When I returned to La Paz, Honduras last January Sister Edith had planted some papaya seedlings, little tiny things grown from the seeds of a papaya they had eaten. It´s amazing how rapidly these trees grow. Eight months later the maturing seedlings have multiple fruit growing. Right click on the pictures to see the tremendous size and quantity of the ripening papaya. When we move to our new home next year we intend to plant several seedlings to not only eat but to profit from the harvest. Honduras´tropical environment provides a growing season practically year-round. That´s Deysi Milagro posing reluctantly behind the tree leaves to demonstrate the size of the trees.
All across Latin America in over two dozen countries the date around the middle of the month of September is Independence Day. It is the day indigenous and mestizo folk cast off the 300-year-long colonial yolk imposed by the Spaniards. In those three centuries the so-called conquistadores had murdered and enslaved whole populations, exploited the natives´natural resources and stolen their land. In México Independence Day is September 16th. In Honduras it is September 15th. In La Paz, Honduras, A 7-year-old resident of the Hogar San José named Celia was provided her cherished desire of marching in the Independence Day parade. Her sponsors, the Allison and Micheal Scott family of Lubbock, Texas donated the money to purchase the boots, new-sewn dress, baton and head ornament. She was sooo happy; the envy of the other 15 kids at the home for at-risk children. As tiny as she is, Celia was the belle of the ball, so to speak, for the other Hogar children who lined up to watch her moment of glory.
It has long been Sister Edith´s dream to set up a food serving business as a method to establish a measure of self-sustainability for the Hogar San José. Four years ago she and a few of the older kids and helpful volunteers were selling pupusas and soft drinks from a propane-fired stove set up in a corner of the local park on weekends. Today she is on the cusp of realizing a dream after years of hard work and determination with a permanent location on a site that was a former neighborhood dump.