El Merendon, Cortes, Honduras

POPULATION: 8,098,000

31% lack access to electricity

64.5% below the poverty line

OBJECTIVE: serve 3,000 people

PROJECT #1: DR. MIGUEL PAZ BARAHONA SCHOOL, EL MERENDON

The Dr. Miguel Paz Barahona School is the first building on a complex of five buildings set on top of a mountain in El Merendon, Cortes, Honduras. The school currently educates children ages 5 - 11 in the same classroom. The students are sectioned off by age. There is no electricity at the school so the classroom is usually very dark even during the day, due to heavy overcast. The latrines are also very unsanitary and lack light. Due to these conditions, the student population has been dropping making it even harder to justify continual operation.

PROJECT #2: KITCHEN, EL MERENDON

The kitchen located in the complex is an extremely important building. Students sometimes travel hours to get to Dr. Miguel Paz Baharona School, so bringing food along the way is challenging. Everyday food is prepared in this area that lacks electricity and proper sanitation. This kitchen is responsible for the preparation of meals for the students and staff of the entire complex. Proper sanitation in the kitchen is absolutely critical to maintaining good health and success in the class room.

PROJECT #3: “VIRGEN DE SUYAPA” FIELD SCHOOL, EL MERENDON

This field school educates children of all ages on effective methods of farming and environmental awareness. The school reaches such high temperatures that zinc sheets must be removed to let the heat out. Fans could easily fix this issue but unfortunately, there is no power for them. There is a room dedicated to education using computers but a lack of power is preventing their use as well. The students attending the field school recently planted hundreds of coffee plants to battle heavy erosion in the area that has been destroying the hill- side and making it difficult to farm the region. Yuca is also a common crop managed by the students of the field school to provide supplemental income.

PROJECT #4: LAS MERCEDES CHAPEL, EL MERENDON

The Las Mercedes Chapel is a place of worship used by the complex and surrounding community. The sacristy, an area used by the priest to prepare for service, currently lacks electricity and will be wired for lighting.

PROJECT #5: HEALTH CENTER, EL MERENDON

The health center is an extremely important part of the five building complex. It is responsible for the care and treatment of all of the students, faculty, staff, and surrounding community. It currently lacks electricity and proper sanitation conditions. This site also requires minor structural repairs to bring it back to a safe and usable state.