Esperanza has been working in the village of Flores, Honduras since February 2002. Over the years, we have been involved with many projects and individual cases. One of our dreams has been to build a playground…a safe place for children to play and be happy. This dream has now become a reality thanks to the financial donation from Pilgrim Congregational UCC Church in Lexington, MA, Presidente Luis Inestroza and the entire Patranato Board in Flores, and Ms. Diana Fuentes who facilitated the project.
Pilgrim Church has been actively involved in Flores for many years by sending volunteers, providing financial support and material goods. The community of Flores recently elected a new Patranato Board (similar to a Board of Selectmen) and they have proven to be a dedicated, hard working group of individuals committed to improving their community in a transparent manner. Never before have we worked with people more insightful, supportive and appreciative of our involvement.
The playground was installed last weekend, and Diana reported, “the kids went crazy playing!” We look forward to expanding this playground, and working on other projects with the Patranato Board to bring “hope” to this community and offer their residents the opportunity to see their own dreams come true.
It’s been two days since we returned from a three week trip to Honduras, and I’m beginning to adjust to life here. This time our return flight was cancelled, we switched airlines last minute and connected in Atlanta instead of Miami. Have to admit, it was easier entering the States this way…less chaotic, and not the same slap of reality.
I wish I could have taken the time and had the energy to write while I was away, but I really do “live in the moment” while I am there, and spend little time thinking about life “back home.” It’s too bad because I’m often in the midst of intense feelings and perhaps I would be better at conveying it then, but here goes.
There’s no way to sum up our trip in a few paragraphs but I’ll re-cap one experience. My first thought is the night we had an emergency at our home. I was getting the kids ready for bed, when I heard Mita Gomez (our new Honduran coordinator) yelling my name outside our locked gate. I ran to the door and saw Mita, her husband and a young couple with a toddler in their arms. The child was in a seizure, non responsive and they were looking for Tom (a pediatrician). As Tom checked the little girl’s heart and was relieved to find her breathing, I ran next door to our neighbor, “Patricia” who is a Honduran doctor.
I will never forget the sight of this child (rigid and staring blankly) or the shear panic of her parents, especially her step-dad who was drenched in sweat, praying his heart out, pleading to us not to let the child die. Patricia gave her an injection (standard Honduran protocol) , we tried to calm the parents down, handed Mita some money (for gas and medication), and off her husband sped to the hospital.
As they arrived at the E.R. the child’s seizure continued, they had to wait in line with the mass of people and when they were eventually seen by the doctors they were informed there was no medication, they would spend the night and when they came up with the money some exams would be done. Despite the mother’s offer to give us their home (pictured above) in exchange for help with medical care, we assured her it wasn’t necessary.The next obstacle was finding people to donate blood…determining a match and convincing people to give. This little girl remained in the hospital for the next two weeks, and since then, moved to a hospital in the capitol. We are still following her case from a distance.
It was a stark reminder of many things…living in poverty and not having the means to purchase medicine or have transportation in an emergency, life in the third world with inadequate medical care and non existent medicine. These feelings resonate with me as I return to the U.S.A., and try to be patient when I hear people complaining about the most inconsequential things…and remember, I am the “fortunate” one for having the opportunity to experience life elsewhere and gain a different perspective. I hope others will have this chance.
Last summer three high school students, Nora Bradford, Katherine George and Savanah Hacobian volunteered their time with Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc. The girls lived in the village of Flores and quickly immersed themselves in the community, a stark contrast to their homes in Lexington, MA. Each day they would walk to the nearby spigots to gather our daily potable water. Passing chickens, bulls, and donkeys along their route became the norm.
During the week they had the opportunity to visit many homes, schools, and medical facilities and witness first hand the harsh realities of living in poverty…a lack of food, clothing, school materials and medical supplies. It can be rather overwhelming emotionally when you see the endless need of so many people.
Throughout their visit, the girls befriended many people during their time playing soccer, making crafts, teaching computers and more. After spending a week their friendships really deepened and they chose two boys who they would help in an impactful way. For one they purchased a horse which will not only offer him a form of transportation, it will help with his work as a farmer, something he does along with attending school. For the other boy, they are helping him to build his own house. He currently lives with his grandparents but is motivated to be independent and works as a day laborer.
