Honduras is located in Central America bordering Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. It is the 2nd poorest country in our hemisphere (behind Haiti). There are high rates of adolescent pregnancies in Honduras, and this often leads to high maternal and infant mortality rates. Hondurans’ also suffers from many preventable communicable diseases such as malaria, dengue, Chagas’, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV (Honduras accounts for 60% of HIV and AIDS infections in Central America). Honduras spends about 7.4% of their total GDP on health. The economy has continued to grow slowly, but the distribution of wealth remains very polarized with average wages remaining low but 50% of the population, approximately 3.7 million people, still remains below the poverty line. It is estimated that there are more than 1.2 million people who are unemployed with a rate of unemployment at 27.9%. According to the Human Development Index, Honduras is the sixth poorest/least developed country in Latin America, after Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Guyana, and Bolivia.
The 1998 Hurricane Mitch impacted Honduras greatly. It caused such damage that it was claimed to have destroyed 50 years of progress within the country. 70-80% of the transportation infrastructure in the country was destroyed. The flooding and mudslides killed over 6,500 people and 20% of the population was left homeless. The hurricane caused about $3.8 billion in damages. Many parts of Honduras are still trying to recover from this disaster.
Honduras has been hit hard recently. For a country that depends on helping hands from others, recent occurrences are causing a lot of pain. Most recently, citing overall concerns about security, the United States Peace Corps along with the U.S. State Department decided to recall all the Peace Corps volunteers in the country of Honduras. Help has been taken from those that need it the most.
Also, Honduras has essentially become the ‘poorest place close to home’ for those of us living in the United States. The Legatum Prosperity Index (which you can access here: Honduras Prosperity Index) provides the world's only global assessment of national prosperity based on both wealth and well-being. The Index assesses 110 countries (accounting for over 93 percent of the world's population and 97 percent of the world's GDP) and ranks them based on their performance in eight sub-indices, including Economy, Governance, Personal Freedom, and Social Capital.
The index ranks Honduras as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It is only a 2 ½ hour plane ride from Miami or Houston and yet it is a ‘world away.’ Facing high infant mortality rates and lack of access to basic healthcare, many Honduran children and parents are faced with a terrible truth. In many cases, children need to live through a ‘trial of survivability’ or survive through conditions for which children throughout the rest of the world are routinely treated.
Honduran Children's Rescue Fund | HCRFund@gmail.com | 1801 Sheridan Road | South Euclid, OH 44121