Showing posts from April, 2014

Even More Progress at Santa Maria: The Gates

¡Feliz Pascua de la Resurrecciòn! Happy Easter! and a Joyous Passover! This  week Tegucigalpa has closed down for Semana Santa (Holy Week).  The custom in Honduras is that everyone heads for the beach.  If you can't make it to the beach, then go to the river.   If you can't make it to the river, buy a plastic pool. (They are selling them down the street under the bridge.) Semana Santa has become the secular equivalent of our Christmas in the north.  For many, Christmas means vacation and presents. Only  a few follow the spiritual journey of the season.  The same can be said of this week in Honduras. However, at Santa Maria de los Angeles, our cathedral in Tegucigalpa, we are celebrating the passion and resurrection this week. A few others  and I have been attending. Regarding the mission work,  progress is being made toward building the new church 'Buen Pastor' in Santa Maria.  We have just finished installing the security fence around the property.  This phase was a test to…

Progress for the Church in Santa Maria: And the problems of security.

In Honduras, all property has to be protected by a fence against thieves and burglars. This comes as  a shock for many first time visitors to the country. Nevertheless, because of the prevalence of crime,  its omission is not an option.  For the architect, the challenge is how to make the church look friendly and welcoming and still keep the criminals out.  

Along the side and back  is a chain-link fence  with concertina wire  (the razor wire that comes in coils and often is used by the military).  The concertina wire is  a visual curse but a necessity  for security.  To improve the appearance we will plant trees and flowers (see the picture below).

Improving the appearance of the chain-link fence and concertina
wire with a little landscaping.  An example  from our retreat center
in Muchilena on the north coast.

Sketches for Jesus El Salvador : Rebuilding a Church Demolished by Earthquake

A few years ago an earthquake destroyed this church.  All that is left is the foundation, sanctuary floor and the sacristry (the little building on the left).

Here are some sketches for a new Jesús El Salvador Church (Jesús the Saviour).    The design draws upon the colonial Latin American vernacular, which is both familiar and appreciated here.  Also, like most of our churches, the congregation is poor,  so the budget is severely constrained.   Accordingly, in less-is-more fashion,  this design use simplicity to accomplish its goals, while avoiding the 'bodega' (warehouse) style, which unfortunately is quite common here.

An aerial view of the church, a bell tower  on the left, integrated with a sacristry and the  office.   The building in the lower right corner is the pastor's house.

Computers for Honduras

When I first came to Honduras, I was amazed at how many young Hondurans were computer savvy.   Many were seeking higher education and needed computers for their studies, which they found difficult to afford.
In response, I've been asking people in the US to donate second-hand or to help buy new laptops for young Hondurans.   We also donate computers to Hondurans working   with the poor.  The response has ben overwhelming.   Recently, Father Roberto Martínez and Lidieth Sagustume have received  computers.   Thanks to everyone involved.

Lidieth Sagastume is a recent recipient of a new Dell computer.  She is a student of engineering and elementary education at UNAH (the national university) at Santa Rosa de Copàn, in the western part of Honduras.   A talented young woman from a modest family, she was unable to afford a computer and pay tuition and living costs at same time.

More Progress in Santa Maria, Paraiso: Building the Church Buen Pastor