After returning home, Nora printed and sold many of her beautiful pictures, donating an additional $320.00 to their house building project. We are very proud of these motivated and generous teenagers who are making this world a brighter place, and certainly made a lasting impact on the boys’ futures.
Thank you all.
Christmas is coming…how do you feel? The other day I was asked, “are you stressed by what to buy for Christmas? and I could honestly say, “no.” It’s not that I don’t look forward to buying gifts for my family and friends and watching their reactions when they open the presents (and hopefully like them). I enjoy letting others know I am thinking of them, and they are special to me. But, I also know they are often just “things” and last temporarily.
Maybe this feeling is just something that happens as we get older? The days have long since past when I searched the Sears Wish Book and wrote my long list to Santa. Or more significantly, I believe it’s how my experiences in Honduras have enlightened me. Every visit teaches me more about others, as well as, myself.
My daily thoughts drift to my Honduran friends. They have made the greatest impact in my life…the way I think, the way I act and react in different situations, and certainly what I value in my life. I continually catch myself thinking how trivial many things are in my life…”what should I make for dinner?” “which is the better medicine?” “what should I buy someone for Christmas?”
These types of “dilemmas” would never cross the minds of people in Honduras. I certainly shouldn’t think of these situations as stressful and be reminded how fortunate I am…my friends in Honduras couldn’t comprehend these scenarios and certainly would be grateful to be in my position.
My experiences in Honduras are lasting gifts and ones I treasure throughout the year, not just at Christmas time. Thank you to all who continually teach me life changing lessons. Merry Christmas!
Celebrate “Giving Tuesday” by donating to Esperanza – Hope For The Children, Inc. which offers hope and changes lives… one child at a time.
100% of your donation provides direct assistance.Tax receipts will be provided.
Thank you for your continued support in helping others in need.
Donations may be mailed to:
Esperanza – Hope for the Children, Inc.
43 Peter Bulkeley Road
Concord, MA 01742
Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc., would like to extend our appreciation to the Lawrence Academy community for your recent donation of clothing, school supplies, toiletries, over the counter medications, and craft supplies to our non-profit organization. We are especially grateful to your Community Service Club for endorsing this project and for the two student volunteers, Jillian Clymer and Elizabeth Morrison, who spearheaded the collection.
Honduras has never been in greater need of assistance. We recently returned from a three week visit to the village of Flores and found their health center (Centro de Salud) in dire need of medications and supplies. The donations from Lawrence Academy included pain relievers, cough medicine, band aids, gauze dressings, anti-fungal and antibiotic creams which were all greatly appreciated, and essential in providing treatment.
Students were thrilled to receive pens, colored pencils, crayons and rulers. Often times families can’t afford these materials and therefore their children can’t attend school.
Esperanza would like to offer our thanks to each and everyone of you who enable us in helping one child at a time. Happy Thanksgiving!
Three weeks from now we will be in Flores, Honduras. As the time draws closer, we are actively soliciting donations from others including medications, dental supplies, school supplies, clothing and footwear.
I cannot adequately express the feeling I receive from other people’s generosity. Individuals and organizations who abundantly give to others in need, despite the fact they will never be able to personally meet them. Perhaps they are following the advice of John Bunyan who once said, “you have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
One recent Friday afternoon the UPS truck arrived to our home. It’s always fun to see the truck pull into the driveway with a delivery but this drop off was huge. Several large boxes containing over $31,000 of free medication arrived from Brother’s Brother Foundation. It was as though Christmas had arrived early and excitedly I unpacked everything to reduce the extra packaging and minimize the weight in our luggage. My thoughts rushed back and forth between this wonderful organization who has supported Esperanza (and countless other nonprofits) over the years, and our Honduran neighbors and local health center that will benefit from their gifts.
Last week a friend from church who is an executive at Staples presented us with their yearly donation of school supplies. Once again, that energizing feeling returned as I thought “there are so many caring people in this world.” I look forward to seeing the children’s faces as they open up a brand new box of crayons or colored pencils. Not only will they treasure their new school supplies, they will also be reminded that people living far away from them, care.
Yesterday, the delivery truck was back once again. This time a box from Global Grins had arrived containing 100 toothbrushes. Our local dentist has kept us well stocked with toothpaste for many years but we are often in need of toothbrushes, and this organization came through just in time! In Honduras, very few have the opportunity to visit a dentist so prevention is all the more important.
To each and every one who has shared your own generosity, we thank you all.