In September five healthcare providers with five helpers, a local pharmacist, and two interpreters saw 926 patients in 4 1/2 days of medical brigades in four mountain villages of Honduras, plus the Santa Rosa de Lima Clinic at Nuevo Paraíso. They distributed more than $8,000 in medications, reading glasses, vitamins, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and parasite medications. Dr. John Stevens and Dr. Jeffrey Bodle educated clinic physicians on asthma and neurological disorders and Dr. Stevens met with four pediatric pulmonologists to establish the first Cystic Fibrosis Clinic in Honduras!
Eleven young adults and chaperones from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis traveled to our Honduras mission last June and another 23 rising high-school Seniors and adults traveled last July. Our teams brought down 56 suitcases of donations, painted the interiors of two children’s homes and the exterior of one, built a fence around another home, and completed two major Home Makeovers. We took two food brigades to needy families in a mountain village and spent many playtime hours with the children of Nuevo Paraíso and Pedro Atala, including a movie night, Bingo tournament, ping-pong game, and visit with the young adults in the transition homes in Tegucigalpa.
In February 15 adults traveled to Honduras with 34 suitcases filled with backpacks, school supplies, clothes, sheets, towels, and toys.
Here's what we did:
• provided backpacks and school supplies for more than 200 children
• painted the exterior of two and the interior of one of the Nuevo Paraíso homes
• did an Extreme Home Makeover of Hogar Padre Guillermo
• gave large bags of food to 30 families in the Santa Rita neighborhood of Morocelí
• paid for school uniforms for the Kinder
• bought toys, bottles, diapers and formula for the Nursery
• provided 25 Tias with a dinner out in a restaurant
• visited and donated to the new bilingual school of Omar Rodas, a grown child of SAN
Here's what else we did with the children:
• hosted a Bingo Night for the Nuevo Paraiso teens
• held a Movie Night for the younger Nuevo kids
• brought snacks and backpacks to visits with the children of Pedro Atala
• visited the Santiago Apostol teen boys several evenings with snacks
• played Around-the-World ping pong and shared music with the Santiago teens
The children at Nuevo Paraíso and Pedro Atala are doing very well and growing fast. Consider coming with IHM or FHC on a trip to meet them!
Kathy O'Neil, trip leader
Hello! My name is Daniel Enrique Matus Piñeda. I am 20 years old and I'm studying Electrical Engineer in the National Autonomous University of Honduras. This is my third year and I'm working hard to achieve this goal in my life.
As you know, we are living in a poor country where is not easy to get access to higher education. Education is one of the most important things for us because with education we have more opportunities to get a good job and a better life and to move our country forward. But many people in Honduras don’t have any opportunity to continue with their studies because they don’t have funds to do it. So they can't continue with their careers.
I'm very grateful that FHC is supporting me with a scholarship that helps me so much to continue going to university and to reach a life goal. That’s why I would like to help others in the future, after I finish school, because there are a lot of talented people here who just need opportunities to help make their dreams come true.
If you have never been here to Honduras, I hope you can come down someday to see this with your own eyes and to help others with your own hands. You will have a great experience that you will never forget.
FHC is an amazing, big family and I am so happy to be part of them. My father has been working with and helping Sociedad Amigos de los Niños for many years and I have helped my father all my life. When my father worked in the brick factory he met Jim Hope from FHC and that was the first connection I had with you. Now as I grow up, I'm part of this great family myself.
So don’t forget you also have a family here in Honduras. We wish you all the best; you are in our prayers and hearts!
February 2016: Fifteen traveled to Honduras--one from as far as California. Seven team members were first-timers, including two teachers from IHM School. We worked on the wall, helped clean and prep the new SECOND Santiago Apostol house, and did a home-to-home food brigade in Quebrada Grande. We enjoyed a visit to the Reyes Irene and Pedro Atala projects, breakfast with Sister, a movie night for the younger children and a rowdy Bingo Night with the teens at Nuevo Paraíso, and a concert for the kids on one of the coldest days ever in Honduras!
Feb 2015: The IHM Adult mission trip had 12 members who worked on an Adoration Chapel addition at Nuevo Paraíso, a plaza in front of the tienda near the kids’ homes, and a food brigade to Flor Azul village. They also provided backpacks and school supplies, hosted a movie night, and walked the children to their first day of school.
