Postcard from Honduras: Milky water stirs Mark Richt’s passion to help

A sign clearly marks the dirt road leading to Mark and Katharyn Richt's visit to the small village of San Antonio. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com)

A sign clearly marks the dirt road leading to Mark and Katharyn Richt's visit to the small village of San Antonio. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com)

POSTCARD FROM HONDURAS

Mark Richt is nearly 1,400 miles away from the Georgia Bulldogs’ practice fields this week, touring impoverished areas of Honduras served by the Christian charity organization World Vision International. It is his third visit to Honduras , but the first time any media has accompanied him. This week AJC reporter Steve Hummer will be providing daily postcards as the Bulldogs’ coach views the world beyond the narrow focus of football. Look for an in-depth report on Richt’s journey in Sunday’s AJC.

GRACIAS, Honduras — Much of Tuesday’s tour involved areas long served by World Vision, but Wednesday was all about showing the “before” picture of poor rural life in Honduras.

It was an emotion-charged day for the Richts as they visited locations where World Vision had only just arrived. Several times Richt and his wife, Katharyn, choked up while surveying the scene around them. The place that seemed to evoke the most reaction lay at the end of a half-mile hike from a school in the village of San Antonio.

The source of water for San Antonio is a two level concrete catch basin, its contents looking more like milk than water. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com)

The source of water for San Antonio is a two level concrete catch basin, its contents looking more like milk than water. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com)

At walk’s end was the main community water source — a two-tiered catch basin collecting a trickle of milky, almost opaque water from up the hillside. The top basin was for drinking water, the lower one for washing clothes.

All the need around him seemed to light a real fire in Richt. Meaning that if you are a Bulldog, prepare to hear and see appeals from the coach and his wife to help out this cause.

To a gathering of school children in San Antonio, Richt said, “I coach American football and our fans are very passionate about our team, just like Honduras’ fans are passionate about their football versus Mexico [there was a big match between the two Wednesday night].

“I’m going to challenge our people to get involved to help this community. I think they’ll take the challenge.”

The Bulldogs just gained a whole new set of supporters. Knowing that happy fans make better donors, Zack Aspegren, World Vision’s National Director of Philanthropy declared, “Believe me, I am an Oklahoma Sooners fan, but this year I am a Georgia Bulldog fan, big time.”

– Steve Hummer

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123 comments Add your comment

UGA Alumnus

June 22nd, 2011
9:07 pm

Go Dawgs! Uga is all for fresh water too!

GADAWG88

June 22nd, 2011
9:33 pm

2nd! gotta love coach richt. as much as it pains me to say it… football is not the most important thing in this world.

Mark Richt is a class act.

June 22nd, 2011
9:37 pm

Would love to have one of my kids be coached by him.

FaithMatters

June 22nd, 2011
10:03 pm

I am very proud of Mark Richt and his wife Katharyn….this really puts the world and our priorities into perspective….thank you Mark & Katharyn….and thank you to your family for allowing you to share so much of your time with us and others who benefit from your positive influence!

DS

June 22nd, 2011
10:06 pm

I love Coach Richt,.. and I know hes gonna help..

We also know Tim Tebow would have turned that water to Dasani on the spot…..

Dog85

June 22nd, 2011
10:29 pm

Wins and loses don’t seem so important knowing what the Richts are doing to help others.

Blake Barnes

June 22nd, 2011
10:37 pm

Actually Dog85 wins and losses do mean something win you pay the coach millions of dollars to produce. Great man, but let’s not get carried away.

Biggdawgk

June 22nd, 2011
11:03 pm

A positive story about CMR and his charitable nature and where are all the comments?

Good Stuff

June 22nd, 2011
11:18 pm

Mark Ritch is right on target. It is a good thing to see him taking the lead on this kind of stuff…there are so many places and people who need basic things.

Pago Pago DAWG

June 22nd, 2011
11:33 pm

I think we all pretty much agree with Blake Barnes.

