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Jody Paterson
Amount Raised
Fundraising Goal $5,000.00

My Message

We’re doing volunteer work right now in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere - Honduras. You can help us make a real difference. We’re long-time B.C. newspaper journalists, and have both had careers in newspaper management. Jody has also worked with B.C. non-profits serving vulnerable, impoverished people, and she has now taken a one-year volunteer placement through Cuso International to do communications work for a Cuso partner organization in Honduras, the Comision de Accion Social Menonita (CASM). The work sounds amazing, helping CASM develop a strategy for talking more effectively to all kinds of people inside and outside Honduras about the difficult community issues it works with. Those issues are important. CASM is a social-justice organization in a country with many needs. CASM’s projects include working with communities to reduce the social and environmental impact of migratory farming, a practice common in impoverished countries that destroys vital forest lands, causes serious environmental problems, and is at best a fleeting fix for people’s real economic problems. Honduras is the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Most of its eight million citizens struggle - with 28 per cent unemployment, extreme poverty, contaminated and uncertain water sources and routine crime. More than 40 per cent of Hondurans live on the equivalent of less than $1.25 a day. Desperate to survive, Hondurans are inadvertently devastating their environment in some areas of the country in an effort to feed their families. People log forests in hopes of setting up subsistence farms on soil that can’t sustain farming. Or they cut down mahogany trees to sell into the international market. The country has lost more than a third of its forest lands in the last 20 years. As long-standing newspaper columnists, we are familiar with reflecting on such complex community issues as writers. But we are also advocates and activists, and it’s that part of us that is most excited about the opportunities opened up by our Cuso volunteer placement. Jody has dealt with many complexities in her work in Victoria with survival sex workers and people living homeless. She knows such work is hard, slow and often frustrating. But at the same time, this placement is a terrific opportunity to take the sum total of communication and management skills from a lifetime of work in Canada and pass it on to an organization doing good work in Honduras, where the needs are so great. With your help, we have the chance to work with Cuso International to apply the skills, knowledge and energy of Canadians like us on tough problems here and around the world. Why Cuso? We have known of the organization for many years, and have long appreciated the volunteer work Cuso International does in developing countries. Cuso understands the importance of grassroots strategies built around the skills and knowledge of the people who live in the countries where it works. We’re honoured to be having our first international volunteer experience on behalf of an organization with a proven track record for effective, home-grown initiatives addressing some of the most pressing problems of these times. We’re posted to Copan Ruinas, near the Guatemalan border. We hope you’ll visit our blogs for regular updates on our travels - you can subscribe to get updates from Jody’s blog and/or Paul’s blog and we are also on Facebook! Thank you for your support of the work we’ll be doing. Your donations make all the difference to the important work Cuso International does around the world. We hope you'll read our blogs about our time in Honduras - we'd like to take you along with us for what is already proving to be a fascinating year. Paul and I arrived in Honduras in January. Read more about my placement by pressing 'more' below...then you can make a tax deductible gift and leave us a message.

My Supporters:

Jody Paterson left a message
Nov 26, 2013 10:07 PM
We'll soon be at the two-year mark in Honduras, and wrapping up our postings at the end of March. That's going to be a difficult time! We've certainly had an amazing experience here thanks to our Cuso placements. It's been challenging working in a different culture, but I feel like we've helped our organizations here in Honduras, and it sure has been great to be able to help them tell their amazing stories to more people. I've especially had fun making videos for the regions! left a message
Nov 24, 2013 10:35 PM
God bless you Jody.
Sean Kelly left a message
Feb 28, 2013 8:08 AM
Hi Jody, Sean Kelly with Cuso Intl here. I just wanted to say I'm really enjoying your blog. Good luck with the bad days and relish the good ones. Cuso has an org blog at ... would you be interested in writing a guest blog entry, or adapting one of your previous entries? You can let me know ( Thanks
Harry Atkinson left a message
Feb 1, 2013 1:47 PM
Jody and Paul have put themselves in a position to help by being where the action is - in an attempt to understand the issues and provide their on site attempt to help solve local problems. My sincere admiration. Harry Atkinson
Jody Paterson left a message
Nov 6, 2012 10:36 AM
Just wanting to leave a quick note thanking everyone for their support and well-wishes! Can't believe we're almost 10 months into our placements already - time has flown by. We're finally hitting our stride on the work fronts, something that takes time when you find yourself in a very different work culture. We're loving the tremendous learning opportunities that come with tackling new jobs in a new country in a new language. Thanks for getting us here, Cuso, and thanks to all of our supporters!
