Tegucigalpa—Honduras boasts the most spectacular tropical storms—complete with a dark, brooding sky, thunder, lightning and sheets of rain. When they roll into the capital, our neighborhood becomes a dark mass and the air stifles the soul.
This was the weather in June, when palettes of gray and black subdued the buzz of energies around our Proponte Más office in Tegucigalpa. All at once, the rains abided and the sun was bright—then another rainstorm took out the electricity.
In the span of two hours, the office shifted from excitement and activity to holding its collective breath. Storms and no electricity… This was our new Proponte Más office on June 9, two hours before its inauguration.
Then, the sky transformed from dark to light: the sun embraced the cumulus clouds to provide the perfect light by which to inaugurate the building and host an open house focused on the celebration of family.
During a speech at the open house, the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission Director, James Watson, focused his words on the distinctive focus of the Proponte Más project: how it creates stronger family structures while building and reinforcing community family services, and how it empowers communities themselves to create the necessary mechanisms to reduce violence. His main message was on the importance of the program in building a new cadre of professionals for family counseling systems.
After the speech and ribbon cutting, invitees were given a flair for the uniqueness of the project: we welcomed them to sit in our living room with a cup of coffee to review Proponte Más’ family tree—an essential component of the family counseling work. They were then invited to plant new growth in our flower and herb garden to symbolize the roots we were developing in the community with Honduran families.
The skies remained coated in the sun’s rays as the guests sipped Honduran coffee and enjoyed crepes made with local ingredients.
At the close of the day, Mother Nature had one last surprise for us: the earth shook (6.2 on the Richter scale)—just a gentle reminder that while we planted roots, the earth around us can be fragile. It encourages us to dig our roots just a little bit deeper.
Robyn Braverman is the Chief of Party of Proponte Más, which is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development.