Garifuna Version of Nun MOTHER TERESA, Sister LEONARDA MARTINEZ LALI Makes Rare Trip to United States On Mission To Collect Donated Supplies for Orphaned Children. Will Meet With Public In The BRONX To Collect Supplies on MONDAY May 26th 2014 at 3pm

 

Logo for Leonarda's Home of Hope Orphanage in Honduras.

Logo for Leonarda’s Home of Hope Orphanage in Honduras.

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Bronx, New York: The Garifuna version of Nun Mother Teresa, LEONARDA MARTINEZ LALI recently made a rare trip to the United States on a mission to collect donated supplies for Honduran orphans.

Garifuna Nun, Sister Leonarda Martinez Lali.

Garifuna Nun, Sister Leonarda Martinez Lali.

Sor Leonarda Martinez Lali established the Community Association for Orphans of Honduras in 2003 (Comunion H) and in 2009, founded Leonarda’s House of Hope as an orphanage in the Garifuna village of Limon, Honduras.

She is scheduled to meet with the public today (MONDAY, May 26th 2014) in the Bronx to collect said donated supplies.

SUPPLIES sought include:

mattresses covered in plastic

pillows

sets of sheets (twin size)

Black shoes for elementary school, middle school and high school students

sets of spoons, forks, knives, game unds plates, cups and plastic cups

water filters

pampers–boxes large and medium

backpacks

desktop computer

laptop computer or tablet

Sor Leonarda Martinez Lali will be at the offices of SHANY (Sociedad Hondurena Activa de New York) in the Bronx on SUNDAY, May 25th 2014 at 3pm until about 7pm.  SHANY is located at:

SHANY (Sociedad Hondurena Activa de New York)

1429 Prospect Avenue (at Boston Road and Prospect Ave)

Bronx, New York 10459

(347) 590-9590

BUS: BX 17 or BX 21 Bus to Prospect Avenue and Boston Road in the Bronx.

Headquarters for Garifuna Man Crescencio Bulnes's SHANY (Sociedad Hondurena Activa de New York) Organization in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Headquarters for Garifuna Man Crescencio Bulnes’s SHANY (Sociedad Hondurena Activa de New York) Organization in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.  

Contact information for Leonarda’s House of Hope Orphanage is:

Barrio Lucinda, Municipio de Limon, Colon, Honduras, C.A.

Telephone: 504-2408-0059

Cell Phone: 504-9948-6158

Cell Phone: 554-3190-8464

Email: comunion.garif@gmail.com

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A website about the Leonarda’s House of Hope Orphanage offers the following information:

“In 2003, Sor Leonarda Martinez Lali established The Community Association for Orphans of Honduras (Comunión H) as a non-affiliated foundation to help the orphans of the Colon area of Honduras.  Born in Honduras, Sor Leonarda received a degree in economics, served as a nun in a convent in Mexico for five years, and then returned to Honduras.  When Sor Leonarda moved to Limón to establish a home for orphaned, abandoned, and needy children, nay-sayers offered little support.   Though not supported by the Catholic church,  she forged on until her Association obtained both approval and some very limited assistance from the Honduran government.  However, after the elections of 2006 and the installation of a new government, the aid package for the orphanage was discontinued.  Today, though government funds are non-existent, her orphanage has official government approval and each orphan is legally placed in her care.”

“When Sor Leonarda returned to her native Honduras from service as a nun in Mexico, she dedicated her life to the children of the Colon area.  Families ask her to provide a home for children when they cannot.  Priests and ministers identify children to her.  She sees for herself the many homeless children.  Today Leonarda is the shepherd of up to 60 children in the poor and remote village of Limón, Honduras.  At the present time, housing is provided in a make-shift orphanage in a sub-standard abandoned hotel for which she must pay rent.  Care is provided for children from birth through 16 years.  The temporary, over-crowded shelter she presently uses is barely adequate yet she houses, clothes, and feeds these orphans with boundless joy and love.  She ensures that the children receive spiritual guidance and health care.  She finds a way to provide required uniforms so that school-age children can attend public school.  Sometimes there is little else, but always there is love.”

In responding to God’s call, Leonarda’s Home of Hope was organized in 2009 with the goal of helping provide for the needs of these and many other impoverished children throughout Honduras, and since 2009 has been providing financial assistance to both Comunión H and others in need in Honduras.  This has included both funding for operational needs, helping with special medical care for children, and helping to provide children a proper education.  Since 2010, LHOH has been working in partnership with Stop Hunger Now to import SHN food for feeding not only the children at Comunión H , but also at other orphanages, day care centers, nurture centers, clinics and schools elsewhere in Honduras.   1

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Some of the Orphaned Children of Comunion H with Garifuna Nun, Sister Leonarda Martinez Lali.

Some of the Orphaned Children of Comunion H with Garifuna Nun, Sister Leonarda Martinez Lali.

The same website about Leonarda’s Home of Hope Orphanage adds:

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere and has one of the highest percentages of HIV/AIDS in the world.  These two problems give rise to thousands of homeless children.   Leonarda’s Home of Hope, Inc. (LHOH) was established to provide for the housing and care of impoverished children in Honduras and other areas of Central America.

Currently all of LHOH’s work is in Honduras and is concentrated in several major efforts. 

  • Provide for the medical care, education, and support of indigent children in Honduras.
  • Provide food for hungry children in orphanages, nurture centers, day care centers and schools in needy areas of Honduras.
  • Construct orphanages in Honduras. LHOH has recently constructed an orphanage for Comunión H in Limón, Colon, Honduras. LHOH is now working on a fence around the site along with other smaller buildings and children play areas.

Limón is a small Garifuna village in a remote area of Honduras within the Department of Colon, along the Caribbean Coast.  Approximately a six hour drive from San Pedro Sula, the remote village is at the end of a poorly maintained dirt road.   2

Garifuna Nun, Sister LEONARDA MARTINEZ LALI will collect donated supplies for orphaned children at SHANY Inc on MONDAY May 26th 2014 at 3pm.

Garifuna Nun, Sister LEONARDA MARTINEZ LALI will collect donated supplies for orphaned children at SHANY Inc on MONDAY May 26th 2014 at 3pm.

ABOUT The Garifuna People

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men,  1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.   3

In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.

Notes:

  1. https://leonardashomeofhope.org/History.html
  2. https://leonardashomeofhope.org/History.html
  3. Nancie L. Gonzalez, “Sojourners of the Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pg. 21

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