Honduras, a country of 10 million people, suffers from extreme poverty. In fact, more than 60% of its population lives below the poverty line. However, within the country, communities are building paths to financial stability through entrepreneurship. Fortunately, an organization called Honduras Threads has joined the fight against poverty in Honduras.
About Poverty in Honduras
The Central American country of Honduras is slowly raising itself out of the depths of poverty. However, it is still facing quite a few challenges. With 60% of its population living in rural areas, its economic divide is significant.
On average, six out of 10 homes live on less than $3.80 a day in rural parts of the country. Moreover, Honduras is a challenging place to establish a business or find work. In fact, it is the 115th country out of 190 on a scale of ease of doing business, meaning success rates are low. In relation, Honduras’ working population primarily consists of young adults and youth. Those between the age of 12 to 30 years old are facing an unemployment crisis. Yet, out of adversity comes innovation, and women in various cities outside of Tegucigalpa are working together to fight poverty in Honduras.
Honduras Threads, established in 2002, is a nonprofit organization that the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Dallas created. It is a direct result and response to Honduran communities that require help becoming financially stable. Thus, the nonprofit created an enterprise of women-led businesses to fight against poverty in Honduras. So far, there are five locations in the mountains of Central Honduras.
At the Honduras locations, the only volunteers in the initiative are the 10 women in the co-op. Most other volunteers reside stateside. Though there is quite a bit of distance, the connection between the church and the Honduran communities has only grown stronger throughout the 16 mission trips the Honduras Threads has taken each year since it began. Often, the team keeps in touch throughout the year via WhatsApp and email to plan and conduct business.
Supplying Honduras Threads
The organization, alongside the local women, decided on embroidery as the product of choice. As young children, the women learned to sew, embroider and complete applique work. Therefore, they wanted to use their skills to create products that would grow their local economies.
U.S. volunteers collect, donate and send supplies to the villages so that the women can use the resources to make products. With the high-quality fabrics the women receive, the women create one-of-a-kind works. The types of pieces they produce include:
- Stickwork banners and hangings
- Table placemats
- Commissioned work
Furthermore, people can buy these items via Honduras Threads’ website, various churches and multiple festivals and markets.
Fighting Poverty in Honduras With Business
Overall, the organization’s goals are to empower women through entrepreneurialism and build a sustainable income source. As a bonus, the nonprofit also works with the communities to educate them on areas like politics and accounting. Thus far, the nonprofit has helped nearly 80 women, 225 families, five villages and around 2,200 people. Additionally, it has sold more than 7,000 items and given more than $300,000 to local communities.
Ultimately, the women of Honduras Threads are working to transform their lives. With their newly acquired knowledge and support, Honduran women have been able to make impressive progress in the fight against poverty in Honduras.
– Sallie Blackmon