The team spent this AM in Santa Clara, which is the home of Arturo, one of our translators described in a previous blog. Arturo is Bolivian and his wife is Honduran. He worked in Miami in the financial industry, and his wife worked as a Peace Corps recruiter. They moved to Santa Clara in mid-2007 to establish a new church. As shown in the photos below, the church is an open-air structure that also serves as a kindergarten during week days. Arturo is the pastor of the church. His wife teaches the kindergarten.
One of their first initiatives was to engage the locals to pick up trash in the village and repair an unpaved road. The village was very clean compared to other towns.
They have worked with several locals to re-establish a brick-making and roof tile business. They mix the mud with their feet, fill the molds by hand, and then hand stack the brick and tiles in a wood-fired kiln. The bricks, which are about 2x larger than US bricks, sell for 3 Limpiras (about 16 cents) each. This skill had been lost in Santa Clara. Arturo recruited 6-8 “village ruffians” as workers. He said that this initiative is bringing some pride back to Santa. There did not seem to be any other businesses there.
Arturo and his wife plan to enclose the open-air church/ school structure. This couple is having a great impact on this small village, which has a population of about 500. It shows what a few dedicated people with a few resources can accomplish here.
Bruce and Jim started a new project to build 2 bookcases for the church office. Tommy and Lee started a new project to install additional lighting in Pastor Anna’s office. This, along with other electrical jobs that they have done, is complicated because very few breakers or disconnect switches are installed. Bruce invented a new fly trap made of an empty 2-L plastic bottle. He was very disappointed when I found that his idea had been stolen and the exact design was on the internet. No flies have been caught yet!