Trip Report: IHM Youth Mission Trip to Honduras - July 23-30, 2019

20 IHM travelers

Christian Alerding

Lucy Bain

Erik Bowes

Lindsey Douglas

Kenzi Gaynor

Ella Johnson

Will Kennedy

Rachel Konesco

Addi Laux

Walt Lewis

Karl Meyer

Taylor Oberlies

Lily Ryan

Annie Sherman

Olivia Urban


Kathy O’Neil (leader)

Christine Douglas

Mike Kennedy

Jodi Konesco

Joe Meyer

Suitcases of Donations (checked luggage): 28


—Painted interior and exterior of Hogar Angeles, a children’s home with 9 kids

—Did extensive Home Makeover of Angeles, providing new bedding, towels, pots & pans, dishes, cups, silverware, laundry baskets, bathroom mirrors, shower curtains, TV stand, curtains, appliances and more —Poured a new cement sidewalk in front of Angeles and helped kids decorate large rocks to line it —Painted a classroom in the Nuevo Paraiso School

—Took 33 bags of food staples to elderly and needy families in Barrio La Insula in the town of Yuscarán —Brought about $1000 worth of school supplies for the start of school next February

—Donated $20 each to 38 Tias, Tíos, and others who work directly for the children

—Provided shoes for several dozen children at Nuevo Paraiso, including nearly all the Santiago teen boys —Made birthday bags of presents for all kids with September and October birthdays

—Donated $100 toward Father Max’s hospital bills (after a rollover car crash)

—Donated $400 toward needs of Pedro Atala homes

—Donated $400 toward needs of Nuevo Paraiso homes (for insect repellent during Dengue Fever outbreak)


—Held a carnival of games and face painting for all Nuevo Paraiso kids under 13, with RingPops, chips, and juice. —Hosted a movie night for teenage boys and girls with donuts and soda

—Visited Santiago teen boys for a dance party, brought apples, chips, and soda

—Walked the Nuevo Paraíso grade-schoolers to school every weekday morning

—Bought ice cream and visited with Pedro Atala kids on arrival day

—Ate brunch with and listened to Sister Maria Rosa speak about her life and advice for teens

Total cost/spending: $19,494 (not including airfare)

Trip Report: IHM Young Adult/Reunion Mission Trip to Honduras - June 3-10, 2019

7 IHM travelers + 4 joining us in Honduras

Claire DeWeese

Drew Holl

Sarah Kennedy

Annie Klein

Annie O’Neil

Rebecca Stauffer

Kathy O’Neil (leader)

Clare Gaffney (former IHM, now in Florida)

Nathalie Sieh (Clare’s friend)

Sophia Agurcia (Honduran-American niece of Sociedad Amigos de los Niños Director who has joined this group each year)

Ebba (friend of Sophia)

Suitcases of Donations (checked luggage): 15


—Painted interior and exterior of Hogar Agape, a children’s home with 11 kids

—Did extensive Home Makeover of Agape, providing new bedding, towels, pots & pans, dishes, cups, silverware, laundry baskets, bathroom mirrors, shower curtains, shelving units, curtains, appliances and more

—Took 50 bags of food staples to needy families and elderly single people at a very poor parish in nearby city of Morocelí

—Provided shoes for several dozen children at Nuevo Paraiso and children of employees and bought new school shoes for new arrivals at Nuevo

—Bought cake and juice for Quinceañera (15th birthday) Mass and party for Alma

—Donated $200 toward needs of the Transition Homes in Tegucigalpa

—Donated $500 toward needs of Nuevo Paraíso and Santiago Homes

—Donated $500 toward needs of Pedro Atala Homes


—Hosted a movie night for kids ages 10 and under with juice and chips

—Visited Santiago teen boys for a dance party

—Brought a Chinese food dinner to Santiago boys

—Hosted 13 Transition (college-age) students to a lunch at TGIFridays in Tegucigalpa —Walked the Nuevo Paraíso grade-schoolers to school every weekday morning

Total cost/spending: $12,941 (not including airfare).

Support from IHM Outreach (not travelers or other donations): $5,450

February 2019 Trip Report

Fifteen adults from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis traveled to our Honduras mission in the beginning of February. Here is what they did:

  • painted the interior and exterior of Hogar Sol, a children’s home with 11 kids

  • constructed a guard house for the Vistors’ park

  • did an extensive home makeover (which included new bedding, towels, pots & pans, dishes, cups, silverware, laundry baskets, bathroom mirrors, shower curtains, shelving units, curtains, appliances and more)

  • paid for re-tiling of kitchen counters and left extra money for re-tiling of shower floors

  • Took 35 bags of food staples to needy families and elderly single people at a very poor parish in nearby city of Morocelí

  • Provided new backpacks for 150 children at Nuevo Paraiso, another 30 children of employees, and 10 gate guards

  • Hosted parties for the children of Pedro Atala and Nuevo Paraíso

  • Brought Santiago boys to our dining hall for chicken dinner and fellowship; afterward Daniel Matus, a grown child of SAN and current university student, gave the boys a talk about working hard and following their dreams


“I first traveled to Honduras and learned about Friends of Honduran children as a college student during the summer of 2010. While spending the week getting to know the children at Nuevo Paraiso and Pedro Atala and completing rehab projects there, I saw first hand what meaningful work Sociedad Amigos de Los Ninos does in Honduras. They not only help to meet the basic needs of some of Honduras's more vulnerable children, but also give these children the chance to become successful, self-sufficient adults. I knew I wanted to continue to help this organization after I returned home to Indianapolis. Through Friends of Honduran Children, I began sponsoring Beatriz, an eight-year-old girl living at Pedro Atala.