May 2015: Thirteen rising sophomores in college and three adults made a return trip--the third time to Nuevo Paraíso for many of them! They did a home makeover on Alegria House, did a food brigade to Flor Azul village, and played lots of soccer with the young men of Santiago Apostol home.
June 2015: The IHM Youth mission trip brought 12 first-timers and four chaperones to Honduras. They did a home makeover on Angeles house, painting inside and out, held a movie night (McFarland USA) for the children of Nuevo Paraíso, and had a great fiesta with the kids on the last night!
Dec 2015: Eleven women brought 25 suitcases (to join another 7 brought in the summer filled with toys) on the Santa Brigade. They shopped for, selected, and wrapped Christmas gifts for 152 kids at Nuevo Paraíso, 22 at Santiago Apostol, and about 20 children of the Tias. They held a Christmas Store (Secret Santa) for the children of Pedro Atala, Nuevo Paraíso, and Santiago Apostol. They also delivered sponsor presents and monetary donations to Pedro Atala.
Members of FHC led or traveled on four mission trips in 2013-2014:
a Santa Christmas gift Brigade in December 2013
the Immaculate Heart of Mary Adult Brigade in February 2014
a Teen Reunion Trip in June 2014
the Immaculate Heart of Mary Teen Brigade in June/July 2014.
Here are some vital statistics:
Total number of traveling adults: 36
Total number of traveling teens: 35
Christmas gifts wrapped on the Santa Brigade: 400+
Ten- by eight-foot sections of the brick security wall around Nuevo Paraíso built: 7
Suitcases of donations brought down: 142
Travel days delayed by ice storms in the U.S.: 2
Mini Extreme Home Makeovers done in Nuevo Paraíso houses: 4
Food brigades to rural villages in Honduras: 3
Hokey Pokeys danced with the Kindergartners at Nuevo: 3
Soccer games played against Honduran kids or adults: 20+
Soccer games won by the North Americans: 0 (although we did score once or twice!)
Denia, age 9, lives in Angeles home at Nuevo Paraíso, and is starting third grade. She and her two younger sisters came to Nuevo in March 2015 from a single mother working as a domestic in Tegucigalpa. Denia wants to be a doctor and loves spaghetti. Her favorite color is blue and her favorite class is English.
Maicol (pronounced Michael), age four, lives in Grace home at Nuevo Paraiso, and attends the nursery school. He arrived in Nuevo Paraiso in 2014 and has two cousins who also live in Grace. Maicol loves chicken, the color red, and the movie Barney.
On behalf of the Board of Friends of Honduran Children and the children of Nuevo Paraiso School, THANK YOU for your generosity and your participation in our online fundraiser. We were able to raise $13,595 toward the purchase of school chairs, desks, computer and science equipment and the expansion of an all-purpose room that will also serve as the cafeteria. The principal, Gloria Reyes Garcia, is so excited that our online event raised enough money to make a real difference in the learning environment of the children and create the learning environment these children deserve.
We hope that you will continue to follow our progress in making a real difference in the lives of Honduran children by visiting us at www.fhcindiana.org or on Facebook (Friend of Honduran Children Indiana)
Thank-you for being a friend of Honduran children!
Richard A. Vanes
Friends of Honduran Children
Recent college graduate Luis Diaz (photo below) grew up with his family in Nuevo Paraíso, attending grade school and some of high school there. He learned English as he worked with American groups on construction projects and traveled with medical brigades to poor rural villages. In this way, he made many friends from the United States who formed an important part of his life.
“I consider them a big family through many years together,” he says.
In August 2007, Luis started college at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) with the help of FHC funding. He studied art, then changed his major to communications...
Chuvi Jirosi Martinez (below, left) attended grade school and high school in the rural community of Nuevo Paraíso. His single mother worked very hard to support five children, but she became seriously ill with a brain tumor when Chuvi was in high school. After her hospitalization there was no money left for her children’s continued education. Without financial assistance from FHC and a private donor, Chuvi would have had to quit school after the 9th grade, but instead, he was able to earn his high school diploma and then apply for the FHC scholarship to university. He was awarded the scholarship and successfully earned renewals from 2006 until his graduation from Universidad Tecnologica de Honduras in 2010 with a degree in civil engineering. Chuvi worked for SAN for several years as the manager of their Cielos de Honduras brick factory. He remains grateful for his education in both the Nuevo Paraíso schools and at the university and is a shining example to SAN’s current children of what hard work and a good education can achieve.