Sunday morning in Tegucigalpa started with a beautiful, brilliant sunrise that was only the beginning of a wonderful day. We began by attending morning service at Catedral Episcopal Santa María de los Ángeles in the city. The service was held in Spanish, which was a wonderful experience for me. I’ve only started learning to speak the language and this trip has been a kind of immersion course for me as I’ve interacted with people on a daily basis. Even though I had trouble understanding the words that were said, the service was beautiful and I felt so warmly welcomed by the parishioners in attendance.
Along with myself and El Hogar Executive Director Liz Kinchen, there were also service team members from Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH, students from the various El Hogar campuses, and a special guest of honor. El Hogar Elementary Director Claudia Castro was honored during the service for her 25 years of work with the organization. El Hogar Honduras Executive Director Matthew Engleby presented Claudia with a plaque and flowers in honor of her years of service. It was a very emotional and touching moment during the service.
Following lunch, we made our way back to El Hogar to prepare for a special event – a surprise party to celebrate Claudia’s years of service. It was wonderful to walk around the campus as all of the preparations were being finalized and to see the children practicing the music and dances they would be performing during the event.
Finally, the moment arrived and Claudia entered the gates of the El Hogar Elementary campus with her husband, Raul Castro. She began to walk through the campus on a walkway lined on each side with students and staff cheering her. We then enjoyed a time to celebrate all that she has done for the children who have come through the gates of the Elementary campus. The children also performed traditional dances and music, which was wonderful to see. Everyone had a great time enjoying the celebration and delicious food.
I felt privileged to be a part of this wonderful event to celebrate someone who has shown infinite love and concern for the children of El Hogar. The lives that she has touched have been transformed and that is a legacy that we should all strive for.
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!