El Hogar, Honduras

El Hogar can and does empower children to move beyond their early upbringing and to reinvent their own futures. By the time they grow up, the children of El Hogar are no longer defined by their scars, but by the values they learn to cherish at The Home of Love and Hope. This is nothing short of a miracle.   

El Hogar encourages work teams to come and share in the lives of the staff and children. While physical labour is important, the most important contribution of service teams is to forge relationships with the staff and children. Children fortunate enough to come to El Hogar become productive citizens and future leaders of Honduras.

 

THE EXPERIENCE

From the first steps off the plane, TEMC groups find that it is clear that they are in a very different part of the world. And yet somehow, miraculously, any sense of uneasiness always dissipates the moment they pass through the gates of El Hogar de Amor y Esperanza, meaning “The Home of Love and Hope”. This home and school for orphaned and extremely poor Honduran children lives up to its name, and more. El Hogar lifts children away from lives of poverty and suffering and offers them love, hope, and the promise of a better life.  

THEN AND NOW

El Hogar began more than 3 decades ago when a few members of the Episcopal Church saw a need and did not turn away. Instead they began to meet that need in a very small way, at first taking in 5 homeless boys from the streets. From this humble beginning, it has grown into a program helping more than 250 children and youth at any given time. While even this number is small compared to the vastness of the problems, El Hogar completely changes the lives of those fortunate enough to come within its orbit.

THE CHILDREN OF HONDURAS

Although many are orphaned, too many children in Honduras live on the streets because their parents, are simply unable to feed, clothe or educate them. Honduras is an extremely poor country where 70% of the population lives on less than $2.00 a day and 40% of that group lives on less than $1.00 a day. Had these children not been taken in by El Hogar programs, they might otherwise have starved, or been recruited by one of Tegucigalpa’s many dangerous gangs who recruit young members, providing them with food, shelter and a sense of belonging while forcing these homeless children to steal, run drugs or become prostitutes.

Those fortunate enough to come to El Hogar become productive citizens and future leaders of Honduras. It is truly an oasis in the midst of a very bleak and perilous city.

TEAM WORK IS ENCOURAGED

El Hogar encourages work teams to come and share in the lives of the staff and children. While physical labour is important, El Hogar stresses that the most important contribution of service teams is for them to forge relationships with the staff and children. It is the human contact that El Hogar wants to foster as we learn to live in this ever shrinking world.

The key to a successful work team is for everyone to come, prepared to do whatever work El Hogar needs at that time, whether that is building repair and maintenance or enriching the children with advanced English or even teaching beginner piano on a donated keyboard. When classes end for the day, everyone welcomes the opportunity to play with the kids. Whether we are solving puzzles, colouring, playing soccer or basketball or just chatting, these valuable hours are cherished by volunteers and children alike. TEMC is excited to send a multi-generational volunteer team every August. Information meetings are held in November for the upcoming year. 

 

TESTIMONIALS FROM CHILDREN OF EL HOGAR

As the student-president at El Hogar, Junior had been asked to address the students and talk about how El Hogar had changed his life. As soon as Junior began to describe his childhood, he was choking down tears. A senior girl, Daniela, told how the love she felt at El Hogar had enabled her to forgive her mother for the abuse that she had suffered at her hands and prepare herself to move forward with her life. El Hogar can and does empower children like Junior and Daniela every day to move beyond their early upbringing and to reinvent their own futures. By the time they grow up, the children of El Hogar are no longer defined by their scars, but by the values they learn to cherish at The Home of Love and Hope. This is nothing short of a miracle.

For more information:
Joanne Leatch, (
416) 951-3026, joanneleatch@temc.ca