Embarcadero is a small village of about 20 families located in Atlantida, Honduras, about a mile east of the town of Esparta. This settlement is an agricultural cooperative, whose primary crop is African Palm for export. They also raise cattle, milk cows, corn, and vegetables to feed themsleves.
The Google Earth coordinates for Embarcadero are: 15* 44’ 54.28 North 87* 10’ 16.07 W (The town nearby is Esparta) Note: the Google Earth Image is dated 2002, and this group established this village in 2004.
Currently there are approximately 21 single family homes, mostly built out of concrete wood and metal roofs, a few are wood structures with thatch roofs. There is also a one room school house and a church. In nearby fields there are pole barns for milking cattle.
Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America, with a 68% literacy rate. There is little emphasis on or limited access to education. This is shown by the fact that 43% of Honduran children complete primary school, but only 30% complete secondary education and less than 10% attend university. Agriculture provides 34% of Honduran income, yet 70% of rural households are impoverished. The majority of Hondurans earn less than $2 a day. A quarter of Honduran children under the age of five are underweight, and 20% of the population suffers from malnutrition.
The village of Embarcadero, Atlántida reflects the poverty of Honduras. Embarcadero consists of 106 inhabitants divided into 18 families with an average of six members and three children per family. While Embarcadero has few single female heads of household, several households include grandparents raising grandchildren. Almost all the houses are constructed of concrete blocks, dirt floors and metal roofs without plumbing or electricity. The women cook meals over wood-burning stoves that are poorly vented. Therefore, respiratory problems are common in women and children in Embarcadero. The families rely on pit latrines even though the water table is high in this region, risking contamination of the water supply and disease.
The families desire housing and nutrition improvements and are seeking increased family income via agricultural and small business enterprises. But the families lack the resources to develop a workable plan to accomplish these goals. As a small subsistence farmers' cooperative, the villagers of Embarcadero lease land for palm cultivation in a 25-year tenant farming arrangement that is counterproductive to their economic independence and self-sustainability as a community. Embarcadero has a primary school that serves the 21 children in the village ages five through 12. Secondary school and university education are available in nearby villages, but most families in the village lack the financial resources to allow their children to attend these school.