Darlene Melnyk left a message
Nov 6, 2012 10:08 AM
I love your blog and your pictures. Your hard work with all the people and creatures you come across is felt and appreciated. carryon
Steve Malone left a message
Sep 17, 2012 3:41 PM
Hello We are a small NGO out of Canada (Ontario) working in Honduras for the past 10 years Thanks for being there and doing waht you do!
Janice left a message
Aug 14, 2012 1:27 PM
Water seems to be a big issue in the toilet problem. What about waterless composting toilets? Just a thought.
Jody left a message
Aug 9, 2012 1:25 PM
Hi, Ron! Thanks for that advice - I know Howard but it slipped my mind to ask him. OK, he's on my list.
Ron Hasz left a message
Aug 9, 2012 1:11 PM
Jody----about competent workers in Copan. Go ask Howard--owns Terramaya and the other small hotel on the west side of Copan. I think he could help you find someone. Howard and Angela are really great people.
Derek Evans left a message
Jun 25, 2012 11:24 AM
Jody, Congratulations on your Doc, and thank you for your wonderful speech and continuing inspiration!
Karen McIvor left a message
May 30, 2012 7:10 PM
Congratulations, Dr. Paterson!
Joan Rossa left a message
Mar 5, 2012 3:55 PM
It's nice to be a small part in what you are doing.
Jody left a message
Mar 4, 2012 11:50 PM
Thanks to everyone who donated and helped us achieve our goal! We greatly appreciate your support of Cuso International and the work we're doing in Honduras. Check in with us on our blogs every now and then ( for Jody, for Paul) and stay in touch!
Janice Sexton left a message
Mar 4, 2012 1:09 PM
Hi Jody, I've enjoyed reading your columns over the years and really admire you for taking on this great adventure and wish you all the best. I'm hooked on your much better than twittering! Janice
ulysees (-: left a message
Feb 2, 2012 11:41 PM
Great to see that you've made the jump Jody... Central and South America can take up the rest of your life and then you can retire next to a mango tree, what could be better and to learn all of those gifts that these peaceful people are a part of . Thanks for doing Jody so well!! (-: hugz,
Travis, Matt, Vicki, and Sean Paterson left a message
Jan 14, 2012 2:26 PM
Good luck Sis and we hope you and Paul have a great year.Travis wishes both of you some extra good luck. See you in June.
Shelley Morris left a message
Jan 11, 2012 6:09 PM
Friend, you inspire me, you lead by example, your heart is as big as the sky and you are beloved, prayed for and will be dearly missed!
Barry Salter left a message
Jan 10, 2012 12:00 PM
Jody Many thanks from all your friends at St. John the Divine for your help over the years. I wish you and your partner all the best in your future endeavours.
Gloria Hoeppner left a message
Jan 10, 2012 2:29 AM
Jody, your place in my heart will now have a Honduran chapter! Victoria is going to miss you so much! We will be tracking with you and following your blog with much interest. We wish you and Paul a most rewarding time with CUSO CASM.
Gary Collins left a message
Jan 9, 2012 6:36 PM
Hi Paul and Jody, Good luck in your new life adventure. We will be paying attention.
Toni Graeme left a message
Jan 7, 2012 3:58 AM
Dear Jody, it is a pleasure to support your venture with CUSO. Risk and reward is what a full life is all about and third world countries give us lot of opportunities. All the very best to you and Paul. I look forward to to blog reports.
Jody Paterson left a message
Jan 6, 2012 11:07 PM
Hi, everyone! We're in the countdown now - leaving Jan. 15 - and I wanted to thank you for your generous donations. Thanks so much for all the support! Steve, you asked me a question that I'd like to answer but I can't find your email on this site - please feel free to send me an email at Thanks, everyone, and I hope you can drop by our farewell on Wed. Jan. 11, 6-10 p.m. at the Garry Oak Room of the Fairfield Community Centre.
