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Nov 6, 1998

Honduran Embassy gets set to dispatch donations

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We don’t know the names of those left homeless in Honduras and they will never know ours, but the people of Belize are packing up donations as if they were sending supplies to their own relatives. The gathering of food and clothing is a countrywide effort, but somehow the items all seem to pass through the Honduran Embassy. Ambassador Bueso who, until a few weeks ago was engaged in diplomatic and consular duties, is now at the head of the relief operation which has turned his home into a warehouse and his yard into a transportation depot.

Truck load after truck load of items have arrived at the Honduran Embassy since the building opened its doors early this morning. The donation, bound for Honduras sometime this weekend, is to aid the thousands of people left homeless after Hurricane Mitch totally destroyed about seventy two percent of Honduras.

The items collected were sent in by religious organizations, schools, the private and public sectors, including concerned individuals from across the country. One of the biggest donations of the day came from a religious recreation center, The Essene Way on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The shipment includes three thousand, two hundred buckets filled with food and an enormous amount of clothing. According to Dennis Eiley who accompanied the barge, the items were supplies that Tom Ciola, the center’s owner had stockpiled in case it was ever needed in Belize.

Dennis Eiley, Coordinator, Relief Effort

“He decided that, you know, he had it here for any emergency that would have struck Belize or anything, right, so he decided that he is going to send it to the people of Honduras, which is a total value of a hundred and ninety thousand dollars, U.S. Well, this ship consist of a few of what you call pasteurized food that are in buckets and oxygenized so you just need water and it is already mixed.”

Overwhelmed by the steady stream and enormous amount of donations given by the people of Belize is Honduran Ambassador Oscar Bueso. Through the help of his interpreter, Letecia Ramirez, the Honduran diplomat expressed his emotions about the items they’ve received so far.

Oscar Bueso, Honduran Ambassador to Belize

“At this present moment, I can’t find the words to thank the whole country of Belize, the people of Belize, for the support that they are giving at this present moment, especially at this time when Honduras is going through a situation of total devastation and suffering.”

Bueso says whether it is a pound of rice or a can of milk being given, each donation is greatly appreciated. The ambassador says it will be some time before his country recovers from the devastation especially in the northern districts to the capital of Tegucigalpa. So far, seven thousand people have died in Honduras, with hundreds more still unaccounted for.

In a short ceremony today, Ambassador Bueso and his staff lowered the Honduran flag and placed a black bow in respect to all those who lost their lives due to Hurricane Mitch. The flag was then hoisted and will be flown at half-mast until things have returned to normal in Honduras. Bueso, says although it will take about a hundred million U.S dollars for Honduras to recover, his government and people remain optimistic about the future of their country.

Oscar Bueso

“But the government of Honduras and the people of Honduras, believe that with their own efforts, all the efforts from the Honduran people, getting together, working together, that we will get back to be the same Honduras it used to be before.”

While the staff at the Honduran Embassy work around the clock, collecting items for the hurricane victims, the embassy as well has had to bring comfort to Hondurans residing in Belize and no doubt have lost some of their family members back home. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

In related news the radiothon and donation drive conducted by Orange Walk radio station Tu Y Yo has resulted in the collection of over six thousand dollars which will be used to buy medicines for the hurricane victims and a truck load of clothing and other supplies.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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