William

June 22nd, 2011
11:49 pm

Coach Richt is a good man. I’m pretty sure none of us would spend our time and money doing these things. It doesn’t matter how much you make. You can always spend some of it, especially your time. Nobody should be on MR’s case for doing something good.

Jiggy Smaha

June 23rd, 2011
12:08 am

I am proud to be a Bulldog. I am prouder still of the man who leads our program.

pirtdawg

June 23rd, 2011
12:32 am

This is why I am proud to have CMR as the Dawgs head coach. Lot’s of people can coach football but few can do it with the class and heart of Richt. DGD.

gt fans eat boogers

June 23rd, 2011
12:33 am

I’m a gt fan and live in my parents basement.

I enjoy Dungeons and Dragons and I eat boogers every night.

Also I hate the UGA Bulldog Football Team and their coach.

Tampa Dawg

June 23rd, 2011
12:35 am

Call me crazy as many of you will, but I truly think a man like CMR has many Championships coming his way soon. I pray they all come at UGA. Then, I want to hear Fran Tarkenton’s public apologies.

Terry

June 23rd, 2011
1:24 am

There is nothing more important than a person’s soul, not fame, fortune, or wealth they shall all perish, but for one soul God would bankrupt the ramparts of heaven.

Matthew 16:26,27
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Lets all remember, God don’t care who we are in life, just that we serve him, and him only. I’m a Dawg Fan, but I’m not stupid enough to think God has favorites God loves all his Children.

Thomas Brown

June 23rd, 2011
2:08 am

Maybe he can find a football coach for his “coaching staff” while he is over there.

Thomas Brown

June 23rd, 2011
2:41 am

Rosenblatt stadium saw 25 SEC teams advance to the College World Series there, out of 26 seasons.

Balmy weather has faced SEC teams this season, in the new stadium downtown Omaha.

South Carolina, winner of the last College World Series and winners of 13 Consecutive CWS baseball games, is looking to go back-to-back. Of course, LSU won the CWS the year before last. The SEC has Won the last 2 CWS in a row.

ACC North Carolina clobbered by SEC Vanderbilt’s 3 Home Runs tonight, 5-1. ACC North Carolina eliminated.
ACC North Carolina had been punched in the face to start the CWS by SEC Vanderbilt 7-3 opening day.

5-1 SEC Vanderbilt

Last night, it was hilarious listening to the ESPN announcers trying to make the ACC sound so great. Virginia only lost 10 games all year long and won 55, they gushed. Aberration they proclaimed when South Carolina scored 3 quick runs in the 1st inning aided by several ACC Virginia errors, and just exciting clutch hitting, knocking in runners from 1st first base when he had gotten on base by a simple routine ground ball to 3rd, only to watch the 3rd baseman for the ACC turn his body to the side not get behind the ball and then missed the grounder having it glance off him and too far away to throw him out. The next batter hit a ball on a rope above the 2nd sacker’s head and South Carolina’s runner scored all the way from 1st never slowing down. ACC had gotten the 1st two outs of the game, only to watch batter after batter after batter get RBI hits to end the game in the 1st inning, all with 2 outs. The game was over 5 minutes into the opening stanza. ESPN announcers proclaimed, Virginia will not give up another run and will get right back into this game, over the course of the game.

Funny thing happened along their comeback trail with the aberration of the 1st inning and all the timely clutch hitting of South Carolina. Oh that South Carolina batter can’t hit. He has not hit all season, and boom another run for South Carolina in 3rd inning. This South Carolina hitter cannot hit they proclaimed in the 4th inning. He too produced on cue, as if he had been told what they said on ESPN about him, too. 2 more runs this 4th inning and the game was broken open 6 to nothing. A solo shot by Virginia was all they could muster as Virginia sent their hitters to the plate with their inflated batting averages playing no one.

7-1 final SEC South Carolina walloped ACC cupcake-playing Virginia.

SEC South Carolina with Carolina only across their chests, also whacked Big XII Texas A&M.

SEC Florida pummeled ACC North Carolina 7-3.

Previously, both Texas and Texas A&M were eliminated as well.

