Our Journey for Hope is putting on a photo exhibit with all proceeds going to Esperanza – Hope For The Children, Inc. The photos being showcased were all taken by children in Honduras, many of whom had never held a camera in their life. The event is next Friday, March 8th, at 6:30pm at Reasons to be Cheerful (110 Commonwealth Ave, Concord, MA). Hope to see you there!
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!
Check out the pictures from Esperanza – Hope For The Children, Inc.’s trip to Honduras! Click Here
Picture from CNN.com
This post is written by Rick Lania
We would like to let everyone know that Emily, Tom, and the Moir family who are currently in Honduras with them are all safe and sound at this time. As many news outlets are reporting, there was a major fire in a Comayagua prison last night. There are discrepancies from what Emily has told me is being said in Honduras and what is being reported online but the death toll is in the hundreds.
Before my family built a house in Honduras, we use to stay at Hotel Santa Maria which is located right next to this prison and is only separated by a soccer field. I’m still in a bit of shock that this place I use to run by all the time is now gone and so many lives were lost.
When I spoke with Emily this morning she told me that they were still attempting to take the kids to school in Comayagua but were unsure if it would be open or if they would even be able to get there because you have to drive by the prison to get there. Emily, Tom, and Ana had also planned on touring a hospital in Comayagua with the Moirs today, to show them the conditions. But now with so many people in need of critical care that won’t be possible.
I’ll continue to keep Esperanza’s blog and facebook page updated as I recieve more information from Emily and Tom. Our thoughts are with all the Honduran families affected by this tragic event.
I often find myself reflecting on words of wisdom from Ana. She has told me before, ¨Emily, you will see the situation differently when you stay here for longer periods of time. People´s lifestyles will drive you crazy. They will be doing the same thing every day…watching t.v.¨It´s a sharp contrast to Ana who is in constant motion, with a racing mind whose words can´t keep up, and she often stops mid sentence and asks, ¨what were we talking about?¨Ana is so driven to help others, believing it is her responsibility to serve.
Even though Tom and I spent a month here from mid October to mid November, Ana is correct and I am seeing things in a new light. Our previous visit was consumed with projects around the house, patients to care for, families to visit, homework with the children, and new places to visit. This time I am here for 12 days before Tom´s arrival and I have had the opportunity to witness more deeply the reality of people´s lives. I am watching in depth their daily struggles for survival, and it´s wearing.
People often ask me, ¨are the people in Honduras happy?” I still don´t know how to answer that because I realize that people act differently when I am around. Although I´ve known many for years, there´s still so much I don´t know about their lives, feelings and dreams.
And yes, most of the people are doing the same thing day after day…and it´s difficult to know whether people lack initiative to change their lives or are stuck because they lack the knowledge, or there simply aren´t viable options. The resources here are so limited….in Flores, there is no playground or library. People suffer from boredom and the feeling spreads, and it is palpable. It is no wonder that people ¨escape¨with drugs and alcohol, and get sucked into gangs and violence.
Tom arrives tomorrow and I´m anxiously awaiting his arrival. I am grateful to have had the chance of being here alone because it is only through the experience that I truly could have learned. I look forward to being together and sharing the day´s events, and having someone else to lean on.
This post was written by Rick Lania
Last night I spoke with Emily and got to hear about some of the things she has been doing in Flores since arriving in Honduras almost a week ago. She has a bunch of new cases that she has began working on, including a 26 year old in need of a neurosurgeon. Noel, Wesly, Daniella, and Astrid all have exams this coming week so she has been helping them study.
As with all trips to Honduras unexpected events come up and there is a need react to them. This weeks event was a mentally disabled man walking down the middle of a highway. Ana feared not only for this man’s safety but the on coming traffic’s safety who might need to swerve out of the way to avoid him. A few people from Flores were able to secure this man and take him to a mental hospital. However, when they arrived at the hospital they learned there was a fee to admit him. Not having the resources to get help is a common issue for Hondurans but the people that took him there knew Emily would cover the expenses.