I returned to Honduras with a group of college students in summer 2011 and had the opportunity to meet Beatriz in person. I spent time talking, playing, and dancing with Beatriz and her friends and got to see her sweet, fun-loving personality. Although I have not had the opportunity to return to Honduras since meeting Beatriz, I have maintained my sponsorship and watched her grow into a teenager. I enjoy staying connected through sending letters and photos and receiving her yearly updates. I look forward to seeing Beatriz continue to grow into a smart, successful young adult.”

*If you are a child sponsor and would like to tell us your story for the next sponsorship highlight, please email us at

*Check out our new Instagram page @fhc_indiana

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!

Dear FHC friends and loyal supporters,

As 2018 comes to a close and the Christmas season is upon us, I find myself reflecting back on all our organization has accomplished this year. Your generosity allowed us to raise more than $70,000 to sustain our educational scholarship program. Our child sponsorship and transition programs continued to grow as we added new sponsors, allowing us to help even more Honduran children. More than a hundred adults and children traveled to Honduras this year in support of the children of Sociedad Amigos de los Niños and medical brigades!

You touched so many lives with your love and generous support. If you haven’t had a chance to contribute this year, please consider including us in your year-end giving: On behalf of our extended Honduran family, thank you!

We wish you and yours...

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!

Richard A. Vanes


Friends of Honduran Children Inc.

FHC/CHIPA Medical Brigade

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!

Summer 2017

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. 

February 2017 Trip Report: Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Indianapolis

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

Portrait of an FHC Scholar: Daniel Enrique Matus Piñeda

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!



Trip Reports


2016 TRIPS

February 2016 IHM Mission Team

February 2016 IHM Mission Team

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!


2015 TRIPS

February 2015 Mission Team from IHM with Flor Azul villagers

February 2015 Mission Team from IHM with Flor Azul villagers

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 Reunion Group

May 2015 Reunion Group

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.

The June 2015 IHM Youth mission team with our Honduran friends

The June 2015 IHM Youth mission team with our Honduran friends

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!

Pre-Christmas work of the IHM Santa Brigade

Pre-Christmas work of the IHM Santa Brigade

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.


2013-2014 TRIPS

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!)

Children Who Need Sponsors - Denia & Maicol


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.


Sponsor Highlight - Estelle Huston and Fanny

“I have been vicariously involved with visits to Honduras for years – but only by substitute teaching for Jeanne Hasbrook during her schoolyear visits.  I am not sure what took me so long but I made my maiden trip in December 2015.  I met Fanny on our first night at Nuevo Paraíso.  She and her older sister Ivin helped the ladies on the trip sort all the clothes and goodies we had brought from Indianapolis.  Fanny speaks wonderful English, which made her an anchor for me and my ‘No Español.’  I returned wanting to keep that ‘Honduras’ feeling, and sponsorship of Fanny kept returning to my thoughts.  My husband and I are excited to sponsor Fanny and to watch her mature and grow in the years to come.”
— Estelle Huston

Thank you - The Heart of Giving Online Fundraiser


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  or on Facebook (Friend of Honduran Children Indiana)

Thank-you for being a friend of Honduran children!

Sincerely yours.

Richard A. Vanes
Friends of Honduran Children

A Scholarship Success Story: Luis Diaz

A Scholarship Success Story: Luis Diaz

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...

A Scholarship Success Story: Chuvi Jirosi Martinez

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.

Sponsor Highlight - Adonay and Kelly Keiser Jones

In January of 2009, during my senior year at Loyola University, I volunteered for a week-long mission trip to Honduras with Global Water Brigades. The trip was life-changing. On our first day, we met all the children of Nuevo Paraíso; they were so happy and welcoming! Despite the language barrier, we played soccer and the children ran around with our cameras taking pictures. The week went by too quickly and I was not ready to leave. At home I contacted FHC, who set me up to sponsor Alexis Adonay Cruz Carranza. Even though I had to physically leave Honduras, FHC has helped me to stay connected. Adonay and I have communicated easily through the years by writing letters. It is very rewarding to know that giving so little can help so much. I am so grateful for all I have learned through my connection with Sociedad and FHC and I am excited to hear more from Adonay as he grows up!
— Kelly Keiser Jones