Honduras, with a population of about 9.1 million people, 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 pregnancy and this leads to high infant and maternal mortality rates. Honduras also suffers from many preventable communicable diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and Chagas. Honduras has nearly 60% of HIV/AIDS infections in Central America. The country spends about 7.4% of their GDP on health.
The economy is growing slowly, but the distribution of wealth remains very polarized. 50% of the population remain below the poverty line. About 27% of the normal workforce is unemployed. Crime and "gang" activities are prevalent especially in port cities in the northwest part of the country.
In October 1998 Hurricane Mitch impacted Honduras greatly. The damage destroyed 70-80% of the transportation infrastructure. Flooding and mudslides killed over 5,600 people and 20% of the population was left homeless. Estimated damage has been estimated at $3.6 Even now, 20 years later, the effects of this disaster have yet to be completely overcome.
Because of political instability, with change of governing parties, the country is making some progress in solving their core problems. Foreign-aid from the U.S. and other countries has diminished to some degree but there has been an increase in private humanitarian aid.
Honduras is only a 2 ½ hour plane ride from Miami or Houston yet it is a "world away". People living in "barrio "slums or isolated in rural villages are desperately in need of the basic services that will allow them to become productive members of society.