Fourteen year old Astrid is a week away from completing her first year boarding at Fay School in Southborough, MA. It was one year ago when the opportunity to attend this prestigious school lay in peril because Astrid’s student visa was being denied. Thankfully, with great support from many, including local politicians, Astrid’s application was approved.
It absolutely amazes me how adaptable Astrid has been transitioning from living at home in Honduras to sharing a dorm room with roommates from China and Japan. She has embraced the opportunity of befriending people from many countries, and she is loved by her peers. Although most of her classmates come from very wealthy families, Astrid remains very proud of her family and their modest means.
Astrid is not only ambitious about her education, she is very philosophical about her future. Recently she explained the career choices she aspired to not only determined by her interests but for the ability to positively impact her family. Sincerely she stated, “we can’t be dependent on others “to survive in the impoverished country, we have to want to work our way out.
Not only has Astrid thrived in her new academic environment and acclimated back and forth between the first and third worlds, she has courageously faced her medical needs. In March Astrid had extensive reconstructive surgery on her left foot and was in a cast for 12 weeks. Learning to navigate campus and having to rely on others for help was a challenge for her.
Astrid is truly one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. As William Shakespeare stated, “though she be but little, she is fierce.”
Today marks the beginning of the school year at Marantha in Comayagua, Honduras. Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc. is committed to providing financial assistance for four students: Lisbeth Daniela Mejia Leon (5th grade), Noel Edgardo Solano Gomez (4th grade), Wessly Hernandez (2nd grade) and Astrid Virginia Mejia Ordonez (1st grade). Special thanks to Charlie and Nancy Morrison for providing Astrid’s educational expenses for another year.
Marantha’s mission is to “provide a comprehensive education including mind, body and spirit.” Their curriculum is difficult and students take classes in Spanish, English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Bible, Art, Music, Computer and Physical Education. “Our” students face the additional challenges of commuting each day, and not having resources available in their towns for homework projects. In addition, their families are often ill equipped to assist with homework because they have only completed the first few years of primary education.
Attending a private school offers students a smaller teacher/student ratio and also offers a consistent schedule where teachers aren’t forced to strike because of poor working conditions. It has been a rewarding experience watching the growth in Daniela, Noel, Wessly and Astrid and we wish them an enjoyable and successful school year!
February marks the beginning of the school year in Honduras. School is provided free of charge by the government but not the school supplies or uniforms, which are mandatory. Six volunteers from Esperanza will soon be traveling to Honduras with duffle bags full of school supplies and we are still in great need of black school shoes in any sizes.
Honduran children living in severe poverty take an average time of 9 1/2 years to complete the sixth grade. There are many reasons for this including children having to leave school to help support their families, teachers being on strike, and others simply lacking the resources.
Stores currently stocking these shoes include: Pay Less, Target and Walmart. Please consider donating one pair of shoes and giving one deserving child the opportunity to attend school this year. No child should be left behind…
Esperanza would like to express their appreciation to Ms. Deirdre Huff and the students in her Spanish classes for their involvement with the children in Flores, Honduras.
For the past two years Ms. Huff’s classes have organized collections of school supplies, sporting goods and clothing which were shipped to Honduras. Her classes have also participated in a Pen Pal relationship with the students in Flores. Earlier this month, Astrid Ordonez visited the classes at Diamond to express her appreciation on behalf of the children in Flores. The students enthusiastically asked questions of Astrid…her life in Honduras and her recent hospitalization at Shriners.
Esperanza would also like to thank Katherine George, and her mother, Melissa for facilitating this relationship with Diamond.