Our club is proud to be a host club for Elly, a Rotary Peace Scholar now studying at the University of Queensland.

Elly is from Honduras, Central America. She told us about her country and some of the challenges faced by the people. Honduras has a population of approximately 9.5 million with the capital, Tegucigalpa, being the largest city.

The country is a former Spanish colony and the main languages are Spanish and Mestizo (a native Indian language).

There is little secondary industry, with the vast majority of the country’s income coming from mining and farming. There is a vast disparity between rich and poor with the annual per capita income being listed as US$600. This has led to serious social problems and a vast majority of the rural poor living on a subsistence level.

Elly told us of the difficulties faced by the people who cannot get basic services such as health care and education. The level of crime and gun violence is very high and the country is listed by DFAT as ‘do not visit’.

Elly told us of the struggles she and her organisation have, to try to bring positive change for her people, particularly in the mountainous rural areas.

She is hoping that, over time, they will be able to make some progress and lift living standards in her country.

We thank you, Ellie, for your talk and for your bravery in trying to right the wrongs in your homeland.