AAW's Turners Without Borders committee partnered with a nonprofit known as GreenWood to help wood artisans in Honduras learn to turn hardwood mallets. This collaboration set up an ongoing partnership with GreenWood and may serve as a model for future projects. A generous donation from Dale Larson helped make the project possible. Scott Lewis (see Dominican Republic Project, below) brought one of his pedal-powered lathes to Honduras to lead the teaching. He was joined by Manuel Suarez, an AAW volunteer from Rockville, Md., who has traveled to Honduras several times on behalf of a healthcare nonprofit. Working with local GreenWood staff, Lewis and Suarez assembled the lathe and trucked it to the village of Las Champas. There, they spent five days teaching and testing a half-dozen local woods. They then spent two days teaching in El Carbon, a community of Pech Indians who make Appalachian-style furniture. Scott Landis, the head of GreenWood, says, “The students were attentive and involved, and we identified some real talent.” For his part, Suarez says, “The experience has been very positive. The students were anxious to learn, thankful for our efforts to help them, and delighted with Scotty’s lathe.” TWB is discussing ways to help GreenWood further as it moves to full-scale mallet production.
The students in Las Champas, with Scott Lewis’s lathe and some of the bowls and mallets they produced.