August 21, 2003 - The Oregonian: Peace Corps Volunteer Ben Hildner to outfit the soccer team in Honduras

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Honduras: Peace Corps Honduras: The Peace Corps in Honduras: August 21, 2003 - The Oregonian: Peace Corps Volunteer Ben Hildner to outfit the soccer team in Honduras

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 5:28 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer Ben Hildner to outfit the soccer team in Honduras

Peace Corps Volunteer Ben Hildner to outfit the soccer team in Honduras

West Linn man's goal: soccer for villagers


West Linn, Oregon - Jono Hildner of West Linn has a few leads, and he's hoping for a match.

Hildner's son, Ben, 27, a Peace Corps volunteer, is supporting a fledgling women's soccer team in the Honduran village where he is teaching improved agriculture practices.

So Hildner is trying to gather 16 uniforms to outfit the team of 14- to 19-year-olds for their first game.

"They managed to get their hands on a soccer ball," Hildner said, "but that's about it."

Almost every weekend, the younger Hildner makes his way about 12 miles from the village of Sabanetas, where he's working, to the town of Marcala, which has telephone service and four women's soccer teams, so his father can call him.

Jono Hildner, who retired from his job as director of human services for Clackamas County in 1998, works as a consultant for governments. He also teaches as an adjunct at Willamette University's graduate school of management.

Hildner heard of his son's attempt to encourage the women's plans and spirits in late July and posted word about the need for uniforms on the West Linn Forum, an Internet message board. He has heard from a few folks who said they are checking out what they can do.

"Ben was excited we are starting to get some traction," he said.

Hildner is hoping for more, given what else the women need: shin guards, socks, shorts and cleats. If he can't round up uniforms, he might have T-shirts printed instead. He said potential donors can contact him at

Hildner said the women's village sits 6,000 feet above sea level and is a place of such poverty that they can barely eke out an existence. His son's efforts pivot on supporting self-sufficiency rather than heaping on handouts, Hildner said.

The turn that's taken recently gave him a smile.

His son said in a recent phone call that one young woman was growing zucchini, so he shared with her his recipe for zucchini bread. She has been baking and selling what for the village is a new taste sensation with great success. Proceeds go to the soccer team for travel and other expenses.

Hildner said he had to laugh because many backyard farmers he knows leave the prolific squash on the doorsteps of unsuspecting "friends" in the summer because they can't otherwise give it away. Maya Blackmun: 503-294-5926;

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Story Source: The Oregonian

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Honduras; Sports



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