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Happy 2nd Anniversary to Comedor Infantil in Honduras!!

The Comedor Infantil was founded on November 17, 2009 by the Passionist Volunteers International of 2009-2010 in Talanga, Honduras. The Comedor Infantil is located in the community of Nuevo San Diego, one of the poorest communities in Talanga. The idea for the Comedor originated from the volunteers seeing children scavenging through a dumpster for food. Learning that the children were from the same community, the volunteers set out to address the obvious malnutrition that they were witnessing. The mission of the Comedor was to collaborate with the community of Nuevo San Diego and with the help of local donors in Talanga to provide one properly balanced meal daily Monday through Friday to the children living in the community. Children were selected from families based on need.

The Comedor is now sponsored by Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH and Comedor) , and oversight for the Comedar has been given to a local board of directors that all share an interest in addressing the struggles of hunger and malnutrition that exists in Nuevo San Diego. The mothers of the children and the community of Nuevo San Diego also continue to play an important role in the work of the Comedor.

On the first day of the Comedor, 12 children aged 4 to 6 were served; the program now serves more than 40 children daily, aged 3 to 10. Services at the comedor have increased and have included medical attention, classes for illiterate mothers, a weekly sewing class for mothers, haircuts and trips to a farm and a river. All of the children enrolled in comedor of eligible age are now in school.

Two years after the official opening of the Comedor Infantil, the lunch program continues to thrive, serving food and giving love to children of the community!

Happy Anniversary Comedor Infantil!

Enjoy a video made shortly after the founding of the Comedor in 2009:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS9FTiPyNx8&w=560&h=315]

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The Gift of Giving

 

 

 

By Chanel Marin

Ledi never lets us leave her house without enjoying a cup of coffee, bread, and a small meal.  When she serves our plate, we always receive the biggest portion, even though she struggles financially.  Last week on an afternoon visit, she served our dinner and proceeded to serve a plate of food for the homeless man she told us comes to her home for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. When we asked about the plate of food, her response was, “We must always give of what we have because God has given us everything and we don’t know why or for how long.”

That statement sums up the general attitude of the Honduran culture of giving. It is rare to enter a home inHonduraswithout being offered Coca Cola, coffee, cookies, bread, or a plate of food by the family who welcomes you.  This includes people who have become our friends as well as people we’ve just met.  They can be families from the upper middle class or friends from the more humble communities in which we work.  Ironically, I have found that those with the least offer the most.  This, to me, has been one of the greatest gifts I’ve received from my experience here. 

I originally chose to do a year of service because I wanted to give to those with less, yet my time here has shown me that I will gain so much more from the people I serve than I can ever possibly give.  In a country where so many have so little, the small gifts individuals make for the benefit of others shows an empathy unrivaled by any place I have known.

Even the children show a kindness that I have never witnessed before.  When you give a child candy or a snack, they will invariably pack half and bring it home for their brother or sister.  It is incredible to see a child with so little so willing to give their small gift to a sibling. 

I have learned to let go of the possessions I own with an understanding that they are just that, possessions: a worthless thing that in the end holds no value.  I came to give my time and my energy without knowing how much more the people would give me through their gestures and actions. 

“Do you want more tortillas?” Ledi asks as she puts two more on my plate before letting me answer.  “How about some Coke?…Mariela! Go buy some Coke.” She sends her daughter to buy a bottle even though she has already served us coffee and cookies before serving dinner.  I smile at her, eating and drinking everything she serves, understanding that through this gift she expresses her gratitude for the blessings she has.

Chanel Marin is a Passionist Volunteer serving in Honduras (2010-11)

Comedor Infantil Pasionista

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS9FTiPyNx8]

PVI Director, Fr. Lucian Clark, CP shares about one of the many great works in which our volunteers are involved.