Punta Gorda, Roatan, Honduras info@flamingoculturalcenter.com +504 3281 9914

Books Galore!

Yesterday we received a very thoughtful donation from the Roatan Children’s Fund. They gave us lots of great books and school supplies to be used for our English classes that will begin on Monday, December 5, 2016. Part of our mission is to empower Roatan families and one of the ways that we plan on doing that is by becoming more involved with the children. They are the future and by working with them, we will spark a generational change. Special thanks to board member Janice Carter for reaching out to us, we truly are grateful for your generosity.

When God Has His Hands On Your Plans

When we decided to change courses in our business, we didn’t know exactly how things were going to unfold. First, I received a word from the lord, Next, a couple of months later a tragic incident occurred, afterwards, we decided to switch things around, next thing you know, we find out about a project that fits in to our new plans. Talk about divine intervention.

One week after the incident, Marshall  González  of Bay Islands Mission Outreach, an organization that supports socioeconomic aide in the poorest communities of the Bay Islands, visited us to offer his support. I explained our new plans to him and he told me of a project that was designated for our community.

Little did we know….

Two years ago, Roatan Because We Care, an organization that focuses on helping the needy and reaching out into the most remote places of Roatan, worked with The Mentz Foundation to create a sewing project for women.

The Mentz Foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission to provide medical supplies, food, clothing and other essential items to underserved communities throughout the world. Members of the foundation brought sewing machines, supplies and fabric for the Handmade on Roatan Project.

The project started in the Brass Hill section of Coxen Hole. The ladies who participated have been able to make a living off of the clothes that they make. One of the ladies said she was “so blessed to have an opportunity to earn income while still being able to manage her household.”

This same blessing made its way to our beautiful community of Punta Gorda two weeks ago. Theresa Renee Arriaga of the Mentz Foundation and volunteers arrived with sewing machines, fabric and tools to give us a huge head start on the Handmade On Roatan Project – Punta Gorda.

Do you see what happens when God has his hands on your plans? Miracles, coincidences and “perfect timing” situations.

Why we decided to change direction in our business

The term “Step Up Roatan” started out as just an emotional response to the shooting that occurred at Flamingo Cultural Center on September 25, 206. Since then, we’ve gotten so much positive feedback that it has evolved into a movement.

Prior to the incident, we were operating  primarily as a bar. After the incident, we decided to remove the bar aspect and  operate as a non profit organization. Our mission is to empower Roatan families and preserve our unique Garifuna culture.

This shift in direction was more like the revival of a dormant idea that was sitting in my spirit. My lord and savior took what the enemy intended for bad and used it for good. Only he could create the perfect setup to prevent a tragedy. Let me explain:

Usually, on Sunday’s, we had our regulars plus new visitors, it was our busiest night of the week. At closing time (10:00pm) we always had to excuse ourselves because people did not want to leave. However, on the night of the shooting, for some reason, by 9:15pm, all of our guests were gone, with the exception of the shooter and his two victims.

At that time, I usually go to the house to check on the kids while my husband keeps an eye on the business. On that night for some reason, my husband went to check on the kids while I stayed at the business. After her heard the gunshots he ran out of the house to see what was going on. As he was running towards the business he saw the shooter fleeing the scene. At that moment, he thought the shooter was the victim running for his life. Because of this, he ran towards him with the intentions of helping, but instead was shot at three times. For some reason the only thing my husband felt, was the sand brush his leg.

That night, as I laid on my husband’s chest and watched my 7-month-old daughter sleep, my eyes watered as my nerves kicked in. It hit me all at once how different our night could have ended. I had a quiet moment with the lord to try and calm my nerves. That’s when he revealed to me the reason why everything happened.

The reason why this occurred at the most unexpected place, at the perfect time is because the lord chose me and my family to make a difference. Instead of running away in fear or continuing with business as usual, we took a stand.

We stopped operating as a bar by night and put our efforts in creating programs for women & children. As of November 2016, we will offer English classes for children ages 7-17 yrs old and sewing classes for women. Our mission is to convert Flamingo Cultural Center into a safe haven for women and children, and a cultural preservation site for our Garifuna ancestors. For more information on how you can support our movement CLICK HERE.