Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

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

We couldn’t be more proud!


This afternoon I had the chance to catch up with Ana Hernandez, Esperanza’s Honduran coordinator. We talked about various medical cases we’re involved in and then she shared updates on various students Esperanza supports. I couldn’t have been happier when she talked about 15 year Jairo who will be matriculating to the next grade in February.

Jairo has had a challenging childhood to say the least. His father has never been involved in his life, and when his mom was raising him and his little brother, Carlito, she was in a horrific car accident which we witnessed. Among Brenda’s greatest ailments was a huge gash across her forehead and another gash to her hand which exposed her bones. Amazingly, an ambulance did appear, Ana escorted her to the U.S./Honduran military base and she was transferred to a hospital in Tegucigalpa. Once we learned of her prognosis, we agreed to sponsor her treatment at a private hospital, fearing she would die if she stayed in the public one.

Thankfully, Brenda made a full recovery medically. However, her life did not improve financially and she made the grueling decision to leave her sons with family and travel to the U.S. for employment. It’s a heart wrenching decision to make but Brenda wanted to be able to feed and house her two boys and decided to make the sacrifice.

Brenda never abandoned Jairo and Carlito emotionally, and she stayed in touch with them often. The money she made was sent home to provide for her sons. It took several years before Brenda moved back to Honduras and Jairo had certainly changed a lot. His mom now had a husband and wanted everyone to move to Guatemala. Jairo was no longer interested in school and his dream was to buy a cow.

Jairo did join the rest of the newly blended family in Guatemala but it didn’t last long. He is an extremely mature and independent boy and wanted to return to his native Honduras. When he moved back, he was only 14 years old and would be living on his own. We worried how he would survive, what would he do with his life, and how would be resist the temptations of drugs and other dangers?

We did assure Jairo that if he was willing to follow a few of our rules, we would help pay for his school and food. Jairo has become a class leader and has a job six days a week with a local farmer. Ana acts as his surrogate mother, attending teacher conferences. When we are in Flores, Jairo moves into our house and we become “family.” He couldn’t be happier than when he’s doing a construction project with Tom, helping “our” younger children with their homework, or cooking a meal with (or for) me.

This young man is one special person and we are blessed to have him for our Godson. Keep up the great work, Jairo!

School Year begins at Marantha Adventist Bilingual School

Noel, Astrid, Daniela, Wesly at school

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!

Updates from Emily and Tom in Flores

Emily & Tom

I spoke with Emily and Tom last night, and got to hear how extremely busy they have been since going down to Honduras. Noel, Stefany, Astrid, Chippy, and Daniella have all spent a few nights sleeping over, and Emily and Tom are getting to experience first hand many of the challenges Honduran kids and their parents face when it comes to school work. For example, Noel had a homework assignment where he had to cut out an image that was an example of “strength.” How do you do this when you don’t have a magazine or newspaper to use? Also, they were amazed at the amount of homework each child is expected to do even in 1st and 2nd grade.

As happens with every trip to Honduras, Emily and Tom were sought out by someone looking for medical help. This time it was a mother and her son with heart conditions, who also happened to be relatives of Noel. In order to better understand what they were looking for and to get past the language barrier, Noel translated back and forth for Emily. Noel’s grandmother was brought to tears by how proud and amazed she was seeing him in action.

Emily and Tom have also got to see friends they have met over the years including Gloria, Blanca, and German. As I get more updates I’ll continue to share what they have been up to.

This post was written by Rick Lania

Education…the key to the future

Charlie and Nancy
Esperanza would like to thank Charlie and Nancy Morrison for providing a financial scholarship for a child to attend a private bilingual school in Comayagua, Honduras.

Although Honduras offers free primary education for 7-14 year olds, the sad reality is many areas of the country lack schools. When they are available, they are understaffed and in some circumstances, joint-grade instruction is provided, only through the 3rd grade. Other villages may have a bigger buildings, but they still deal with poor teacher training, lack of materials and outdated teaching methods. The teachers are often on strike because they are frustrated by their working conditions and low wages.

Illiteracy remains at 40% for the total population and 80% for the rural communities. Only 43% of the children enrolled in public schools will complete the primary level. Of these students, 30% will go on to secondary school and a mere 8% will continue to the university level.

Having the opportunity to attend a private school is a privilege few will ever experience. It truly is “the key” for the future, and we hope Nancy and Charlie’s child will become a valuable leader of tomorrow…for herself, for her family, and for her community. Their scholarship not only pays for the educational costs, but provides a healthy meal,transportation, and an escape from a mundane environment.

Charlie and Nancy Morrison and their four children has been actively involved for years with the children from Honduras; hosting numerous children hospitalized locally and visiting Honduras themselves.

If you are interested in supporting another child with the opportunity to attend school, please contact Esperanza.

