Cristian Manzanares who graduated over 3 years ago successfully from our program after being in the foundation more than 10 years, saved a man's life. Not just any man, a Honduran Congressman named Gerardo Martínez, the representative from the department of Comayagua!
The congressman went out on a Waverunner at around 4pm from Honduyate, a marina and hotel where Cristian is currently employed at Lake Yojoa. At 8pm Cristian was called back to work and sent in a small boat with another employee to search the lake—at night—for any sign of the congressman.
By this time the president, Juan Orlando, had been contacted and an arsenal of first responders showed up—albeit with no boat or option to look for him. Firemen, military police, and COPECO (emergency disaster services) were all standing around in the marina at Honduyate not knowing what to do.
A little after midnight the two employees along with one scared, cold and wet congressman, came back in the marina to many cheers! In Cristian's own words he describes how they found him:
“We found the Waverunner first so we assumed he had to be close by. We searched along the marsh but couldn't see anything for hours. We finally heard him calling out to us on one of our passes. The boat couldn't enter the marsh where the congressman was trapped floating (think swamp grass) so I took off my shirt and jumped in the water, jeans and all. I swam through the grass, grabbed the congressman and told him it was going to be ok. I tied 2 life jackets to support his weight, tied him with a rope and pulled him back to the boat behind me. The other employee and I lifted him out and brought him back to the marina.”
Thank you for reading and thanks Cristian for being such an honorable man and example of the good this foundation can do!
Story written by Kevin Cestra, ProNiño USA Sponsorship Coordinator & On-the-Ground Liaison