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La Colonia

On the west end of the Island of Roatan, high above the pristine beaches of Sandy Bay, lies approximately 184 acres of steep rugged hills covered in dense vegetation and totally unsuitable for dwellings or agriculture. Due to its inhospitable terrain, poor soil conditions, lack of roads, power, water and sanitation, this area remaind pretty much uninhabited until about 20 years ago. As Roatan’s tourism industry began to grow, more and more people from mainland Honduras starting arriving on the island looking for work. With no place to stay and often ostracized by the local “Islander” community, these people began to clear brush on these steep hillsides and dig out the side of the hills to make a flat spot big enough to build a dwelling. As you can see from the pictures below, these dwellings range from plastic tents to shacks made out of wooden pallets. Up until 5 years ago, these people had no source of water and had to hand carry all of their water up and down the steep dirt paths. These dirt paths become mud slides during the rainy season making them pretty much impassable. It’s not uncommon during times of heave rains for mudslides to wipe out some of these homes every year. 5 Years ago, Henry and Francis Zittrower started a ministry called Living Water 4 Roatan and began working with the villagers to provide wells, water storage tanks and basic water distribution pipes within the community. Due to their efforts, the people of Colonia now have water, but only for one day out of every 8. On the day they get water, they have to store enough to last them 8 days. These people are extremely poor and have resorted to storing water in 55 gallon drums, refrigerators laid on their back, buckets and anything else they can find to store water. Naturally, these open water storage containers become a breeding ground for all kinds of water born parasites and bacteria. The King’s Storehouse is working with Living Water 4 Roatan to expand the current water pipe distribution system to reach more of the 5,000 inhabitants of La Colonia.  In addition to this water project, The King’s Storehouse also provides water filters to those in the village still suffering from unclean water.