The journey prepares the mind for intercultural dialogue. First, we take a four hour plane ride, followed by a three hour truck ride. It is another full day's travel by road, beach, and canoe to make it to the Honduran department of Gracias a Dios. Gracias a Dios means, "Thank you God" and is aptly named because, that is what we say upon arrival to the Ibans Lagoon town of Raistá.
God is present everywhere upon our voyage; He/She/It provides shelter from the storm and has for AHMEN's 20 year history. I pray that God continues to bless everyone on our team, AHMEN's functionality, our many teams, and the people with which we work in Honduras.
The goal of the Río de Agua Viva team is to play a role in that blessing. We are a community development and health education teaching team. We strive to blur the lines between short-term relief and long-term development. We are not a bandaid brand but a cochlear implant to stimulate the ears of justice to listen to the calls of the nation's most-disenfranchised communities.
Leslie Miralda and Greg Thompson will return this year to review the basics of building a budget, keeping track of finances, marketing, and long-term business planning. However, what makes this year's lesson special is its focus on agriculture. There is a lot of interest in the area in producing and marketing food!
Organic & Sustainable Community Gardening
For the fourth year in a row the master of cross-cultural pediatric education, Dr. Ben Coplan, will return to give his interactive refresher course for newborn and infant care. This year, Ben will be joined by I'Reka Jordan who will be delivering a CPR and First Aid course for adults. Together, these two will certify around 50 community agents in emergency lifesaving skills through an intensive, interactive practicum.
Clean Water Culture
The Río de Agua Viva team's alliance with Water With Blessings continues. This year is a little different, though. This year Denis and Andrea will go visit all of the previous filter recipients and register them on their new Water Women App! Doing so will encourage more informed feedback practices and help perpetuate a clean water culture throughout the several communities between Ebano and Brus Lagunas. Ken Hanson's job is to gather data to raise funds for ACSI water projects.
Sustainable Discipleship through Backpack Ministry
Leisha Boulware's Project Backpack ran a test trial over the course of the last year. Sergio Ramirez is also going to help follow up on this project. He worked as a teaching assistant last year with Tristan and Pastor Mario. Sergio's goal is to document the last year of using the backpack method with last year's trainees.
As the summer rises Autumn prepares for her return. Our dear teacher from last year, Autumn Thornton, will be joining us for a continuation on her lesson from last year. Autumn returns with an entire new set of interactive lessons geared toward encouraging the local population to confront and problem-solve the ecological and feminist issues throughout the local Miskito culture and throughout Honduras.
We do not journey to the most-isolated parts of Honduras proposing to "save" or "fix" anything. We go to let the people we work with know that the world has not abandoned them. We go with God, as Uncle Tom used to say.
I call on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to promote peace in Honduras by funding a national clean water infrastructure, fund universal healthcare, and modernize the country's educational system. Until this becomes an economic necessity for these organizations the Río de Agua Viva team will partner with local communities to promote justice by building relationships based on mutual love and respect.
If you would like to donate to the ACSI workshop system or this team, please do not hesitate to contact me .
Together, we are the difference.