Honduras is a country that, within Latin America, has one of the highest rates of violence in general. In Honduras, it is reported that 35% of women face domestic violence and 10-15% sexual violence. Through the IHSLAC Project, PAHO and Canada are collaborating to empower women and prevent domestic violence through joint efforts with local and national government and health professionals.
Yamaranguila and the surrounding area is home to a large Lenca indigenous population. While some people live directly in the town of Yamaranguila, others live more remotely in the valley surrounded by mountains. The Canada Project has prioritized domestic violence as a component of its health work in the Yamaranguila municipality and surrounding communities.
Many women do not talk about their experiences with domestic violence and have nowhere to turn. The work of the Canada Project involves partnering with the communities, empowering women, and encouraging dialogue to reduce violence against women. Discussions about domestic violence are included in community meetings as part of the project and touch on a range of health topics.
Lilian Gomez Orellana is a mother and farmer. She lives with her daughters and grandchildren on the family farm where they harvest coffee.
I suffered abuse, pushing and sometimes when I was very tired, he'd force me to have sex with him, maybe because of his machismo. He said that I was his wife and that I had to comply with what he said." - Lilian Gomez Orellana (Survivor of Domestic Violence)
As part of the Canada Project, self-help groups have been established to help communities prevent intrafamily violence. Women who suffer violence are offered to join the self-help groups which include men and women in the community and who offer support to survivors of violence.
City Mayor Jose Bejarano has been an outspoken advocate for women's empowerment and a key partner for PAHO and Canada in preventing violence against women in Yamaranguila.
It is clear that the issue of violence will be reduced as women gain economic independence, that's the way we see it." - Jose Bejarano (City Mayor of Yamaranguila, Honduras)
Older women serve as rolemodels for younger women. In Yamaranguila and the surrounding area, some women are starting their own businesses and are employing younger women. Producing traditional textiles and woven baskets are two examples.