Linda and Woody McDaniel have been helping residents in the city of La Paz, Honduras for the past 20 years.
They started by visiting an orphanage in 2001, then by building an orphanage and chapel in 2003, followed by the refurbishment and building of seven schools beginning in 2008.
Operation La Paz is a nonprofit organization created by Linda and Woody McDaniel to aid the health and education of the people of La Paz, a city of about 52,000.
The Suntree Rotary Club is one organization that offers Operation La Paz a grant to help with the work there.
“The town of La Paz has nothing to export,” said Linda McDaniel. “They are surrounded by mountains and agriculturally it is rich soil, but the benefits from the farming community do not trickle down to the people, except that they work in the fields making between seven and 10 dollars per day.”
“Their groceries and their medicines are equivalent to ours (in cost) here, and their building materials have gone up like they have here as well.”
The most recent construction project is the building of a two-room school for the children residing in the INFOP area, also known as the town of Morazanico. “But residents only know it as INFOP,” said Linda McDaniel. INFOP is located about three miles northeast of the city of La Paz.
The residents in INFOP are farm workers who reside in adobe huts with no electricity or running water.
Construction began in April 2021 and will be completed in December 2021. Due to the pandemic, the children have not been attending school for the past two years. Thirty children, ranging from kindergarten to seventh grade will attend school in the new building once they have been given the green light.
In September, the couple, along with some friends, travelled to La Paz to work on the school.
Although it rained every day, they were able to paint primer on both the interior and exterior walls. They also distributed hygiene and food bags to 100 local families. A local construction crew has continued the electrical work.
“Faith Viera Lutheran Church hosts a fundraising golf tournament every year to raise funds,” Woody McDaniel said.
The next golf fundraiser will take place at Viera East Golf Course on April 23.
“We are also given a grant each year from the Suntree Rotary Club,” McDaniel said.
Donations can be sent by check to Operation La Paz, Faith Viera Lutheran Church, 5550 Faith Drive, Rockledge, FL 32955.