José and Evelyn Castellar went to Honduras in 2001 in search of relaxation and respite from Evelyn’s failing health. They fell in love with the eerie beauty of the Honduran cloud forests (it's a rain forest, but also catches precipitation in the form of clouds). They purchased property and built a winter home at the edge of a cloud forest, planning to operate a small farm with a Honduran family friend.
One stormy night, they were startled by a knock at their door. A frantic neighbor led the Castellars to his home, where a just-born infant, placenta still attached, lay choking on a dirt floor. His mother languished on a cardboard bed nearby. Both survived, but the Castellars were forever changed.
After witnessing the tragic consequences of unsanitary water, dirt floors, poor nutrition, and a gross lack of medical care and medications, Evelyn opened a small, free medical clinic in their guest room. Soon she was seeing hundreds of people a day, consulting with Honduran medical personnel, and imploring friends back home in Washington State to assist.
As they served they realized that the community needed much more. In 2008, José and Evelyn founded Projecto Honduras, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity providing medical care, education, housing, humanitarian aid, and community programs serving more than 100 communities surrounding Belaire, Honduras.
The Castellars, who divide their time between Honduras and Washington State, lead volunteers to Honduras to work with the organization’s myriad of projects. The high infant-child mortality rate, and the malnourished children tug hardest at their hearts. José and Evelyn have adopted two of these beautiful children.