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Stand For The Land


Our Diocese and Honduras share a legacy of community development and social justice. Now, those who care for our common home in Honduras need our help to protect lives threatened as they work to protect a vital national park. 

Since 1962, the Diocese of Antigonish has held a close relationship with the people of Latin America. Between 1962 and 1982, thirteen priests and one layperson – From 1960 to 1982, the following 13 priests, and one lay person – Fr. Alex MacKinnon, Fr. Pius Hawley, Fr. Finlay MacLellan, Fr. Basil Campbell, Fr. Norman MacPhee, Fr. Joe Muise, Fr. Leroy Lever, Fr. John MacDougall, Fr. Angus Morris, Fr. Bernie MacAdam, Fr. Vernon Fougere, Fr. Hugh MacNeil, Fr. Tom MacNeil and Joanna Nearing – lived among the poor delivering the Good News and assisting them with developing entrepreneurial skills. Social enterprise initiatives such as establishing cooperatives and credit unions, adult literacy courses, securing funding from agencies to facilitate the building of schools, community centres, and churches. Assistance and guidance was provided in getting wells dug and electricity.

Initiated in 1970, the Credit Union, known as La Cooperativa Sagrada Familia, is the largest and most successful banking operation in Central America and celebrated 50 years of operation in 2020. Many relationships were developed and still exist today. Work with the Carmelite sisters in Tegucigalpa is helping many families and young girls. A school for girls, Fatima House, is now in its 20th year and has developed into a strong and vibrant educational facility as young women are graduating and furthering their careers that would never have been possible without the ongoing support of the Diocese.

A housing project for homeless families has provided homes for 50 families and will continue to reach their goal of100 houses. The parents can now look for employment and the children can attend the Fatima House School receiving the necessary education so important in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Throughout 2024, Development & Peace is offering a way for the diocese to reconnect with the people of Honduras through its Stand For The Land campaign. The communities along the Guapinol & San Pedro Rivers are facing contamination and the drying up of these vital water resources by the activities of an open-pit iron ore mine in the Carlos Escaleras National Park. The mining company, Los Pinares, has obtained a sketchy permit allowing for mining in a national park. Community members along the river have been criminalized for peacefully protesting the mine, imprisoned, tortured and murdered. TheGuapinol Eight were detained for 914 days. Three community members: Jairo Bonilla, Aly Dominguez and his brother, Oqueli Dominguez, have been murdered since January 2023.

On April 17, 2024, Development & Peace is planning a meeting with the Honduran Ambassador to Canada, Her Excellency Beatriz Valle. The D&P delegation wants to bring thousands of signatures from Canadians to ask the ambassador to bring the killers of the martyred defenders to justice, compensate the Guapinol Eight and their families, close the mine, restore the national park and protect Honduras’ environmental and human rights defenders.




What you can do:


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Communications Officer, Diocese of Antigonish