ceiba and one from the Cangrejal Valley community of Las Mangas.
Each artist was placed in a different community and school where they spent three weeks developing a Project with selected students. Leading up to the arrival of the artista, Un Mundo staff meet with all the school directors and supporting teachers regarding the Project and the expectation and requirements of each school. Additionally the support committee worked on the planning for food sales during the final event, each community building a small hut to publicize their community. We also identified and partnered with various organizations, small business and non-profits who participated in the final culminating event.
Although we solicited over 30 or more organizations and individuals for sponsorships locally, nationally and internationally, we only received positive responses from National Institute of Youth, Secretary of Arts, Culture and Sports and Dole Fruit
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New Horizons Scholarship Project Update

General Information
This Project is in a waiting phase currently, which is due to the university matriculation and admission process not starting until later in the year. However, we have been working in the planning and preparation for the two scholarship students who will start working with Un Mundo on August 1, 2011. Additionally during these months we have been carrying out an evaluation of the selection process with selection committee members as well as informing parents and scholarship students of when they will be integrated into the organization.
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High School Project Update

General Information
The construction of the workshop phase of IOPEPM high school commenced in late April. Over the past three months, the construction has focused primary on the preparation of the land and the underground drainage system which will protect the building from risk in the future . The Transparency Committee is meeting every Friday at 4pm with Un Mundo’s project directors for planning of the activities for the following week. Additionally, the committee has been preparing financial and narrative reports at the completion of every $5000 disbursement which is being submitted and approved by both Un Mundo and Minke. In early May, Minke held a radio-a-thon fundraiser for the project, where live phone interviews were carried out on the radio with Un Mundo staff and Transparency Committee members. The transparency committee is a group that has developed much autonomy in making decisions, having great independence and ability to function on their own.
Currently the workers, who are all local community members are paid daily L170 for helpers and L300 for brick-layers. Since this payment is lower than minimum wage, each worker is donating L30 of their labor for ever day worked, in addition to one full day a week of donated labor
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Library Project Update

General Information
The library Project consists of a Board of Directors and support committee, with the objective of constructing a community library in El Pital, which will be located above the existing kindergarden. Due to the site chosen for the construction, the project objectives were redefined and the infrastructural phases of the project will include the construction of the library, in addition to reconstruction of the kindergarden.
The Board of Director has begun over the past few months a series of training with the objective of strengthening the group organization and improving their functionality. Additionally the board have obtained with the collaboration of the municipality a document signed by legal authorizes giving positive approval and foresight for the construction of the library in the area proposed and authorizing the land to be used for the proposed purposes.
It is important to mention that over the past few months, the Board of Directors has continued to work more closely and unified with the kindergarden’s committee of parents with the idea of uniting forces to work for the same cause. Currently, the two groups are holding various meeting and trainings together, have begun to work on the floor plans for the two spaces and are planning fundraising activities together during the next few months. The two groups recently defined their visión and misión and objectivs for the short, médium and long-term, which will useful for the development and planning of the project.
The Honduran Secretary for the Arts, Culture and Sports recently granted a large book donation, which had been solicited by Un Mundo.
Local volunteers, Durkis Acosta and youth Melvin Reyes, Denny and Danny Perez have continued to offer monthly story time in El Pital the first Sunday of each month. In May the group of volunteers was joined by the Un Mundo practicum students who prepared a play for the kids, making it one of the better story-time activities. In June, attendance was so low that the activity was canceled and in July there was no story-time due to date conflicts with the arts and cultural festival.
In the month of April the above volunteers carried out the bibliobandido activity in the community of Los Planes, traveling 8 hours round trip – on foot to reach the most remote school in the Valley. In May Bibliobandido visited the school of Japon, completing the first round of visits to the remote schools of the Valley. Since completion of first visits to all the schools in June, Bibliobandido is being evaluated by current staff and volunteers and will be making improvements and changes to the current programming based on the results. Activities are proposed to resume in September 2011.
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Special Education Project Update

General Information
The Special Education and Health Association of the Cangrejal Valley (ASEC) is currently composed of 13 children, 7 boys and 6 girls.
During this past quarter, Carolos Alfredo, one of the participating children, who has been unable to attend school this year due to severe convulsions, was brought to a specialist. The specialist prescribed medication, which after a few weeks his mother found was not working as he continued to convulse, some days worse than before. Finally, he was brought back to the specialist and prescribed different medications which to date seem to be improving his condition. The doctors also shared with Alfredo’s mother a plan for controlling the application of his medication.
The parent committee for this project recently created their organization bylaws which will allow them to be able to solicit for legal ngo corporation in Honduras. Additionally the land commission of the project has been wrking on identifying donated land for the local school and clinic that the group would like to construct in the coming years. Three pieces of land have been identified and offered by local government groups or land owners in El Naranjo, Las Mangas and Toncontin.
We also received $5000 grant from SG Foundation for the continuation of the project this year. Additionally the SG Foundation has agreed to give another $4000 if Un Mundo can first raise an additional $4000 for the project this year. In the case that the $4000 is not raised, SG will grant Un Mundo $1 for every additional dollar raised.

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Introducing Elias Santos Dubon

My name is Elias Santos Dubon and I live in the community of El Pital.  I have been working for Un Mundo as the Project Coordinator, organizing all the different projects with the Cangrejal Valley, among which I have had many difficulties and succeses.. I started my work with Un Mundo in March of 2011.

In July of 2010, I began my journey with Un Mundo as one of the first practicum students that Un Mundo had ever received.  During my practicum, I worked on the special education Project, where I helped conduct community survey’s evaluating all the individuals with various special needs in the rural Cangrejal Valley. I had an incredibly unique experience where I learned many things which continue to help me such as understanding the necesity to improve the development and learning for children with special needs.  Additionally the experience taught me how to treat children, now understanding that this work requires positive energy and a committment to volunteering.

