LA AVISPA, HONDURAS
On February 13, 2012 the Council of Inglewood Christian Reformed Church agreed to continue to explore a 5 year partnership with a community in Honduras. The proposal presented is at below this paragraph. Over the past 6 months some conversations started to emerge from a number of different areas and voices around topic of an intergenerational – third world service trip. This conversation evolved into a partnership conversation with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC). The focus on Honduras was simply a response to the work Inglewood CRC has already been involved with over the years such as water projects & Houses for Honduras.
The next steps are coming together quickly. Henry Bosch has been invited to a water project opening in Honduras at the end of February. During this trip he will be connecting with the local CRWRC workers in the community of La Avispa, the potential communtiy Inglewood CRC is looking to partner with. If you have any questions about this project please contact Henry Bosch or Marina VanderGrind through the church office.
INTRODUCTION TO THE POTENTIAL COMMUNITY
The aldea or village of La Avispa is located 35 km east of the municipality of San Francisco de la Paz and its road is only accessible during the summer months. This community maintains a population of approximately 535 inhabitants distributed into 86 houses in 5 neighbourhoods (El Urraco, Las Flores, La Ranchería, La Colonia and La Avispa). 35 have emigrated abroad. The community has some public services including potable water (in poor condition), a public school house, a kindergarten (run out of someone´s home), a cemetery, landline and mobile telephones (in some households), a community centre, and a health centre under construction. On the spiritual side, La Avispa has three churches; a Christian Reformed Church, a BaptistChurch, and a Catholic Church. Organizational features in the community consist of a community board or patronato, a society of parents with children in the school and kindergarten, a water board, a local disasters committee CODEL, and a housewives club. This community is considered one of the most productive zones in the county of San Francisco de la Paz. The principal sources of income are related to agriculture. Farmers primarily cultivate corn, beans, coffee and some families are lucky to have cattle which may be small in scale but provides excellent returns on the sale of milk and cows.
HISTORY OF THE COMMUNITY
According to the story of an elderly man, don Rufino Flores, the name of the community originates from the first inhabitant who arrived to the area and was stung by a wasp and gave it the name La Avispa (The Wasp). The community began with 5 families in the year 1900 and first settlers to arrive were: Cupertino and Vicente Calix, Guadalupe Girón, Genero Padilla, and Martin Salinas all from the nearby village of Guacoca.
The neighbourhoods of La Avispa also have stories behind their names. El Urraco was named after the abundance of Urraco trees found there. The name Las Flores was inspired by a group of pretty girls which all the people called the flowers (las flores). La Ranchería owes its name to that fact that in that time there weren´t any houses made of tile or metal roofs, they were only ranches using the technique of grass and sticks to make the roof. The neighbourhood of La Avispa used to be called Peña Blanca or white rock.
Currently the community maintains the following organizations:
- Public School
- Health Centre
- Catholic Church
- 2 Protestant Churches
- Community Centre
COMMUNITY CUSTOMS & TRADITIONS
Once again according to don Rufino, the day of the departed saints used to get a group of youths going from house to house at night for alms and food. This event became known as theAngelone. When they arrived at a home they would ask: we are angels sent from heaven, charity for the day of deceased?, if people gave them something they said, “these doors are cedar and souls to glory,” and if they did not, “these doors are made of iron and souls to hell “and they did this at all the houses in the community.
The traditional dances were accompanied by guitar and accordion and they danced polkas and tango. When there was a wedding, they would go on horseback to say goodbye to the couple halfway and the next day they would meet them again and dance for two nights.
Parents taught religious doctrine to their children such as honouring the feast of St. Joseph on March 19. Offering food and drink to the saint that walked from house to house in the community. During holy days people were to do nothing not even bathe. In the old days, whenever a child made mischief he or she was punished and scolded by whichever neighbour and the parents weren´t bothered by that. Back then couples fell in love as he would throw little stones to her and she made eyes at him. The games they played were the Maule, the tops and tails. Traditional meals and drinks were rice, corn, tamales, pulp, Pinole, corn gruel, pan and horchata. The grandparents have said that a cart used to pass by the community, the roosters would sing and they rode horses at twelve o’clock at night.
NEEDS IN THE COMMUNITY
- Improvement and maintenance of both water projects
- Expansion of relief housing
- Construction of water pilas, latrines, and water connections to relief housing area
- Construction of the health centre
- Construction of a kindergarten school house
- Construction of a school classroom
- Drainage of the creek
- Improvement of housing (floors, water pilas, roofs and stucco)
- Training of the community boards
- Support for farmers (low interest financing)
See our FaceBook page for most recent trip to La Avispa