In Central America, tucked between Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua lies the country of Honduras. A natural beauty filled with rugged mountains, lush jungles, ancient ruins, and picturesque beaches. In striking contrast, Honduras is a suffering country, one of the poorest and least developed in Latin America. Rife with a high rate of violence due to drug trafficking, gangs, and corruption, over half of the country is uneducated and lives in extreme poverty.
Footsteps Missions. A faith-based non-profit established in 1999 focused on serving vulnerable children living in single-parent homes in the poorest neighborhoods. These children receive food, clothing, medical, and educational services in a supportive, safe environment. Daryl Smithgall, Footsteps Missions Director, states, “Our goal is to make a long-term impact in the lives of those we serve in Honduras. They are a kind and gracious people who only desire a stable life in which they can find a way to meet their basic needs. We would like to help them find a better future.”
In March 2020, due to COVID-19, Footsteps Missions shifted and expanded their services. Responding to an ever-increasing need, they began offering meals for the entire family of the children they served, distributing food for 300 people each day. This provision, combined with basic hygiene items, sustained some of the most impoverished in the community.
Hurricanes in Honduras
Challenges and setbacks arrived again in November as back-to-back Hurricanes, Eta and Iota further ravaged Honduras. As far inland as Santa Barbara, floods and mudslides wiped out homes, electricity, and roads. Footsteps Missions stretched thin through COVID-19 relief efforts mobilized their resources once again, extending a helping hand to the broader community offering food, water, clothes, and shelter to displaced families.
In the aftermath of the hurricanes arrives another health threat, standing water. In warm tropical climates like Honduras, this stagnant water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying diseases such as Dengue Fever, Zika, and Malaria. The widespread transmission of these diseases can devastate a community at any time but especially amid an already challenging pandemic and natural disaster recovery.
Partnering to Provide Insect Repellent Blankets
To help combat the threat of infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, Insect Shield has partnered with Footsteps Missions, donating insect repellent blankets. These blankets are treated with Insect Shield’s advanced permethrin formula, which binds to fabric fibers, resulting in long-lasting, odorless insect protection, proven to repel insects like mosquitoes and ticks. Rick Hemmerling, Insect Shield VP Business Development, states, “By distributing these blankets, our hope is to help reduce the risk of preventable illness especially to the world’s most vulnerable populations.” Insect Shield initially began a partnership with Footsteps Missions in 2016 in response to the outbreak of the Zika virus. An Insect Shield blanket might seem insignificant considering the overwhelming needs in Honduras but for every person who avoids contracting an insect-borne disease, we consider it a win.
About Insect Shield® Technology
Insect Shield Repellent Apparel and Gear are revolutionary products designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection. The durable protection provided by Insect Shield is the result of years of research and testing. In July 2003, Insect Shield Repellent Apparel was registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Insect Shield Technology is utilized by 75+ leading lifestyle brands, work wear distributors and International relief organizations across the globe to provide effective protection against insects and the diseases they can carry. Insect Shield is an approved vendor of the US Army and approved for distribution in 46 countries.