DEEP COVE TO HONDURAS...
an article for the November 1994 Deep Cove Crier
Three long-term Deep Cove/Seymour residents just came back from a very memorable trip to Honduras in Central America (October 11th-25th). No, this is not Janet Pavlik's regular column about travel destinations all around the world, nor is it Phyllis Beck's column which often discusses about a Deep Cove senior who has just returned from the trip of their lifetime. No, this is another columnist, Ed Hird, who has been writing monthly in the Deep Cove Crier for the last 6 years.
Where exactly is Honduras, you might be wondering? Honduras is an Central American country, bounded on the North by the Caribbean Sea, on the east and south by Nicaragua, on the southwest by El Salvador and on the west by Guatemala. It has a short stretch of southern coast on the Gulf of Fonseca with a small port, Ampala. In area, Honduras is 43,277 square miles. Over 80% of the land is mountainous. In the east are the trackless swamps and rain forests of the Mosquito coast. Off the north coast of Honduras are found the Bay Islands of Froatan and Guanaja, a scuba divers' paradise.
Honduras has a variety of climates due to its location in the tropics and its varied topography. The northern coastal zone is always essentially hot and humid; the central mountainous region is cooler and dryer. Two seasons are shared by the entire country: the somewhat cooler rainy season, June to October, and the warmer dry season .
Honduras' economy is based on agriculture, bananas being the most important crop and 50% of all exports. In 1899, with the advent of shipboard refrigeration, two American companies bought up tens of thousands of farmland acres, converting them to bananas for export to the U.S. Other crops are beans, rice, corn and sugarcane. There are rich forest resources and deposits of gold, cadmium, antimony and copper but these are underdeveloped because of inadequate road and rail systems. Food processing is the major industry, followed by lumber, chemicals, clothing and cement. About half the population (about 90% mestizo) is illiterate. The present population is five and a half million, 66% of whom still live in the country as peasant farmers, often using horse-drawn carts. 650,00 live in the capital of Tegucigalpa.
The restored Mayan ruins of Copan, in the west, reflect the great Mayan culture of the 4th century. In 1821 Honduras gained independence from Spain and became part of the Mexican empire. Since then, it has experienced many different political influences, both from within and without its country.
Sharing and Caring...
Why did a group of Seymour/Deep Cove residents go for two weeks to a country like Honduras? Three and a half years ago, we met Roger Hurtibuse, a remarkable individual who serves in Honduras on a full-time basis. He worked for a while as a Peace Corps Worker, but now serves as an Anglican (Episcopal) priest, helping rural Hondurans both socially and spiritually. Roger is French Canadian, born in St. Albert, Alberta. Roger came to visit us in North Vancouver, and invited us to return the favour by sending a team of our people to Honduras. Our team consisted of the Rev. Ed Hird, Maureen Harrison, and Hilary King. Maureen is very gifted in the area of intercession and prayer. Hilary is well experienced in reaching out to others who are curious about Jesus Christ.
Our theme for the 2 week Mission trip was "Equipping the Saints". We went from village to village visiting Roger Hurtibuse's friends and teaching in the three areas of 1)evangelism 2)the healing ministry 3)the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some of these Christian communities we met were very poor, and would meet to worship in someone's garage. But they were full of faith and joy. They also have a strong commitment to helping each other better themselves in practical ways like improving agricultural methods and strengthening the local health care. Rev. Roger Hurtibuse, as a former Peace Corps worker, is someone who really cares for the whole person, in body, mind, and spirit. The St. Simon's team is grateful for the chance to have shared with the wonderful Honduran people, and feel that we received from them more than we gave to them.
The Reverend Ed Hird
Rector, St. Simon's Anglican Church
P.S. It has recently come to my attention that this will be the 71st monthly edition of my column in the Crier. I would like to thank Bruce Coney, the Deep Cove Crier Editor, for his great support over the 6 years of writing for his paper. Bruce and Gail are truly community-minded people.
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