Honduras -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
A child is pictured outside of the shack where he lives with his family in San Isidiro, Honduras.
The Morales family is pictured in front of their Habitat house. Miguel Morales says, "We're happy with our home. Above all, we're thankful to Habitat for the opportunity to build with them."
Habitat for Humanity’s work in Honduras began in Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Cortés in the Yure River valley in 1988. As evidence of its growth, there are now five regional offices reaching more than 50 communities.
The houses consist of two bedrooms, a living-dining room, a kitchen with a breakfast counter, and a toilet. The walls are made of concrete block reinforced with steel, and the roof is made of corrugated aluminum-zinc sheets. The houses feature shutter windows and polished concrete floors.
Families are offered two house models, one measuring 48 m2 and the other 36 m2. The first model has been used for almost 14 years, and the second was recently introduced with great success, as it allows Habitat to reach families with even lower incomes
Honduras is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America, with nearly two-thirds of Hondurans living in poverty. Before 1998, Honduras had shown moderate economic growth as a result of government reforms. Nevertheless, after losing US$3 billion due to Hurricane Mitch, Honduras’ economy is still in the process of recovery. The agriculture sector, responsible for most exports, was the worst affected. Mitch also caused more than 6,000 deaths and left 8,085 missing and 75,000 homeless.
After the Hurricane Mitch tragedy, the housing deficit percentage increased from 63.1 percent in March 1998 to 65.9 percent in March 1999, representing an increase of 165,000 houses. According to reports published in 1999, 66 percent of the houses in Honduras are considered deficient.
A deficient Honduran house is made of cardboard and plastic, with four to ten people living in a single room. Due to poor sanitary conditions, cases of diarrhea and dysentery, among other diseases, are very common.
Location: Central America
Climate: tropical to subtropical depending on elevation.
Population: 7.3 million.
Economy: one of the poorest countries in Western Hemisphere; exports include apparel, coffee, shrimp, bananas, palm oil, gold, zinc/lead concentrates, soap/detergents, melons, lobster, pineapple, lumber, sugar and tobacco.
Government: Democratic constitutional republic. Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant minority.
Literacy: 76.2 percent.