Cleaning and security companies in Honduras are notorious for not respecting the rights of their workers. Despite contracts with major state institutions, most get away with paying their workers less than the legal minimum wage, and working them as many as 96 hours per week without any extra pay or overtime. AJS has put together a study of the current state of security guards and cleaning women in state institutions in Honduras, pressuring the government to guarantee the labor rights of these workers.

If you go to live in other lands,
Tell them truly what happens here.
Tell them that hatred and misery
Have not been able to bring us to our knees.

In Honduras, violent crimes often go unreported because of fear of retaliation, because of a lack of trust in the judicial system, but also because the system is complicated, intimidating, and difficult to understand. Security 101 teaches leaders of civil society both how to reduce their risks for crime and what to do if crimes do happen. They are taught to navigate the current judicial system, but also to observe it and mobilize people to pressure the government to be more effective.

omar rivera with a graduate of the security 101 training

In this complex and dangerous context enters AJS’s Peace and Justice Project. They reach out to the families of homicide victims and offer a listening ear, as well as help filing a police report, facilitating investigation, and accompanying witnesses through the process of giving testimony. It is this personal interaction that can make the difference between a conviction, and another murderer let to go free.

One way in which AJS is helping to make the Honduran judicial system work is by advocating for better attention to victims and witnesses of crimes. These rooms, called “Gesell Chambers”, allow victims of sensitive crimes like interfamily violence, sexual abuse, or sexual assault to give their testimony before a court – without the fear, shame, and anxiety of appearing in a courthouse. That results in better testimony and more convictions!

gesell chamber

Over ten thousand Hondurans packed into the national stadium on the National Day of the Bible to pray for their country. You, too, can join this prayer network by signing up here.

individuals hold hands as they pray for their country

Sometimes AJS’s work in communities leads to opportunities to provide services beyond our regular programs, like this literacy class that a volunteer holds in one of AJS’s target communities. In this story, she shares about an indomitable woman who overcame the idea that she was too old to learn and learned to sign her name for the first time. 

women study their literacy homework

This month, AJS presented its baseline study and institutional diagnosis of the Honduran Secretary of Health. The technical report was the result of nearly a year of evaluations and audit, and will help initiate reforms that will improve health care for all of Hondurans.

The principal table at the presentation of the report

A small group of people is transforming health in Honduras. Members of Transformemos Honduras and employees of the Association for a More Just society are saving lives through their expertise in transparency, accountability, and the efficiency of public systems, doing the difficult work of getting the Honduran Health system to work for its people.

TH volunteers oversee medicine distribution

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From the Justice Journal

The New York Times published an opinion piece by Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winning author and also our good friend, about the problems facing Honduras. For those of us who love Honduras, it is not an easy read - but we have seen change and we remain hopeful.