WHAT: Works with farmers in Honduras, helping them establish sustainable agriculture techniques
Point of contact: Betsy Agle
Since 1989, St Mark’s has forged significant links with people in Honduras. Through youth and adult trips, friendships have flourished as St Mark’s parishioners worked side by side with farmers, helping them establish sustainable agriculture techniques. Read a brief history of this program, below. As of April 2018, these important connections and work have continued under the aegis of Sustainable Villages Honduras.
St. Mark’s sent its first youth trip to Honduras in 1989. In the thirty years since, this relationship has evolved and grown and is now a deeply rooted expression of our mission as a parish “to engage boldly in the struggles of life and care for others with love, justice, and compassion.”
Originally, our focus arose from a companion relationship with churches along the north coast of Honduras. St. Mark’s teens built desks and benches for several public schools and performed programs of storytelling and drama for the local children. St. Mark’s parishioners have gone to Honduras and projects have included constructing classrooms, planting trees, building homes after Hurricane Mitch, building a cemetery wall, and much more. Every trip includes opportunities for more people-to-people connections in the non-project moments: art projects and reading in the schools, skits, and field days and time hanging out at the beach or in the town center with local children.
In 2007 St. Mark’s created the Trinidad Conservation Project (TCP), an effort to support an exceptional Honduran agronomist – Roy Lara – in his work with families to protect fragile mountain forests. In 2008 TCP became part of a U.S. non-governmental organization, Sustainable Harvest International, and expanded to include training families in sustainable agriculture as well as reforestation. St. Mark’s and other churches now support tbis work in five villages, as they work to improve nutrition, protect community forest and water resources, and find ways to improve their income.
Today, St Mark’s continues its support of the farmers and their families who are part of the Trinidad Conservation Project and to Roy Lara.