Morales said that migration is not a situation that occurs because someone “really wants it” but mainly “because of the lack of employment.”
“Our youth and families want to get ahead and live a comfortable life, but the economic situation doesn’t allow it,” she stressed.
CRS works to strengthen Honduran families
Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international humanitarian agency created by the USCCB, has worked for decades to develop projects so communities such as Mercedes de Oriente can make progress and avoid migration by its inhabitants.
Partners such as Cáritas Honduras or Asomaincupaco (Association for the Comprehensive Management of La Paz and Comayagua Watersheds) have joined this work.
Haydee Díaz, the representative of CRS in Honduras and the Caribbean, explained to ACI Prensa that “people feel forced to migrate, although it’s not what they really want.”
“This is a disaster, because young people have an important role in the community. They are often the people who are innovating in the communities, who are coming up with new ideas and promoting new activities,” she explained in a recent interview.
Some of the agricultural initiatives promoted by CRS in the country are water reservoirs, irrigation systems, or greenhouses covered with plastic sheeting.
CRS also promotes training for Hondurans to organize themselves into savings and loan groups, or to work in a job that’s in high demand in their community and then learn how to create their own business.
Elvin Márquez, a 32-year-old Honduran from the town of San Antonio in the La Paz district, was one of the beneficiaries of the projects. He received training from CRS and Asomaincupaco to become a “paravet,” a livestock and farm animal veterinary technician.
“Learning this through workshops was necessary because it has generated better income for me. Unlike agriculture, the need to administer medicines and take care of livestock is constant," he told ACI Prensa.
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Another success story is that of Rony Figueroa, a Catholic father of a family who experienced migration firsthand.
In 2007 he traveled to the United States to earn money, but four years later he decided to return to his hometown of Aguanqueterique in the La Paz district in order to see his family again and to try to get himself established.
Thanks to the implementation of CRS’ “Roots” project in 2020, he was able to develop a farm where he has various crops, water collection, and fish ponds.
Currently, migration has become an unthinkable situation for him and his family.
“I feel proud of Honduras. It’s where I was born, and now I am supposed to be a bearer of light for others,” he told ACI Prensa.
CRS representative Díaz explained that “when people have food and their own crops, they can provide their family with daily bread and generate income by selling their products in the market.”