June 2016: Eight months after the first 42 families moved into their brand new homes in October, 2015, construction of all the 248 houses that were planned in this project was complete.
The official Grand Opening of “Villa Gran Amor” took place on June 24th, 2016, and many dignitaries – including the President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández; the Ambassador of Taiwan, Joseph Kuo; and the Mayor of Choluteca, Quintin Soriano – joined the festivities.
Indeed, there was much to celebrate, as within the scope of one year, this large-scale housing project had transformed the lives of 248 families, who now had a permanent home for the first time, and created 500 much-needed jobs during the construction process.
For Jorge Chang, the CEO of Tzu Chi Honduras who had envisioned and spearheaded this special project, it was a dream 5 years in the making that had finally come true.
Volunteers from Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) were also in attendance at the ceremony, and have been helping the people of Honduras through their medical mission for some time.
In 2016, the Zika virus became a pressing issue, and Tzu Chi distributed 1,600 mosquito nets in vulnerable communities. TIMA volunteers were able to use the opening ceremony as an opportunity to impart vital information to the community on how the virus spreads and ways to protect the unborn children of pregnant mothers.
With our distributions of aid, the construction of permanent homes, and the spread of important medical information, Tzu Chi hopes to make the lives of the people of Honduras a bit easier, and to promote beneficial change for generations to come.
The realization of the Great Love Village in Honduras is an important milestone, but just one step in our shared and continuing journey together.