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Dale and Frances Schmitz

Yamaranguila, Intibuca 1967-69

August 2014

Amigos officers granted this year $1000 to Tools for Opportunity, a small non-profit here in Iowa of which I am vice-president to provide training and tools to PALISAL, a lumber cooperative in Yamaranguila, Intibuca, Honduras. After the first training and tool distribution next March, 2015, the same tools will be used again and again to train carpenters in the community. We will follow-up at least annually to provide training to additional new carpenters.

I will personally monitor the progress of this project, as well as several Board members. Also, I have placed 19 photos in Dropbox about the PALISAL Lumber Cooperative; the last 3 are from our training workshop at the Colosuca Training Center in Gracias, Lempira. I thank you and the grant committee very much. Tools for Opportunity is grateful, and so will be the people at PALISAL.

I was in Yamaranguila, Intibucafrom 1967-1969. Frances was not in the Peace Corps but we got married at the end of my Peace Corps service. My work was in rural community development. I was the only English speaking person there, and the road was a lumber road; no electricity. I worked hard but had a good two years. Organized aldeas to build 7 one and two room schools; worked to build a potable water system in nearby San Miguelito; built two suspension footbridges; and with a local agricultural agent started a 4-S club in town. Had two mules, but walked a lot. Left training in Puerto Rico at 184 lbs and left Honduras at 154 lbs.

Still have lots of good friends whom I visit when there ever year, but of course, some have now passed away, including a 107 year old man. Over the years as progress came to town, I helped install water in homes, sewer hook-ups, electricity in homes and telephone lines. Now there's cable TV, cell phones and anew paved road in finally all finished (so one can travel from Siguatepeque to La Esperanza to Gracias, Lempira and on to Santa Rosa and Copan Ruins.

Now we are careful about travelling in Honduras, and usually do not spend much time in Tegucigalpa or San Pedro. But out in the country towns, it's safe. Last year we travelled with a son, daughter-in-law and two grandkids from Tegus to Copan to Tela to the Pacific with no problems.

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