La Conner Rotarians, Karen Ryan and Marty Pease, recently visited Honduras in conjunction with International Project Alliance.


The IPA is a collaborative effort with 12 clubs in the Skagit Valley and the Rotary Club in Copan, Honduras. The joint efforts include supplying schools with supplies, a mobile library,  sponsoring 56 schools with grades K-6 so all children of the Mayan village can attend school as well as sponsoring individual students with private party donations through the "Adopt-A-Dream" program so they can attend grades 7-12.


Other efforts include building latrines for homes and schools, providing a water supply to the villages, silos for grain storage, a woman's health clinic, supplying an ambulance. For some villages, the Rotary is providing electricity and lights/fans to schools, white boards, fixing school roofs and floors. In two locations, there are plans to start a middle school.


The Rapid Development program is supporting and educating members of three villages on budgeting, banking procedures, starting business, starting a savings and loan organization with the goal of bringing the villages out of poverty. Also there are plans to have the YES students in June work with one of the villages. All of these efforts are in collaboration with the villagers. The projects are per their requests and they provide the labor while Rotary provides the supplies.


On this trip, Karen and Marty collected and repaired mobile library books. They visited the village schools, 2-4 each day. On these visits, they had the opportunity to see school improvements, observe what else was needed and to sing and dance with the children. They also observed the Rapid Development trainings. The main goal of the trip was to connect with the local Rotarians and village residents.


Other members of the team included members of the Rotary Clubs of Fidalgo Island and Burlington.


It wasn't all work! Tourist activities included a walking tour of Copan, visiting Macaw Mountain and the Mayan ruins. Karen got to practice her Spanish which was a huge help in translating, interacting with village members and school kids and getting to know people. Marty had two instances where she put her physical therapy skills to work. Both Karen and Marty got to know Dania better, the student sponsored by Marty through the bilingual school.


The trip in so many ways was a huge success!!!