It was no simple task to complete the special needs investigation during my practicum because we often had to hike 5 hours to get to some of the communities where the children live.  But dispute the difficulty, I did each activity with love and affection.  During the month of June, upon completion of the investigations, I prepared a presentation for the parents of the involved children. Although a good learning experience, this was very challenging for me to speak in front of many adults and professionals who were much older than me, especially becuase I did not feel completely prepared to present all the information about the Project, especially since I was still learning myself.  However, despite my apprehension, I did the presentation and everything went great!

After two months working for Un Mundo at the end of August 2010, I completed my practicum, not quite really to return to school because I was actually beginning to enjoy working with the organization and it was hard to leave this positive environment that I had begun to feel a part of.  I continued to work as a volunteer for Un Mundo after I completed my praticum, helping gain more work experience which I thought could eventually help me with future jobs or continuing to study.  During the months I was volunteering, I showed my strong interest in the projects and work, however I never imagined I would become a employee of Un Mundo.

In March 1 of 2011, Un Mundo hired me to work with the organization in the role of Project coordinador.  This day was such a special moment for me because I had obtained work in my own community, allowing me to help my parent economically, providing me access to improve my life. I also felt somewhat prepared for the work given my understanding and knowledge of the organization. During the past few months, I have worked so hard to complete the responsibilities expected of me of all the Project Coordinator for Un Mundo. I have had many successes and many challenges.

Sometime I experience things that make me want to cry because I encounter such poverty and illness in the communities, where the people often have no one to help their situation.  At times this had made me so sad, but at the same time has helped me understand the need and how to treat and help other people.  It has also taught me to value the work and opinions of each and every person despite their age or level of education.

Given many of these struggles that I have witnessed, we have many great projects to help and bring happiness to many people in this region.  One our the projects that I work most closely with is the Library project, which has two programming activities per month; the mobile library (bibliobandido) and the story time in El Pital.

Leading the bibliobandido project, we face many challenges such as changing the way people’s view of reading or sometime we don’t have enough volunteers to carry out an activity.  Additionally this activity is super challenging because this activity takes place in the most remote communities in the Valley, sometimes having to walk for hours, often arriving to a community really tired with little energy to ensure a successful activity. The abilities or personalities of the children are really different in each community, some making it hard to plan well.  For example in some communities the children are curious, playful and happy and in others they are timid, afraid or have minimal education. However the kids are in each community is never their fault, only simply a result of having little access to resources because these communities are really far away from the main road.  All of these experiences have been difficult because we have not always been prepared to deal with all these differences and due to this we aren’t always able to meet tour project goals.

While there have been many struggles, there have also been many successes such as developing leadership among three kids from my own community named Melvin, Danny y Denny.  These three kids are in charge of the mobile library Project and story time.  I feel very proud of them for the leadership role that they have taken on with this important Project.  I have learned so much from the people within the organization and how to prepare other people like these three kids to be leaders and have us all be examples for the rest of our community.

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Arte_Río Project Update

The ARTE_RIO project 2011 is the process of execution for the planning of the project. The time line estimates are:
  • June 09: Artist arrival
  • June 10-12: Artist orientation
  • June 13-17: First week of the workshop
  • June20-24: Second week of the workshop
  • June 27-July 1: Third week of the workshop
  • July 02: Culminating Event
  • July 03-05: Artist Evaluations
Kency Cantillano will collaborate as the Project Coordinator with the support of Benjamin Henle as the former Event Coordinator of 2010

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    New Horizons Project Update

    The New Horizons project selected two scholarships for 2011 which were given to Eldy Carcamo who graduated from the Instituto Polivalente, and Heydi Banegas from the Instituto El Rey. However, due to University admission dates and policy, they will not be able to start school this year; the admissions tests only take place in December.

    A committee was setup in order to choose the qualified candidates for the two scholarships and meeting weekly during February and March of 2011. The committee was headed by the President of the local governing bodies of El Pital, Toncontin, Urraco and El Paraiso, a representative from the Instituto Polivalente and Instituto El Rey, as well as a representative from Guarama and Un Mundo.

    This committee was responsible for deciding who were the two best candidates according to their profile and requirements established by themselves with the approval of Un Mundo. The process of candidate selection by the committee consisted in the following: 1)Socialization of the project with the committee. 2)Revise and develop the project. 3)Orient the candidates’ parents and the aspiring scholarship applicants about the project. 4) Review all curriculums 5) Interview applicants 6)Home visits and social economic investigations 7)Selecting and approving the best candidates

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      Women’s Group Project Update

      It can be said there is diversity in terms of the general composition of the group; single mothers, housewives, students, merchants, elderly community members, and young men and women as well. This gives the group a balance in terms of experience.

      Just like any other group, this one has had its highs and lows. However, they have shown much optimism and perseverance. This group of women has lifted itself up and strengthened with the incorporation of more community members. After losing five fundamental members last fall, the group reorganized themselves early this year and is now composed of 15 women and their board of directors that was chosen March 17. The following is a list of the existing board of directors:

      President: Fernanda Garcia, Vice President: Xiomara Pinto, Secretary: Alba Sanchez, Treasurer: Doris Jovel, Fiscal: Sulma Cantillano, Vocal I: Sonia Murillo, Vocal II: Maria Aurelia Guevara

      Meeting schedules are set for every Thursday at 2:00 PM. The women’s group has solicited equipment and kitchen utensils valued at L. 100,000.00 to the organization, CARE International. According to their organizational liaison, the request has been approved. It should be noted that the group of women has already identified their short and long term goals and objectives which will be incorporated in their working agenda.

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