The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been among the worst in recent history, recording 30 named tropical storms and hurricanes. On November 5, Hurricane Eta, a Category 4 hurricane, made landfall near Tela, Honduras. The area received 24 inches of precipitation in under 24 hours. It is the third-most intense November hurricane on record, just behind Hurricane Iota, a Category 5 hurricane, which made landfall on November 16, 2020, putting most of the country under water. Recovery efforts will be widespread, and the needs are great. The Greeley Centennial Rotary Club already helped fund the shipment of 5 large boxes of emergency and medical supplies to the Tela, Honduras region.
In the last five years, Dos Rios Elementary, a Greeley-Evans school, has been providing three schools in Honduras with supplies for students and teachers. Dos Rios teachers, in collaboration with numerous Colorado Rotary Clubs have provided support to the Tela, Honduras rural schools community within the Lancetilla Botanical Garden. This previous work has included the construction of a middle school addition, providing electricity and solar energy, repairing plumbing, making significant roofing repairs on four buildings, providing clean stoves and school uniforms, and the construction of a vocational technology and sewing center within the botanical gardens. These projects were made possible through funds provided by members of the Greeley Centennial Rotary, Craig Rotary and the Greeley After Hours Rotary Clubs, and Simple Suppers for Kids in Desperate Situations (SSKIDS). The Josefa Lastiri Morazan School is located adjacent to the botanical garden. This school serves 60 students grades K-5 and 45 secondary students grades 6-9 on weekends. The second school is Escuela Lempira, located about a 30-minute hike from the botanical garden. This school serves 45 students grades K-5. The third school in our project is Escuela Jose Trinidad Cabañas located about 25 minutes from the botanical garden. This school serves 45 students grades K-5. Needless to say, we have made a significant contribution to the communities within the botanical garden valley.
In order to help the smaller, rural communities within the Lancetilla Bontanical Garden area, and to provide access for other hurricane relief efforts, much work is needed with clean-up efforts. This grant will provide resources for tools, equipment, and local labor to remove debris and make essential repairs to roadways, providing access to the schools and infrastructure within the botanical garden (see attached budget). During a service trip in 2019, members of the Greeley Centennial Rotary met with members of the Tela, Honduras Rotary Club. Our club will coordinate with members of the Tela club to encourage our ongoing relationship and to ensure these dollars fulfill its intended purpose. We will be seeking a global grant in the coming year and are planning another service trip to the Tela, Honduras are for a future collaborative project with the Tela Rotary Club.