By Barbara Norton
Honduran food and music will be in the spotlight at Baleada Night 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 at Penasquitos Lutheran Church, 14484 Penasquitos Dive. The event is a fundraiser for Coffee4Kids Honduras, a nonprofit which supports hospitalized children in Honduras.
In addition to the Honduran food and music, there will be an artist creating caricatures, opportunity drawings and inspirational speakers. All donations benefit the children at Mario Catrino Rivas Hospital Noroccidental in San Pedro Sula, one of two hospitals in Honduras.
Coffee4Kids Honduras has been providing snacks to children in the hospital for more than seven years, according to its director, Shawn Plowman of Rancho Penasquitos. In that time they have fed 350,000 kids 92 tons of food, Plowman said, adding that most of the funds for the food program are raised through donations from the distribution of colorful bags of organic Honduran coffee. Plowman said each individually decorated bag of coffee is given as a thank-you gift for a suggested donation of $12 per one-pound bag. There is a choice of ground or whole bean coffee, or a smaller size of vanilla coffee for kids.
In addition to feeding the children, the program also provides the hospital with medical supplies, and the children with toiletries, and even school supplies.
Plowman takes a group on a mission to Honduras three times a year, her latest being a 10-day stay in September. She said just prior to her arrival, 13 children died in a 12-hour period.
“We were able to buy medicine so no kids died while we were there,” she said.
Andie Zaldivar, who works with the organization in Honduras but will be here until Jan. 14 working with Plowman, said help from the Honduran government is insufficient. It mostly provides guards and maids. “They don’t have the capacity to provide medicine,” he said, adding that the two hospital emergency rooms in Honduras, one in the north and one in the south, could see around 2,000 people in a week.
In addition to providing hospital and patient supplies, Coffee4Kids Honduras has also been instrumental in helping Honduran women set up small businesses, Plowman said. One of these women, Lucila Arriaga, helps support her family by making colorful bracelets out of tightly rolled up candy wrappers and beads strung on monofilament. Plowman said that she buys the bracelets from Arriaga and then distributes them here for a suggested donation to the program. Honduran women are also bottling vanilla to sell to Coffee4Kids Honduras, which in turn is available for a donation.
The coffee, bracelets, vanilla and other handmade items are offered weekly at their booth at the Bernardo Winery Farmers Market 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays at 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte, Rancho Bernardo, and the Scripps Ranch Farmers Market 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at 10380 Spring Canyon Road, Scripps Ranch.
Businesses that carry the coffee include Village Mail and More, 12463 Rancho Bernardo Road in Rancho Bernardo, Belen Artisan Bakery in Escondido and C’s Deli in Mira Mesa.
Among the local organizations that support Coffee4KidsHonduras is the host of the Baleada Night, Penasquitos Lutheran Church. Church member and Rancho Bernardo resident Eleanor Andrews, a volunteer with the organization, joined Plowman on her latest trip to Honduras.
For more information on the group, the products available and how to help, visit