For nearly 25 years, HOI has worked to address the spiritual and physical needs of the residents of the Agalta Valley in Central Honduras. To do so, we arrange for groups of volunteers from the United States to travel to Rancho el Paraiso, our 200-acre working ranch, for 1-2 weeks throughout the year. From that base, North Americans work side-by-side with Hondurans from nearby villages on community projects that can range from making home improvements to helping establish schools and medical clinics. Through this model, HOI utilizes short-term teams to make a long-term impact.
Our 60 local Honduran staff members work year-round with communities in the areas of healthcare, agriculture, education, faith building, and commerce. Through the combination of short-term and long-term ministries, HOI seeks to improve the quality of life, increase opportunity, and live out the Gospel with the people of the Agalta Valley.
HOI’s measurable success in Honduras has led our leadership to pursue expansion of the HOI model to other countries in need. HOI’s expansion team is currently in the process of identifying potential partners and raising funds for this expansion. To learn more about how to support this campaign, please contact Jerry Eickhoff.
At HOI, we believe that each community should direct its own development. Every community has different needs, and in most cases, residents have a much better understanding of these needs than those on the outside. To ensure that our ministries are relevant and will have a long-term impact, we pursue programs and projects based on local community leaders’ request and invitation. This process also helps to organize and train local leadership in decision making, which is critical for the well-being of future generations.
Our model is based on a healthy partnership between communities and HOI staff and volunteers. Instead of encouraging dependency, we desire to empower the people of developing nations by focusing on their strengths and abilities. Because we prioritize protecting the dignity of these communities, we work with rather than for them. For this reason, we require that local residents make an investment of time and labor. Whether it is digging a hole for a latrine in anticipation of a volunteer team or preparing soil before receiving agricultural training, residents take ownership of their own communities through their work in conjunction with HOI.