Yesterday was very busy as I prepared to leave Honduras and as I traveled back to Boston, which didn’t leave me with an opportunity to tell you about my final day in Honduras. My last few hours spent in the country yesterday were some of the most thought-provoking that I’ve had during the whole trip. El Hogar’s Executive Director in Honduras, Matthew Engleby, took several of us to one of the homes that an El Hogar student has come from.
As we drove to the location, we could see the vast differences in homes that people have within the country. We passed by large, expensive homes that have walls and electric wire protecting them. Some of these are in communities that have guards and gates. Except for a few differences, these homes would be close to what many of us in North America know. We were not going to one of those.
We drove past those large homes – many of which were under construction – up a dirt road to a small shack. The building was a mixture of found wood and metal, and was surrounded by a fence of barbed wire. We got out of our vehicle, stooped to go under the sharp fence, and were welcomed by a smiling woman and two small children. She greeted us warmly and began to tell us about the difficulties that she’s currently facing, which include being kicked off of the property she’s living on and being threatened.
After hearing her story and speaking with her, she welcomed us into her home. The floor was dirt and there was a small cooking area in one of the corners that was heated using wood. There was a table on the other side and a hutch that contained their pots, pans, dishes, and other belongings. Another room that was no smaller than a single bedroom was attached to the home. It contained two beds, each draped with mosquito cloth to protect them from those dangerous insects. I had never seen a home like this and there were a number of things that really touched me.
First and foremost, it was clean. Everything seemed to have a place and everything was as clean as it can be without running water or electricity. Secondly, the mother proudly displayed cards and other craft projects that had been created by her children. In the starkest of situations, there were signs of family. Finally, there was love. During the whole time we were there, she lovingly held and calmed her children. She was a mother who was caring for them in the most difficult and stressful of situations.
As I got back into the car and we made our way to the airport, I began to get tears in my eyes thinking about this mother’s life and the lives of everyone I’ve met throughout this trip. This has been an amazing experience that’s allowed me to see the terrible situations that the children of El Hogar have come from, but it has also given me hope as I’ve seen the love and care they receive at our four campuses.
I know that I’ve said this before, but it bears saying again. I feel so lucky to be a part of this organization that’s changing lives and breaking the cycle of poverty in Honduras. This trip has shown me how much of a difference it’s possible to make in the lives of these children.
Honduras and its people have stolen my heart and I can’t wait to return. I’m grateful to be a part of the El Hogar story and I encourage you to become a part yourself by participating in one of our sponsorship opportunities. My life has been changed during my time in Honduras and you can change the lives of the children at El Hogar too.