Having spent a large amount of time travelling throughout Africa and Central America we have truly seen poverty. When people have nothing, their behavior reflects this: they don’t dare to dream, give their kids an education and in many cases, they don’t even look for a job. All of their attention is poised around meeting their basic needs. The mindset becomes one of scarcity and complacety; it is called the ‘poverty trap’. And in turn, the next generations are stuck in the same cycle. However, there are always families that surprise us and actively look for ways to help their children dig their way out of poverty. These parents know that their lives may never improve, but they desperately want to break the ‘poverty trap’ cycle and give their children a chance at success: a life better than what they have.
Dona Aracely is one of these mothers. She lives in Honduras with her two little boys. Abram, who is 6, wants to be a policeman when he grows up and his younger brother Darwin, who is 4, wants to be in the army. They have an older sister that lives away from home and their father was murdered while working in the garbage dump in Honduras; his body was buried in the garden at the bottom of the dump where the vendors set up their fruit stand. The last time we were in Honduras we met with Dona and they were still looking for her husband, but his body had just been discovered after months of being missing.
The piece of ground where they erected their home was loaned to them for 9 months. Dona built the home herself. It is a feeble wooden structure and the walls and roof are covered in plastic making it a sauna during the heat of the day. The floor is made of hardened mud and becomes a ‘cesspool’ when it rains. Their home has two bedrooms and a living room (if you can call it that). Chickens roam around the side of the yard, but even they look like they look emaciated with big patches of feathers missing on the side of their skinny bodies. Between the chickens and the families living conditions, it is hard not to break down into tears. Yet, Abram is very proud of the fridge they were given (which is a pile of rust) and opened it for us to look inside. Aside from a constant drip from the freezer to the bottom shelf, there is nothing inside the fridge: no milk, no bread, no cold water – absolutely nothing!
Dona is obviously disheartened because the 9 months on the land they were loaned is almost up and in September she must move again; she has no idea where they are going to go. She cannot find a job, so between trying to support her family on a measly $80 Canadian dollars that Saving the Hungry donates monthly, she doesn’t have any extra cash to move. Just trying to put food on her table is about all the fight she has in her. She is tired, depressed, broken-hearted and hungry. Yet, she is desperately determined to not fall into the ‘poverty trap’ so everyday she dresses her boys and walks them to school, then looks for ways to put food on their table. Everyday is an uphill battle, with no silver lining in sight.
We would like to invite you to join us in Honduras in November to come and meet Dona, Abram and Darwin. We would love to make a difference to this family and build a home for Dona and her boys, but without support from people like you, it’s just a dream. Come hear their stories first-hand and work alongside Saving The Hungry to build them a home! You can see where your hard-earned cash is going and be a part of something monumental. Every penny we raise goes towards families like the Aracely family. It typically takes about 4 days to complete a home build and during our breaks you will have a chance to be a part of the local feeding program and meet 150 kids who are part of the school that is located at the foot of the dump. We guarantee that 4 days in the garbage dump of Honduras will change your whole perspective in life.
Once we have completed our home build, you can join us for another 6 days in Roatán, the largest and most develop Bay Island in Honduras. The island is the second largest coral reef in the world and is a diving and snorkeling paradise teeming with tropical fish.
By joining Saving The Hungry on a volunteer vacation, you will find that there won’t be one definable change in your life, there will be several positive long term effects that will shift your perspective, awaken your soul and teach you about how others live in different parts of the world. You will come back with a new outlook on your own life and begin to see that happiness is far beyond what we own. Volunteering humbles you in so many ways and turns your life inside out, in all the right ways.