SEC Florida thwacked Big XII Texas, doubling them up 8-4.

ACC had 2 CWS teams, Big XII had 2 CWS teams, PAC-12 had 1 CWS teams and The Mighty SEC has 3 CWS teams, all intact as we speak with the lone loss by any of The Mighty SEC teams a loss to another SEC team.

Thomas Brown

June 23rd, 2011
2:42 am

SEC Florida now faces SEC Vanderbilt with the winner to the College World Series Final Best of 3 series 2 pm Eastern Friday ESPN and ESPN3.

SEC South Carolina waits to see whom they will play to then face off against an SEC team either Florida or Vanderbilt in the CWS Final Best of 3 series Monday Tuesday and Wednesday, next week all at 8 pm on ESPN and ESPN3. I went to ESPN3 and watched a game on the Internet the other day; it is great.

ACC Virginia’s Strength of Schedule is # 41 this morning after playing all these great SEC teams.
Georgia Bulldogs SEC have the nation’s # 1 toughest Strength of Schedule and did well this season.

Georgia Bulldogs SEC have distinguished themselves in postseason play. We’re 15-9 in regional games, 6-2 in super regionals and 6-6 in the CWS.

Georgia tek absolutely sucks in NCAA baseball tournament play, super regionals and in the CWS, mostly to the hands of UGA.

Georgia tek ACC had the nation’s # 33 easiest cupcake-filled Strength of Schedule this season, and Lost to Georgia at Turner Field, yet again this year. Georgia is so far ahead in this baseball series all-time with Georgia tek as to render the discussion on the numbers, moot.
Just thought you should know with all the chest-thumping around here by ACC cupcake-playing teams, who the dominate Conference is, has been, and will be in college baseball’s College World Series.

Vote for UGA our beloved mascot Bulldog, not sure which UGA is pictured, vs Notre Dame’s weird pre-game FAKE touching of the sign coming out of the locker-room Play like a champion, where their players come out and act like they are touching the sign. Give me a break, UGA when a replacement is chosen, is a far better Tradition in college football, and the # 1 mascot in the world for any Sport, even in movies.

VOTE NOW # 8 UGA vs # 1 Notre Dame ( #1 ? )

The vote is very close 51 percent UGA 49 % fake feigning of touching Notre Dame sign. What ? Can’t they repaint the sign ? Can’t they put a piece of clear plastic or glass over it so they don’t have to repaint it ? Lame Notre Dame. Lame.

VOTE NOW : http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/post/_/id/6681916/1-notre-dame-vs-8-georgia

Thomas Brown

June 23rd, 2011
3:26 am

I also see on ESPN that Mark Richt is ESPN # 6 worst coach in college football, today.

http://collegefootballpundit.com/2011/06/21/the-10-worst-coaches-in-college-football/

“.

6. Mark Richt, Georgia – I’m sure he’s a nice guy and all, but when is Richt going to win something important again? There is a ton of talent on hand and, every year, we see the same confounding issues. Last year, the offensive line was supposed to be among the best in the country, but it was hugely disappointing. Par for the course for Richt of late.”

Jaydawg

June 23rd, 2011
3:37 am

I wonder what Saban is doing this week?Oh yeah Alabama just got another commitment from the state of Georgia .If this is what he wants to do great.He needs to do it full time.I dont want to see any of you on here bitching when its another miserable drive back from Jacksonville this Fall.Tampadawg-You are living in another reality if you truly believe what you just typed.Its mindsets like yours that keep this program second rateBy the way,.EVERYTHING FRAN TARKENTON SAID WAS THE TRUTH!He dosent owe YOU or ANYONE else an apology!

joe

June 23rd, 2011
5:59 am

Fran Tarkington is just an angry old sole. Where was he when Dooley, Goff, and Donnan had bad years?

TheAntiMe

June 23rd, 2011
6:25 am

Why is this news? Mark Richt has been on his Jesus trip for years now. Glory, glory!

