A nine member team from Perrysburg Rotary traveled to San Pedro Sula, Honduras to implement Rotary’s part in a Health, Hunger and Humanity project in the mountains above San Pedro Sula.
The team composed of Steve Day, Walt Celley, Jim House, Steve Hopkins, Pinky Edens, Landon Day, Bill Rogers, Judith Reitzel and Dwight Osterud traveled into the Merendon Mountains above San Pedro Sula to install water filtration devices and justa stoves in the Villages of San Jose and Buenos Aires.
The filtration system removes most of the contaminates found in the water and greatly reduces the incidents of gastrointestinal maladies of the children. The justa stoves reduce the amount of wood used for cooking and vent the wood smoke outside the dwelling rather than smoke up the entire home. Consequently, it provides a positive ecological impact on the amount of wood being consumed and improves the health of the families.
The journey up the mountain was difficult considering the steep grade on unpaved and rutted roads. At one point the front wheel of one of the trucks nearly went over a cliff. The journey was well worth the effort, however. Every member of the team took part in the installation of the water filtration system and building the justa stoves. The team visited two locations in the mountains and was welcomed graciously by the families. Pinky Edens and Judy Reitzel brought paper and drawing materials for the children who gathered in the one-room school to draw and paint. Paper is not a commodity usually found in schools in the mountains.
The 3H project is a long term international self-help and grassroots development project that uses an integrated approach to address humanitarian needs. It is funded entirely by Rotary International Foundation. Bob Ruehl of Lima, Ohio Rotary Club coordinated the project in Honduras. He was on location from January 15 to February 15. The project incorporates several program components, including a combination of sustainable factors such as training, community participation, capital assets and technical expertise from Rotarians and other sources. The mission has had a profound impression on all the team members.
“As my brain fades at the end, the last memories to go will be that trip to the Honduras,” said Pinky Edens.
The people were appreciative of everything team members helped them with. They may not have a lot but what they have is clean and the children are happy.
Steve Hopkins remarked “Yes, it will be with me for a long time I think; how do I put it in words....the blessings are the people we traveled with, worked among, and those that we served.”
Steve Day said “our trip was the most memorable and productive that I have ever had. The team work was incredible.”
The project, if successful, is a blueprint for other communities in Latin America.
Perrysburg Municipal Court judge Dwight Osterud released this story and photos to The Press after his mission trip with several other Rotary Club members to Honduras to install water filtration devices and justa stoves.