Food For The Poor Opens First Fishing Villages in Honduras
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 5, 2014) – The delivery of 12 yellow fiberglass boats signaled the opening last week of three fishing villages in Omoa and Puerto Cortes, along the Caribbean coast of Honduras. These are the first fishing village projects in Latin America to be selected and supported by Food For The Poor and its generous donors.
Many of the fishermen who will benefit from the project have spent decades skimming the reef in decaying wooden boats with makeshift fishing equipment, only to come up empty on most attempts. These new vessels offer new hope for the neighboring communities that depend on the sea for sustenance.
“We are very happy and we’re very grateful to everyone who made this project possible. We’ve been waiting a long time for this donation and now we have it,” said Juan Vega, an Omoa fisherman. “With the support of the fishing teams, we can now take better care of our families. Thank you.”
Each fishing village received four boats, which will be shared by a team of 16 to 28 fishermen. All of the fishermen will receive engine maintenance training. In addition to the boats and motors, the villages will be equipped with coolers and freezers, locking storage sheds, fishing tackle and safety equipment.
“Words cannot describe the satisfaction Food For The Poor has for the establishment of the three new fishing villages in Honduras. Now these men have the ability to fish in deeper waters in order to catch quality fish to eat and to sell,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “These boats are a necessary resource and will take each of these communities closer to self-sufficiency and better nutrition.”
This opening comes at a time of renewed importance on providing life-sustaining projects and hope for those at risk of leaving their home countries in search of a better life. Food For The Poor has had many successes in providing safe housing, clean water, education and projects such as these fishing villages.
The fishermen also will receive training in deep-sea fishing techniques that will best protect the marine environment, while learning how to catch mahi-mahi, yellow-tail snapper, tuna, and kingfish, which can then be sold to regional markets, hotels and restaurants.
The international relief and development organization selected these small towns after learning about the overwhelming need there, and the cooperative reputation of their fishermen. Each team will be required to donate a portion of their catch to organizations within their own communities that help orphans, the elderly and the sick.
“The expression on the faces of these men as the fishing boats were delivered to the villages made my heart swell with pride. But watching the fisherman proudly return with their first catch to shore in their new boats, made me cry tears of joy,” said Linda Coello, Founder/President of CEPUDO. “We are so honored to be the channel through which Food For The Poor is able to provide this blessing to the people of Honduras. We thank you, and it is our hope that God will continue to bless the donors who made this possible.”
Plans also are in the works for Food For The Poor to install three more fishing villages in the region later this year.
Food For The Poor began serving in Honduras in 1999, one year after the Central American country was slammed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The charity works very closely with its partner CEPUDO (Capacitación, Educación, Producción, Unificación, Desarrollo y Organización), which is based in San Pedro Sula, in order to reach those in need throughout the country.
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.