Children at our centers in Honduras are given the opportunity to celebrate their culture and display their unique talents each year at a fair that 20 centers have come together to host.
For three years in a row, this innovative activity has been held in the historical city of Comayagua, which was once the capital of the country after Honduras gained independence from Spain in 1820.
At the central plaza, one can appreciate the cathedral, which was inaugurated Dec. 8, 1711, and the City Hall, surrounded by beautiful gardens. The plaza is where the residents gather to celebrate the local holidays and concerts of marimbas, among other activities.
It is precisely in this location where the 20 centers prepare with anticipation. The fair includes things such as folk dancing, crafts, textures, paintings, pottery and different kinds of foods. Many girls make necklaces, which always sell well at the fair. Entire families will be involved in creating the crafts to sell.
Honduras holds proudly a special kind of dance and music called punta, which is a circle dance: One couple dances in the middle of the circle and the other participants sing and clap their hands. The children are able to participate in this piece of Honduran culture, learning and rehearsing the traditional dances to perform at the fair.
Of course, another big part of the fair is food. The Honduran cuisine has a heavy emphasis on corn, peppers, tomatoes and beans. Coconuts are used more widely in this area than in neighboring countries, and numerous fish dishes reflect the country’s long Caribbean coast. Popular dishes include conch soup, flour tortillas with beans and roast beef, and a panoply of tropical fruits for dessert. Talented cooks prepare traditional dishes to be served at the fair.
On the day of the fair, the work starts early with the placing of marquees. The children help by putting up chairs and tables and helping the center staff set up all the products. The food stands and the skilled cooks get ready when the show is about to start.
Soon people from the community start to walk around the place. The crowd cheers the children as they show their folk dancing skills. Backstage, children rehearse their special presentations, and some of them pray with their leaders for the new souls who will open their heart to the good message of love of Jesus.
One priority of the celebration is to present the gospel through the living testimony of children who are registered in different centers. One by one, groups from every center head up to the stage for a special cultural and evangelistic presentation, including messianic dances, mimes, choreography, and songs to exalt the name of Christ.
The churches and centers look forward to this time each year when all gather for one purpose. Not only do the children get a chance to show their unique talents, but they also share how the Word of God has changed their lives, and how our ministry is working with the local church to bring transformation to this troubled society.