Matagua is a rural village in the mountains of central Honduras, in the Department of Yoro. The nearest town is Yoro. There are 32 families living in Matagua and their homes are spread over roughly a 2 square mile area, where the roads follow valleys toward the surrounding hills. Most families farm small plots of beans, corn, and squash. At least one family raises tilapia in a pond. Some villagers are employed in Yoro. There is a small grade school near a soccer field at the center of the village.
On a recent visit to the village, we inventoried the condition of the family latrines and stoves. We learned that of the 32 homes 25 have pit latrines, and seven have no latrine at all. Of the 25 pit latrines, only 19 are semi-permanent structures, the others consist of sticks and tarps. All homes have stoves of some fashion, roughly half are inside the home and do not ventilate outside the home.
There is currently no electricity in Matagua outside of a car battery, which is occasionally connected to a light bulb for night-time illumination. We are told there is a water source on a nearby mountainside with a tank that provides most of the village with water.
The village is typical for this region. Staples of the diet are rice and beans.
Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America:
- with a 68 percent literacy rate, there is little emphasis on and limited access to education
- 43 percent of children complete primary school, 30 percent complete secondary education, and less than 10 percent attend university
- agriculture provides 34 percent of Honduran income and 70 percent 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 percent of the population suffers from malnutrition