Heifer's Work in Honduras
Once part of Spain’s vast empire, Honduras gained its independence in 1821. In recent history, the country spent much of the 1980’s fighting the Marxist Nicaraguan government and leftist guerrillas. In 1998, the country was struck by Hurricane Mitch, which killed about 5,600 people and caused over $2 billion in damage.
Today, Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America with more than half of the inhabitants living in poverty. The majority of these families struggle to exist on subsistence agriculture in rural areas. The situation is increasingly grave due to factors beyond their control, including the food crisis and the increase in oil prices. Paradoxically, government programs are focusing on the production of agrofuels to the detriment of food security for the Honduran people.
Both internal and external migration has also increased due to the lack of opportunities for a better life. It is estimated that at least one million Hondurans work in the United States, Spain and other countries for what seems to be the last chance to provide for their families.
Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America with more than half of the inhabitants living in poverty. The majority of these families struggle to survive through subsistence agriculture in rural areas.
In 1978, Heifer International began operations in Honduras with a food program based on donating dairy goats to poor rural families, sending the first shipment of goats in 1979, followed by other shipments in 1981 and 1984. At the same time, Heifer sent other animals such as rabbits, ducks, sheep and donkeys, extending the program to 60 communities located in four regions of the country.
During the following years and to this day, agreements with various partners (grassroots organizations, microenterprises and non-governmental organizations) have pursued rural programs with livestock, agroecological and entrepreneurial components. Based on the prior experience of introducing animals for small, integrated farms, Heifer Honduras has expanded its efforts to take assistance to 6,000 families in 300 rural communities distributed among 15 departments.