It’s always an exciting moment when the clock strikes midnight and another year begins. It’s a clean, untouched canvas that’s ready to be painted with the rainbow of emotions and experiences that make up life.
At El Hogar, the start of the new year marks the period just before the next school year in Honduras – school schedules there run from February to November. Some students stay with us on a year-round basis for a variety of reasons (safety, no family, etc.), but others are beginning to return from their homes to their campuses. It’s the beginning of a year filled with new ideas, new experiences, new friends, and new opportunities.
It’s also a period that brings to mind the poem – The Road Not Taken – by Robert Frost. The poem is all about moving out of what may be a place of comfort, and into one that holds more opportunity and promise, as well as a healthy dose of the unknown. It’s a time to decide to continue on the path we’ve been paving or to move in a new direction. At El Hogar, we’ve decided to take a new path.
In late 2017, El Hogar announced the implementation of a new strategic vision for our operations in Honduras. It’s not a plan that was developed quickly or lightly. There was a lot of thought that went into this new vision, and it’s an exciting new path forward.
It’s a path that begins with offering tenth-grade classes to boys for the first time in our history, starting this February. A path that will bring our students closer together by consolidating our four campuses into two. A path that will lead to the completion of a self-sustaining high school that will offer not only a high-quality academic education, but one that also includes business, technical, and agricultural skills and experience. A path toward providing enhanced opportunities for our students.
Since the very beginning, El Hogar has always looked for ways to further improve the care we provide for students. In the early days, students lived with us and attended public schools. As we found that the public schools weren’t a reliable source of education, we expanded to provide a full education. As our students reached the completion of their elementary education, we began to offer a technical education that taught them skills in woodworking, electrical, and metalwork. We expanded again by offering an education in agricultural skills.
During all of this, we also opened our program to include girls, and began offering them a high school education – the first of those girls just graduated in November 2017. All of these were positive changes that provided enhanced educational opportunities for our students. This new strategic vision is the next step forward.
Though we know the final outcome we’re working toward, the process is just in its very early stages. As we were always reminded by our mothers and grandmothers, good things come to those who wait. This project will take several years to complete in multiple stages, which will make it easier on everyone involved, especially the students in our care.
These are exciting times at El Hogar, and we’re so grateful to share them with you. The bottom line is that each donor – no matter the size of their gift – makes our work possible. Each step is made possible by you!
To learn more about El Hogar, please visit our website at www.elhogar.org.