[...] Antonio, Honduras. At walk’s end was the main community water source — a two-tiered catch basin collecting a trickle of milky, almost opaque water from up the hillside. The top basin was for drinking water, the lower one for washing [...]

Nub

June 23rd, 2011
6:42 am

Message to all …. John 3:16…. Tame the tongue…. Fear God….

Joe

June 23rd, 2011
7:05 am

Blake Barnes…you and the rest of our so called “fan base” need to get a life. Pretty sad that your life revolves around wins and losses.

FanSince59

June 23rd, 2011
7:07 am

It’s a good think Coach Overpaid displays passion about something. God knows it’s certainly not about winning football games at UGA. Hopefully, after this season, he will be able to devote himself full time to this present endeavor.

Sloan

June 23rd, 2011
7:17 am

Mark Richt is a wonderful Christian example. There are few, if any, of his peers in the big business of college football that can compare to him in that regard, and, as a UGA alum it makes me very proud to see what he is doing in Honduras. Thank you AJC for covering this mission work.

BUT, as a UGA alum, I am tired of the football program’s underwhelming performance these past 3 seasons. Coach Richt has the ability to do the great mission work he is doing because he is an extremely highly compensated individual for leading a major college football program at our state’s largest university. He is expected to win more than he has these past 3 seasons. Life often requires that we balance multiple priorities in our lives. I don’t begrudge Coach Richt’s desire to do this mission work, in fact, I applaud it. I just hope he realizes that God has blessed him to do this work because he was successful at his day job. If that success doesn’t continue, the day job will no longer be so lucrative.

bay dog

June 23rd, 2011
7:21 am

I am proud and blessed to have a son coached by Mark Richt. None better. Go Dawgs!!

[...] Updates from Georgia coach Mark Richt’s trip to Honduras [...]

gigi

June 23rd, 2011
7:24 am

I have been very critical of CMR over the past several seasons as many UGA fans. It’s easy to sit back and think how proud we are of him right now. The true test will come after a defeat by Boise state or SC. I beleive what he is doing and what he has been doing is what it’s all about. Helping others in need and spreading HIs word to a lost world. I believe that, unlike most coaches in the SEC, football is not everything to CMR. First is God, then family and maybe football. This is how it should be. Unfortuntaely in this society of the SEC, football requires 24/7 365 day attention. My point is i don’t really believe that CMR has to have this job in order for him to feel like he has suceeded. His sucess comes from his servanthood to God and family.

Jaydawg

June 23rd, 2011
7:39 am

Joe@5:59.Ive never heard of Fran Tarkington but as a fan if this pilgrimage is more important than winning games(which by the way is what Richt is paid MILLIONS to do) to you maybe you and the rest of the blind and ignorant should go join him.Being a generous donor to UGA I would be glad to try and finance a way transportation to help you if promise to take the rest of the content idiots with you.

VADAWG

June 23rd, 2011
7:46 am

Great job coach Richt. Also remember excellent linemen who r coached up win Championships!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DAWG MAN

June 23rd, 2011
7:52 am

PROUD TO BE A DAWG!!

mark richt = politician

June 23rd, 2011
8:22 am

first, he puts his “second home” up for sale and says he is doing it for charity.

second, he gives a reporter access to his mission trip.

And what a joke that banner picture was. i didn’t know they had a fastsigns in that part of the world…. they could have taken the money for that banner and bought a bunch of bottled water for these poor people who have to drink out of concrete cisterns.

does anyone else out there find it funny that for the longest time, Richt didn’t make a public spectacle out of his mission work and now that he is on the hotseat it has moved front and center.

jesus said not to make your giving a spectacle….”..when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” mt 6.3

you people are all being played by a master politician.

It is what it is

June 23rd, 2011
8:28 am

Proud of our coach. Walking the walk.

Dawglasville

June 23rd, 2011
8:42 am

Thank you Steve Hummer and the AJC for covering this story.

