History of the Foundation and the Discovery of a Sense of Purpose
During the 1980s fierce and bloody warfare ravaged the eastern portion of Honduras as well as the northwestern corner of Honduras. The conflict destroyed familes, and resulted in the death of several innocent individuals including women and children. Asides from the loss of human life, the conflict almost managed to destroy the cultural fabric of a proud indigenous culture. Miskito indians from Honduras were used in the campaign by the United States as CONTRAs, while their Nicaraguan bretheren fought for the communist backed Sandanistas.
By the end of the contra affair, the world shifted its attention from this impoverished corner of the globe. The news reports no longer contained headlines or accounts from this remote portion of Central America.
Born and raised in San Pedro Sula,Honduras, Norma moved to the United States in 1964 where she has two daughters and received her bachelor of arts in education from the University if Texas at Arlington. She had no idea that her idyllic life woud soon experience a sudden upheaval. This upheaval began in 1988 after a college professor expressed a curiosity for the indigenous inhabitants of the Mosquito Coast.
While Norma was unable to adequately satisfy the curiosity of the enquiring professor, she soon developed a strong curiosity herself. Despite hearing rumors of roving bandits, military despots, and a landscape complete with a challenging and untamed environment, Norma decided to see the Mosquitia for herself and learn more about her fellow Hondurans.
Norma could not have imagined that the biggest challenge to quenching her thirst of curiosity would be the Honduran government. In the eyes of the government officials, Norma was attempting a suicide mission and they denied her request to visit the region that relatively few Hondurans have ever seen.
Undaunted by her denied request she continuously sought means by which she could achieve her goal. Finally, her persistence paid off and the overnment officials sucumbed to Norma's wishes. However, there were some conditions implemented to her travel plans. A chauffer was arranged as well as a tightly controlled travel itenerary and time line.
However, this too changed as Norma's desire to learn more of her own fellow countrymen consumed her rationale. Instead of visiting the pre-approved locations and adhering to the itenerary, she managed to visit almost every possible village and community within the state of Gracias a Dios.
In 1993, she created the Norma I. Love Foundation and began annual visits to the region.
In 1996, Norma had made an important life decision. She retired from teaching, sold most of her possessions and with her modest amount of savings, purchased a compound in the community of Mocoron that was previously a Red Cross facility. She also started a humanitarian organization dedicated to improving the educational and medical needs of the community.
To this day, despite frequent challenges including the loss of her savings due to a collapsed bank, bouts with malaria, and oftentimes questionable at best transportation, Norma continues to offer her help to those in need in the Honduran Mosquitia.