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Snapshot of Honduras

19%

of people live below the poverty line

73

years is the average life expectancy

17%

lack access to improved sanitation

Located in the corridor from South America to Mexico and the United States, Honduras is a transit country for everything from illicit drugs to human trafficking and mass migration.

Honduras’s history since Spanish colonisation in the 16th century is marked by military rule, featuring coups and counter-coups.

Racked by violence and corruption, gang rule and inequality, it is one of the most unstable countries in a volatile region, with recent widespread drought creating further hardship for locals and leading to ever-increasing numbers travelling across borders—most headed north for Mexico and the United States.

Almost half the population lives in poverty, and more than 17 per cent of Hondurans live in extreme poverty (less than US$1.90 per day). Honduras has the second-highest extreme poverty rate in Latin America and the Caribbean, after Haiti. The country is also afflicted by one of the worst rates of inequality in the world, with a stark division between rich and poor.

Remittances (money sent home by expatriates) make up a significant part of the nation’s economy and many families are dependent on this source of income. Small-scale farming, the backbone of the nation’s agricultural economy, is collapsing; many rural communities are no longer able to sustain themselves due to drought and changing rainfall patterns.

In 2017, President Juan Orlando Hernandez was the first president in Honduras’s history to run for re-election, after the Supreme Court lifted a constitutional ban on presidents serving more than one term. He won, in a result that was widely questioned by international observers and met with protests across the country. More than 20 people were killed in subsequent riots.

President Hernandez promised to fight corruption and the drug trade. Yet in 2018, his own brother was arrested in the United States and charged with drug trafficking and weapons offenses. Tony Hernandez was found guilty in a New York City trial in October 2019 and faces up to life in prison. Prosecutors alleged that he was protected in his dealings by President Hernandez—an allegation the president denied. The president himself was not charged with any crime.

Meanwhile, Honduran children living in poverty face many challenges, with malnutrition and insecurity foremost among them. They are particularly vulnerable to the threat posed by gang activity, with many boys coerced into joining and girls threatened with rape and forced labour. As meeting their basic needs becomes more difficult, some see gang life as the only alternative to starving or risking their lives on the road to the United States border.

Local churches across the country are working hard to nurture and protect these vulnerable children, to ensure they have the safety and space to grow and develop and experience a hope more powerful than poverty.

Yolanda Rodas de Nunez

Letter from Compassion Honduras Director Yolanda Rodas

Dear Sponsor, May the Lord’s blessing be upon each one of you! My name is Yolanda Rodas, and I have been the Compassion Honduras Country Director for seven years, yet I have been part of Compassion for 14 years. I am married and have two precious children: Gerardo, who is five years old, and Isabella, who is almost three. They are a blessing!

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Jean Pier The Barber

At the age of 15, Jean Pier is a masterful barber. In the barbershop where he works part-time, Jean Pier is well known by local gang members who seek him out for his stylish haircuts. Jean Pier uses this opportunity to share the Word of God with them, even taking some of them to church.

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Prayer requests for Honduras

  • Pray for the health of several children who are registered with the HO0507 Compassion centre. The children’s parents work in the community’s rubbish tip. The children often accompany their parents to work there. As a result, they sometimes get sick from the polluted environment. Please pray for God to help the parents by providing them with stable jobs and may He help improve the children’s health.
  • Pray for five-year-old Jeremy, who was diagnosed with cancer recently and will start chemotherapy soon. Pray for the Lord to provide Jeremy with strength and resilience to withstand the treatment. May He perform miracles in Jeremy’s life, as well as in the lives of his family members.
  • Pastor Alfredo, the leader of one of our frontline church partners, died this week. Pray for his family, church members and the children he served so faithfully; pray for God’s peace and comfort to be upon them during this time of grief.
  • Pray for the registered youths, who are an easy target for gangs. May the Lord extend his hand to them and help them see that He is their Saviour and their Father, that they can lay their burdens on Him and He will be there to provide for them and support them. Pray especially for those who have received death threats, and for the churches who are protecting and guiding them; pray for God’s strength and protection, favour and boldness.
  • Pray for the implementation of a dengue fever prevention strategy across more than 200 church partners. Pray that families would be able to attend and learn how to protect themselves; pray that good medical treatment would be available to them and that the incidence of this disease would drop.
  • Pray for local centre directors across the country as they lead their teams to help the most vulnerable children of their communities; pray for their health, families, relationships, and leadership. May God bless them all.