san pedro sula, honduras
Honduras is one of the ten poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. The annual per person income is $827. Military persons and check points along the roads are a frequent presence in daily travel. Despite the grim picture these statistics present, a flame of hope is being lit by the presence of Dominicans Doris Regan OP (Columbus, Ohio), Joan Williams OP (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and the Friars Miguel Anhil and Jose Luis.
After Hurricane Mitch wrought devastation on Honduras in 1998, Sisters Joan and Doris joined the mission in San Pedro Sula in Honduras, where fifty percent of the one million residents are living in poverty. One goal of the mission was to build houses and a community center for eleven families left homeless after the hurricane. This development became known as the San Martin de Porres project. The jewel of the housing project is a school where children are taught during the day, and classes for adults are held at night. The ten-year plan was to turn home ownership over to the individual families, and administration of the school to the community. With the legal assistance of Caritas International, this was completed in 2007.
Read Sister Joan Williams touching letter describing the events that took place on December 1, 2008 — World AIDS Day — in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, by clicking on this link: Casa Aurora – The House of Dawn.
The work of Sisters Joan and Doris extends beyond the housing project in San Pedro Sula. They are involved in a HIV/AIDS counseling program at Casa Aurora, offering support to adults and children, ministering to those in prison through music and in the celebration of liturgical services for 2,100 inmates.
The Sisters are members of the CODALC (Conference of Dominicans in Latin America and the Caribbean). They are both members of the Leadership Team, and Sister Joan Williams represents Mexico and Central America on this team.