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Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016

Summer Honduran trip looks to the future

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Water and medical projects in Honduras are options for future relief efforts lead by a Le Mars group.

Richard Seivert of Mission Honduras Le Mars visited Honduras this summer to check on ongoing projects and consider new ones.

Seivert leads the not-for-profit group, Mission Honduras.

Mission Honduras offers health care and medicine, water projects and supplemental food programs for the poor in Honduras, according to the group's website.

The support is offered in areas around Montaņa de la Flor, El Guante and most recently, Esquias.

Seivert describes his late June and early July trip as one of following up on many of the projects Mission Honduras Le Mars has done.

"We were checking on children that we have taken care of and hunting for new water projects for our student trips," Seivert explained.

Students from Gehlen Catholic, of Le Mars, and Bishop Heelan, of Sioux City, are among the young people who've traveled to Honduras.

Seivert monitored supplemental food programs on his recent trip.

Mission Honduras works through the group, Cerro De Plata to distribute food such as the rice-based meals packaged by volunteers for Then Feed Just One, of Le Mars.

During this summer's trip, Seivert and Carolyn Bickford, co-director of Gehlen Catholic School's Honduran program, visited an area where some of the food is stored until it goes out to children.

"Cerro De Plata operates about 30-35 different children's homes and orphanages all over Tegucigapa and around the country," Seivert explained.

Seivert also checked on a Honduran child, Franci, who is receiving care with a bone elongator provided through Mission Honduras.

"To date her bone has been 'stretched' just over an inch," Seivert will report in the Mission Honduras fall newsletter.

The trip was also a time to see Yulian, a young child with the genetic disorder fish scale disease.

Mission Honduras has provided specials soaps and lotions for Yulian's skin, which is extremely dry.

This is the rainy season in Honduras, which prevented Seivert from going to two places due to raging waters of some rivers, he said.

Health care needs for the poor were also researched this summer.

A medical team from Mission Honduras Le Mars was last in Honduras in 2009.

"We decided to take a year off and now it's been two years off," Seivert explained. "It looks like we're going to try to put together a small group of doctors and nurses to go up to the mountain, Montana de la Flor."

Planning for student trips was focused on where water projects might be accomplished in the future.

"I did look at two water projects and I think if they come through we're going to be able to take two high school teams," he said.

At this point, the plans are not final.

Mission Honduras is being courted to move its water project operation south and east into an area Seivert is not familiar with.

Facilities for a mission team to stay in at a new location are a priority in his thoughts about any move.

"I would have to make sure that whatever facilities we have are going to be adequate and safe, like we currently have had in the last two places where we've been -- El Guante and now Esquias," he explained.

A political coup in 2009 ended the Honduran president's term six months before was up.

The change led many of the estimated 2,200 U. S. organizations helping the poor to end their efforts.

They quit coming to Honduras out of fear, Seivert recalled.

Mission Honduras Le Mars continued its efforts.

The exiled former Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, returned to his country after the Gehlen Catholic and Heelan student trips earlier this year.

But Seivert didn't see political turmoil when he was in Honduras this summer.

"Zelaya tries to cause trouble, but he doesn't get it done," Seivert said.

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