Diamond Middle School…Making a Difference

Astrid at Diamond Middle School

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.

Visiting Flores in December 2010

At the beginning of last month, Tom and I spent 10 days in Honduras. Our main objective was completing the process of obtaining Astrid Ordonez’ medical visa. Ana Hernandez had already started the process by obtaining Astrid’s passport and visiting the lawyer with Astrid’s parents (to give temporary legal custody to us). We needed to complete the new online application (a more taxing process)  for the U.S. Embassy interview. Peggy Kipps (Ruth Paz Foundation) assisted us with arranging the appointment and writing a letter of support.With their help, we were able to have Astrid’s visa expedited.

During our time in Honduras, we spent time at the Centro de Salud (Health Center) and donated our generous supplies provided by Brother’s Brother Foundation. The medications were primarily antibiotics, and were so enthusiastically received by this clinic which exists on very limited means.

There were many new cases anxiously awaiting Tom’s arrival. Two of the children had cerebral palsy, and were hoping for a “cure” so that their children would walk. Sadly, families are often given very limited information from the doctors, and Tom spent a long time with each mother, compassionately describing their conditions and what to expect for their future development. He strongly encouraged them to have their children involved with physical therapy, and also told them that children with C.P. are often not effected (negatively) intellectually. On a brighter note, one of our patients, 12 year old, “Iris Maria” , who has C.P. has made dramatic improvement! Maria had stopped attending school, and was confined to her home and carried from her bed to the living room. Through therapy and hard work, she is now up walking and attending school. One afternoon, she and her family walked to our home and proudly presented us with a letter of gratitude and told us her dream is to study to become a lawyer! Tom and I were filled with tears of joy.

One evening, Ana arrived with a young couple and their 6 month old baby. The family had just been told that their baby was in need of cardiac surgery and they were consumed by fear and helplessness. Tom reviewed the medical reports and assured them he would talk with Hector Fonseca, a trusted cardiologist in San Pedro Sula. We feel very fortunate that our network has grown and we have professionals to refer patients locally. Dr. Fonseca was extremely accommodating and saw this child the following day. It was a great relief when he told the parents that “Adrianna’s” condition could be treated with medication and the child did not need surgery. Since then, the child has returned to Dr. Fonsecaand made dramatic improvement. Dr. Fonseca expressed his frustration about incompetent Honduran doctors who dispense incorrect diagnosis/treatment.

Unfortunately, our village of Flores has become more dangerous. In the past, it was the cities where you needed to be very cautious, but it is now seeping into the little barrios.

Flores is divided by a two-lane highway, and on one side there is a real discrepancy of services…the public school located there does not have electricity, the classes are over crowded, and there is no playground. There is no access to clean water.

Astrid’s mother and little brother live in the heart of the worst area. For several years, it has been on our “wish list” for Esperanza to help this desperately poor family. who live in squalor conditions, to improve their living situation. Astrid’s grandfather has donated a tiny piece of land for us to begin building a new home for this family. Construction is under way for the first phase of building two bedrooms and an indoor bathroom.

Astrid’s life is being positively effected in many ways. Besides having a new place to live, she has been sponsored by Charlie and Nancy Morrison of Concord, to attend a bilingual school in Comayagua. This would be an incredible opportunity for any child, but is even more important for Astrid because her neighborhood school is located in the drug area. It is so dangerous, we were not allowed to visit it, even during the day light hours. Astrid’s teacher is thoroughly impressed by Astrid’s rapid learning and her future is looking brighter!

Astrid was admitted to Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield, MA. on December 28th and had surgery the following day. Four years ago, Astrid was operated there for a “tethered” (spinal) cord. She had her first of two operations on her left, “cavus” foot. Currently, Astrid’s mobility is impaired by this foot deformity. The next surgery is scheduled for January 11th, when they will cut through the bone and re-shape her foot. Following surgery, she will be non-weight bearing for eight weeks (wheelchair and walker). It will be a long winter, but we are so grateful for this opportunity and very thankful to David Dvaric, M.D. and all the wonderful doctors/staff for providing her care.

Youth Helping Youth

Last summer, 16 year old Kyle George made his first visit to Flores, Honduras. His family has been involved for years with his older brother and mother volunteering in the country, and also hosting children in their home who were in Boston for medical treatment.
The George family has had a special friendship with 14 year old “Chippy” and were saddened to learn he had dropped out of school to help support his grandparents, where he was now living. Kyle decided he wanted to make a difference in Chippy’s life and has made the financial commitment of re-enrolling him in school which takes place on weekends. Therefore, he’ll be able to continue to support his grandparents and will also have the opportunity to further his education. They also purchased a bicycle so that Chippy has a way to get to classes which are offered in a different town. THANK YOU KYLE for offering Chippy the gift of education which is truly the most positive way of offering him a brighter future, and hopefully the ability to break the cycle of poverty.