David A. Brown left a message
Jan 6, 2012 4:31 PM
I'm certain the heart-swelling rewards will match the challenges you and Paul find in your CUSO endeavor. We will sorely miss you both. I will be plugged into your blog. Stay safe.
Erma Siteman left a message
Jan 6, 2012 3:20 PM
Dear Jody, and partner; `What's new? , Victoria is unable to keep anything good while they drag their feet. We are the loosers! Please accept my greetings ,as a senior beginner writter. Locked Diary when you loose a loved one the diary is neglected You forgot what it contained awhile ago The mystery is, where is the key Perhaps in Spirits keeping shall we leave it there, put it all to rest Will then our strength be whole? Written by Erma Siteman `
Sam Van Schie left a message
Jan 6, 2012 12:47 PM
Best of luck in Honduras, Jody and Paul. I look forward to reading about work in the coming year.
Jane Vincent left a message
Jan 6, 2012 10:20 AM
I wish you all the best with your new adventure. Good for you doing what you want to do - they are lucky people in Honduras having you there.
Steve Malone left a message
Jan 4, 2012 10:08 AM
I wish you well in this great mission and adventure. Where will you be located in Honduras? We are coming in March 2012.
Cal Roskelley left a message
Dec 31, 2011 8:55 PM
Hope you all have a fantastic time in all the ways you have already both imagined (and many, many more)!
Dennis Leclair left a message
Dec 27, 2011 3:26 PM
Hello Jody and Paul My name is Dennis Leclair from Kelowna BC. Today, I received from CUSO, two potential placements in Ghana and Ruwanda. I respectfully request that you provide "general" information related to your CUSO "selection" experiences and initial guidance for a potential newcomer to CUSO. I hope you all have a great holiday and I appreciate your time. Regards and the best of luck in your CUSO placement. Dennis Leclair 250 808 3313 www.leclairandassociatescon
Dennis Leclair left a message
Dec 27, 2011 3:20 PM
Hello Jody and Paul My name is Dennis Leclair from Kelowna BC. Today, I received from Andrea, my confirmation for consideration for two positions. Andrea has also forwarded the position descriptions and related info that included your contact email. I will be completing my telephone interview with CUSO on January 5th. Prior to this interview, I am gathering information related to these positions and you and your associates are my first contacts. I respectfully request that you provide "gene
Barbara and George (Mom and Dad) left a message
Dec 26, 2011 9:18 AM
Hi Jody and Paul - We have always been proud of both of you and are even more proud of you as you hed off to help the people in Honduras. Travel safe! Much love
Barbara left a message
Dec 25, 2011 6:36 PM
Bill Tieleman left a message
Dec 21, 2011 1:02 PM
Hey Jody and Paul - I'm so impressed and pleased that you are going to do this valuable work! Happy to contribute. I worked for Oxfam Canada as a fundraiser for three years in Toronto and know how important development is - and how hard to raise money. Good luck and be safe!
Kim Dinsmore left a message
Dec 16, 2011 6:13 PM
Amazing! Good Luck! I look forward to reading your blog!
georgie left a message
Dec 14, 2011 2:23 PM
Good Luck in this adventure
Herb left a message
Dec 10, 2011 8:41 PM
What an exciting adventure. Your energy will make things happen there as here I am sure.
Janet christie left a message
Dec 8, 2011 10:27 AM
OH My God Jody and Paul. This is amazing. I can't imagine going to a place like Honduras. My heart would break every time I opened it. You are such brave and incredible people and can't actually believe you are leaving. What am experience! May the Force be with you!
Bruce Saunders left a message
Dec 8, 2011 2:14 AM
All best, Jody. This looks like quite an adventure. We'll miss your work here. B
John left a message
Dec 7, 2011 3:21 PM
Proud of you both and looking forward to reading about your adventure!
Sasha McInnes left a message
Dec 7, 2011 3:08 PM
I've heard so much about you, Jodi, from Doug and am delighted to hear that you're going to Honduras where I'm sure you will make a great contribution to a FREE press! Take good care. Muchos saludos cordiales!
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