Nueva Esperanza celebrated the final inauguration of the community in Moroceli, with 201 homes. With these houses finished and inhabited, the real community development is now beginning in earnest. The focus has shifted from housing construction towards education, health, job creation, security, and recreation.
Water construction for the homes is currently being completed with the help of Disaster Construction Relief and the Honduran government FHIS (Federal Honduran Inversion Social). The water system includes a 20,000 gallon tank of potable water, chlorinated before being distributed by gravity to the entire community. Sewage waters are collected into a pair of oxidation ponds for treatment before being reintegrated into the natural surface waters.
Nueva Esperanza is fortunate to share the Santa Rosa de Lima Health Center with the neighboring community of Nuevo Paraiso. It is primarily an outpatient center which provides invaluable medical attention to the 20,000 people in the Moroceli region. A new building was recently completed making room for this facility to include maternity, emergency, laboratory and dentistry.
Rios de Agua Viva is a legally recognized Honduran institution with a board of directors which was elected by the general assembly of all members. Currently, the organization is running a small discount supermarket at Nueva Esperanza, providing both the residents and surrounding communities with basic goods at affordable prices.
The cooperative will soon implement a direct bus route between the community and Tegucigalpa in order to facilitate the flow of people and commerce. Additional plans include the installation of a community telephone service and the expansion of some of the production workshops.
Micro-enterprise has been a parallel objective since the beginning of the housing construction at Nueva Esperanza. At present the community includes a sewing workshop (micro-maquila), bakery, handcraft and shoe workshops, as well as a cooperative-run supermarket.
INFOP, the government training organization, along with a Honduran NGO Calidad de Viva, have been very active in these efforts to stimulate local employment and enterprise over the past year and are currently examining how to expand their operations into the new year.
Micro-credit has been made available through a system of community banks sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tegucigalpa, as well as individual credits accessed through the Padre Guillermo Arsenault Cooperative. Nueva Esperanza residents are using this financing to develop small businesses ranging from agriculture and farming to carpentry and artesania (hand-made) crafts.
Education includes a primary school and kindergarten. Grades 1-6 operate with the assistance of five government appointed teachers. A library and study hall have been constructed in the community center to help facilitate studying. Adult training has included courses in sewing, handicrafts and shoemaking. INFOP plans to establish a regional training center in Nueva Esperanza offering cosmetic/beauty training, small appliance repair and tailoring. Formal adult education is being offered through a unique Honduran radio program, Maestro en Casa, which allows working adults the opportunity to further, or even complete their primary education, the equivalent of grade nine, through home study night classes.
Domestic education is being provided by the Honduran NGO Calidad de Vida focusing on human development and the promotion of family values. Calidad de Vida has also organized and begun a successful bakery within the community, and plans to expand their operations this year to include a small sewing workshop, as well as a youth center.