New members of the group are always welcome. Contact Allie Gassmann by email if you are interested in participating.
In addition to the service trips, one of the more significant projects has been raising money so the Las Mangas villagers could build a “canasta,” a hand-cranked cable car, across the river, which permits crossing the river during the rainy season. This was particularly important to allow the village children to go to school during the rainy season.
Currently the Honduras group has connected with a microloan organization based in La Ceiba called Adelante, which is active farther up Cangrejal River Valley than the three communities in which our Honduras service groups have worked, but Adelante is now looking into the feasibility of starting women’s circles for the purposes of microloans and economic education in those communities. As the next UUCC Honduras service trip is not planned until 2016 or 2017, the Honduras group is working in the interim to raise funds to support Adelante’s work.
The Honduras group has adopted the following covenant and ground rules for its meetings:
As a group, we commit ourselves to developing and maintaining relationships with the people and the communities of the Cangrejal River Valley. We do this by working in collaboration with our Honduran partners in identifying service projects, by fundraising and by taking regular trips to Honduras to work side by side with our Honduran friends. We meet monthly to work towards the above goals, to educate ourselves about issues that affect us in our communities both in the U.S. and in Honduras, to get to know each other better and to explore the spiritual aspects of our work. As we learn and grow, we raise awareness around issues of poverty and inequality in our own houses of worship.
I commit myself:
- to come to meetings when I possibly can, knowing that my presence is important to the group;
- to let the leader know if I will be absent or need to quit;
- to share with the leader the responsibility for good group process by watching how much time I take to speak and noticing what is going on for others;
- to do the reading if possible and to think about the topic ahead of time;
- to not gossip about what is shared in the group, and tell only my own story to others;
- to honor the safety of the group by listening to what others share with an open heart;
- to refrain from cross-talk, judging, or giving advice;
- to ask questions gently and only if necessary;
- to share as deeply as I can when it is my turn;
- and to be open to new members at all times.