Being able to adapt is a major lesson I’ve learned during my trips to Honduras. As much as you want to set schedules and have a plan, that is not always possible. Unexpected events come out of no where, offices and stores will randomly be closed, people will be on strike, there are lots of power outages, and 100 other things you can’t plan for. You can plan for an end goal that you want to achieve but you have to be ready and willing to change the path to get there.
We recently added a new album to our Videos/Pics page of a bunch of pictures from 2011. Check it out!
This afternoon I received a text message from Peggy Kipps (Ruth Paz Foundation) that the long awaited drug (OK-432) has safely arrived from Japan. I was filled with both excitement and relief, and immediately called Ana (Hernandez) to share the news. Tom, Ana and I had been discussing this case last night because Ostin’s mother, Carla, had called to say Ostin was having more difficulty breathing. Tom was concerned that his fear Ostin would suffocate, was becoming a reality.
Ana, her sister, and a doctor from Flores went to Ostin’s house to share the news that help was on its way. The extended family gathered round, rejoicing in praise, for answered prayers.
Peggy is now in the process of coordinating with Dr. Lopez and the hospital administration for Ostin’s arrival. It is expected that he will be initially hospitalized for 4-5 days. His family anxiously awaits word for when they need to head to San Pedro Sula…and we will be there every step of the way. We are filled with gratitude that this little baby will have a chance at life.
Bright and early this morning, little Jose boarded an American Airline flight to return to his home in Honduras. He was accompanied by Airline Ambassador, Ina Melen who volunteers her time escorting children traveling alone.
Jose had been hospitalized at Shriners Hospital in Boston after suffering burns from a container of hot molasses. Once again, Shriners transformed this little boy’s life in a matter of weeks. The first time we visited Jose, he was behind plastic on the acute care unit. Yesterday, we joined his going away celebration and delighted in watching Jose, full of giggles, running around the physical therapy room.
Recently, Jose has been living with the Sierra family in Boston. When children are ready for outpatient visits to the clinic and don’t have a place to stay locally, the Sierra family has offered their home. Second to receiving state-of-the-art medical care, the experience of living with a loving family is invaluable. Children have the opportunity to develop physically when they are not in the confines of a hospital setting. They also benefit emotionally by being embraced by people who care. Host families have the opportunity to share a bit of their cultures, as well as, offering new experiences that Honduran children never would have had. Often times, host families continue to be an integral part of the children’s lives, and keep the relationships strong by phone calls and visits. Certainly, the patient isn’t the only one who benefits, host families often comment that it is one of the most meaningful experiences in their lives.
Not everyone has the availability to be a host family but you can still be actively involved by visiting children who are hospitalized locally. Esperanza has an ongoing need of large size suitcases, duffle bags and small carry-on suitcases for the children traveling home. Other appreciated items include: new underwear, gently worn clothing, small toys, Spanish books and MP3 players.
Everyone has the chance to bring a smile to a child…and I guarantee it will do the same for you!
Yesterday I received fantastic news from Mrs. Peggy Kipps of The Ruth Paz Foundation that the first step for obtaining life saving medicine for baby Ostin has been accomplished! Peggy gave the credit to her co-worker, Paola, who has been working tirelessly for the past several weeks with the foundation’s lawyers and goverment officials.
Ostin was born with a congenital malformation called a “lympangioma.” At birth it was only thumb size, but it grew at an alarming rate and doctors were concerned he would suffocate. Surgery was deemed too risky and the alternative treatment is to inject the area with a drug called “OK-432.” Unfortunately, it is not FDA approved in the U.S. and only available in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
The Honduran government has now agreed to allow the medication to be imported into their country, and the necessary permit will be provided to the drug company. This drug is very temperature sensitive and requires specific shipping requirements, and we anxiously await its safe arrival.
Thankfully, Ostin continues to hold his own and awaits at home with his worried family. Please hold Ostin in your thoughts and join us in waiting for hope.