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One of the poorest, most vulnerable countries in the world
62.8% of Hondurans live in poverty (World Bank, 2013). We call the rural areas where we work, "The Last Mile." Here, 6 out of 10 of households are subject to extreme poverty of incomes of less than $2.50 per day (World Bank, 2013). And, according to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index the country scores high on vulnerability and low on readiness to adapt to climate change.
Un- and under-employment rates throughout Honduras are high at about 36% (2009 estimate, World Fact Book).
Honduras is also a difficult place to establish businesses and jobs as proven by a World Bank report that ranks the country 125th out of 185 countries on the ease of doing business and 179th out of 185 on successful enforcement of contracts.
One of the main obstacles to poverty reduction and sustainable development in Honduras is violence. In 2011, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime labeled Honduras the Murder Capital of the World with 82 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants. In 2014 the rate is still one of the highest in the world at 67 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.
Statistics translate into depressing reality. Villages are reached by muddy, rock-strewn roads. Homes are generally one-room adobe structures with animals living in close proximity. Few children have shoes. Many families do not have toilets and simply use the out of doors.
There is extremely limited access to any kind of medical care so that if a family member falls ill with a respiratory problem, there are few resources to solve the problem.
Most families do not have access to clean water and get water from a cistern or pozo. If there is no rain, families haul water from the nearest, usually polluted, stream.
Meals are beans, tortillas, rice, eggs, little meat and limited vegetables. Coffee is the drink of choice and beans are roasted on the plancha of the stove. Often the home is used to store the corn harvest attracting rats, mice and disease.
Supporting Mirador by buying a stove or carbon credits helps solve these problems. Building stoves creates jobs and helps teach the use of technology. Using half the amount of wood saves families money if they must buy wood, or time if they must gather it, contributing to the economic welfare. Living in a clean, smoke free house is a true improvement, even if the house still has a dirt floor.