SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras –
Joint Task Force-Bravo service members, Honduras Habitat for Humanity-Siguatepeque region, Municipality of Ajuterique officials and numerous volunteers celebrated with 18 local families as they received the keys to their new homes in Ajuterique, Department of Comayagua, Honduras, July 5, 2014.
Volunteers from JTF-Bravo worked over 600 hours on Saturdays filling trenches, leveling ground and shoveling dirt at the Ajuterique Housing Project helping these Honduran families construct their homes.
Marvin Padilla, a spokesperson for the 18 families receiving their homes, said that they are very thankful to all of the people who volunteered to help them build.
"Let's give the U.S. volunteers a big round of applause. They have a beautiful heart, they're courageous for wanting to help and support this country, and they're noble people. They have come here, carried bricks and tools and worked as hard as we have."
The project called for the building of two-bedroom, one-bath homes for low-income Hondurans who can afford to construct a home but don't own the land to build on. The Ajuterique Municipal Cabinet donated the land to these families so they too can realize the dream of owning their own home. Once the houses are complete, the families make monthly payments just like any other homeowner.
"It's not easy, for anyone, to carry out a project such as this one; it takes a lot of effort," stated Mario Palencia, mayor of Ajuterique. "We thank the people from Joint Task Force-Bravo for coming here during their weekends and supporting the people in need. The U.S. might be a rich country but what they're seeing here is people with big hearts, selfless people willing to work hard."
"I believe that as human beings, we all deserve a home; and this project is a blessing benefiting us all," expressed Angelica Montes, a Habitat for Humanity representative. "It's a privilege for us to share this joy with everyone. Thank you Lord, thank you Mr. Mayor, thank you personnel from Joint Task Force-Bravo, thanks to everyone who has assisted the Habitat for Humanity project in one way or another."
Through the years, JTF-Bravo leadership has created, developed, maintained and continues to enhance community relations through Key Leader Engagements (KLE) with local Honduran leaders which are facilitated by the Civil-Military Operations office.
"As a result of these meetings with Mr. Padilla and the Habitat for Humanity, Joint Task Force-Bravo has been requested to be a part of these community programs and projects and we have done so through volunteer work," said Iris Medina, Joint Task Force-Bravo liaison officer.
U. S. Army Capt. Scott Menne believes that the opportunity to work with the Ajuterique Housing Project is by far the most rewarding volunteer event that he has been given the opportunity to work with.
"When the Hondurans actually took possession of their homes was the best. I equate this in America to when we buy our first home. Someone actually hands you the keys and it's yours! There is no greater feeling than that in the world and knowing we had a hand in it makes us proud."