Producer

June 23rd, 2011
8:51 am

He puts his house up because he knows if he loses the first couple of games, he’s outta here. Better be ready, but if he plays up “he’s a good man” mantra, maybe, just maybe the bleeding heart, soft GA administration will let him stay just one more year. There are thousands of Georgians who give more money, work more days and do so in a more quiet, dignified manner. This is nothing more than a reality show. Is Richt really going there for five WHOLE days? Wow!! Oh, Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mark!

Dawglasville

June 23rd, 2011
8:52 am

mark richt = politician I guess he will be carrying the orphan he adopted on the sidelines with him all year long too. You’ve got him all figured out. Why don’t you walk your walk and don’t judge the coach.

KF77

June 23rd, 2011
8:53 am

As a Christian and a Bulldog, I could not be prouder to have Mark Richt as our Head Coach. I hope our players can get it together and win this year so we can continue to have such a wonderful leader as our coach. CMR is NOT the problem at UGA. Keep up the good work, Richt!

Missionary

June 23rd, 2011
8:55 am

The so-called “underprivileged” in this country have no idea what it means to really be poor. The poor in this country are living in luxury compared to the poor in third world nations, such as Honduras. Food stamps, free, safe housing, free utilities, and all the cigarettes and lottery tickets one wants are some of the benefits of being “poor” here instead of there. Also, in this country, if you are willing to work hard and make sacrifices, you can raise yourself up out of poverty and be be anything you want to be. For many (not all), being “poor” in this country is a lifestyle choice. Yes, there are plenty out there who’s goal is to find work and rise above the “slavery” of a welfare system that encourages people to have kids they can’t afford and gives them so many perks, it is not worth going to work. The truly poor in third world countries, in most cases, have no hope of a better life. For the most part, one’s socioeconomic status is tied to one’s birthrights- born into wealthy family, many opportunities, born poor, few if any. For those of you who feel sorry for the “poor” in the US, I would encourage you to take a humanitarian mission trip to Honduras, Nicaragua, etc and see what it REALLY means to be poor.

Gator On The Loose

June 23rd, 2011
8:57 am

Maybe he can get the cameras and media to follow him on his mission trips to the Clarke county jail this summer – as he does his annual bailouts of his 5 star student athletes – dream team.

runtt

June 23rd, 2011
9:03 am

You’re a fan but you’ve never heard of Fran Tarkington. priceless.

Missionary

June 23rd, 2011
9:05 am

Hey mark Richt = politician. I’ve been to Honduras, have you? Since there is much less regulation and/or litigation in Honduras, the cost of producing that sign is probably 1/3rd what it would cost here. Having purchased signs like this for my business here in the US, I’d be willing to bet the price to produce that sign was in the neighborhood of $10, at the most. Having been to Honduras and other countries like it, it is likely that the mayor of the state/district put the sign up (probably out of his own pocket) as a form of advertising to hopefully encourage others to come and help the cause of these people. I’ve seen TV crews at events on mission trips for specifically that purpose. Don’t open your mouth unless you know about which you are speaking,

Tod Dawg

June 23rd, 2011
9:07 am

While Richt is out saving the world, Saban is improving his program. Winning championships is better PR.

Real Cobb Dawg

June 23rd, 2011
9:13 am

is mike bobo with richt on his mission trip? Hopefully, richt bought him a one way ticket.

DAWGMAN

June 23rd, 2011
9:19 am

I believe I have seen the real passion of CMR. Look at his eyes and his posture in the photograph. Let him spend all his time in his mission calling. It is his real calling. We can send him copies of the AJC Sports section, and he can send us a check.

big john 360 lbs

June 23rd, 2011
9:23 am

Proud of CMR getting out and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Our heavenly Father won’t ask him what his record was on the football field. He’ll ask what did you do for the least of these? I’m proud that we have a coach that is not caught up in his position in life.

GA.

June 23rd, 2011
9:26 am

Jaydawg, Listen to the Beatles white album backwards instead of the drivel that seeps from Frans mouth, you’ll get better insight into the Georgia football program.

Tod Dawg

June 23rd, 2011
9:35 am

Big John 360 lbs. For such a religous man, you seem to forget Gluttony is a sin.