To become part to the unfolding Kingdom of God by building a family relationship uniting Prince of Peace Catholic Community and Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes of Progreso, Honduras, based upon our common faith, mutual love, interdependence and solidarity.
About Honduras, El Progreso, Las Mercedes:
Honduras covers 43,278 sq. miles and is about the size of Tennessee. It has a population of 6.1 million people. Spanish is the official language. Eighty-eight percent of the population is Roman Catholic. Honduras is mostly mountainous and the climate varies according to elevation. The poverty level in the mountains is extremely severe. The capital of Honduras is Tegucigalpa.
The city of El Progreso, in the Department (state) of Yoro, is approximately 40 miles southwest of San Pedro Sula and is considered the third largest city in Honduras with an area population of 210,000. El Progreso is on the Ulúa River and was founded in 1927 as a banana trade centre. In the 1970s it grew into a commercial and trans-shipment center for the Caribbean ports and the interior.
La Parroquia de Nuestra Senora de Las Mercedes (The Parish of Our Lady of the Mercies) is divided into three areas of focus: evangelization, liturgy and social justice. The social justice ministry is divided into three areas: health (salud), education (educacion) and social justice (justicia social).
Description of Programs: Las Mercedes’ social justice ministry is divided into three areas: health, education and social justice. The following are examples of how Prince of Peace participates.
The Nutrition Center. Prince of Peace raised $75,000 to help Las Mercedes build a Nutrition Center that currently houses about 25 children who are severely malnourished. Most of them are under 4 years of age, and would die without the help of others. After remaining in the Center for six to twelve months, most children are able to return to their families and their continued progress is monitored. Families are also provided assistance in care of their children, but many become ill again because of the lack of potable water and the extreme poverty in the area.
The Vaso de Leche Program. “Glass of milk” is a program in which malnourished children in three of the barrios (40 to 50 children in each barrio) receive breakfast five days a week. Mothers of the children help prepare the breakfast and receive nutrition and health care training as part of the program.
Kinders. In three barrios, Prince of Peace donations fully fund the operation of Kinder programs. Each kinder has about 25 children and serves as a start to the child’s education. In addition, the children at the Kinders may receive lunch.
Children’s Home. Early in 2004, the Children's Home opened to help children who cannot be cared for by their families due to poverty. The name of the home is Hogar Suyapa. Hogar means home and Suyapa is for Our Lady of Suyapa, the patron saint of Honduras. More than 30 children currently reside in a permanent residence purchased in 2005. The facility was expanded in 2007 and will be able to house up to 50 children. Donations from Prince of Peace have helped establish this home, provided for expansion costs and are helping with the everyday expenses. Our wish would be for these children to all have a mom and dad and family of their own. If this is not possible, we would wish to house, feed, clothe, educate, and care for the health of these children as a family of their own.
Daniel Aleman Education Scholarship Endowment Fund. Daniel resided at Hogar Suyapa and tragically died in a traffic accident in 2006. This endowment fund was established in early 2007 to provide scholarships to 10 children each year. The fund currently earns approximately $5000 per year. Continually adding to the fund increases the principal so we can assist more children.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Join the Sister Parish Committee. Meetings are usually held the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Media Center. As a member you are kept up-to-date on the happenings at Las Mercedes. Also you can help publish the newsletter, provide information about the Sister Parish during Discipleship weekends, and participate in fundraisers.
Visit Las Mercedes: Several times a year a group from Prince of Peace visits Las Mercedes to meet with the parishioners to provide any necessary help in the nutrition center or Hogar, but primarily to learn about life in Honduras and learn of their love of God.
Provide monetary or in-kind donations. The monthly envelope pack contains an envelope for the Sister Parish. Monies collected help provide the services mentioned above. Also, we periodically conduct drives to collect linens, clothing and school supplies.
Sponsor a Child’s Education. Contribute to the Daniel Aleman Educational Scholarship Endowment Fund.
Pray for Las Mercedes. Pray for Padre Francisco and his staff as well as the parishioners of Las Mercedes. All prayers are welcomed for the healthy as well as for the ill.
For more information: please call 972-345-4331