La Florida, Opatoro, La Paz, Honduras
The community of Opatoro is located in the southwest part of Honduras in the Department of La Paz and borders El Salvador. This region is divided into North and South areas, each comprising 17 barrios. The barrios are often very far apart geographically. Opatoro is approximately a five hour drive from Tegucigalpa.This area, the Marcala region, is known for its community engagement and environmental commitment. There are many local cooperatives producing, for example, tilapia, chickens, honey bees, and coffee. These Lencan communities share responsibilities for fire suppression, water protection, agriculture, road and cemetery maintenance, education and health concerns. This is also one of the poorest areas in Honduras according to the World Health Organization, with a malnutrition index of 47%.
In La Florida, we stay all together in a house that we rent for a reasonable fee. We hire local women to help with our cooking, cleaning, and laundry. The medical clinic is a short walk from the house. Our hosts Miriam and Hugo, both educators, live across from the clinics and are always available.The clinics are on the bucolic village square. There is a police station, a basketball court, several pulperias (small stores), as well as a cooperative hardware store and a mechanic shop. The water in La Florida is potable, but we also use water filters on site as a precaution.
Barrios are far-flung, and we try to get in as many house calls as possible. It is a long distance to travel for those who are ill or elderly. This offers a wonderful opportunity for you to meet members of the community in their homes where you will be welcomed and treated with the utmost hospitality. If you’re lucky, you may be offered a frozen chocolate banana or a cup of their famous Marcala coffee. This is a beautiful area, a wonderful site where you will be immersed in the community and surrounded by people who will make you feel most welcome. We have been treated to surprise parties from the community, including a local band and dancing performances from the local schools.
Our dates are being determined as we must work with our professional’s availability and with our colleagues and friends in Opatoro. We will post them as soon as they are finalized, but if you are interested in joining us please let us know what your schedule would accommodate.
November 5-13, 2016
May 20-28, 2017