When Lilian Ramirez was 12 years old, we met her at Fuente de Vida home for girls in Taulabe, Honduras. Lilian was preparing to transition out of the orphanage, and she expressed interest in continuing her education. With the help of Casa de Esperanza, today Lilian is a graduate of the National Honduran Autonoma University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Lilian has secured a job with UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund).
HOPE. HEALING. HONDURAS.
Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch caused massive and widespread destruction. Honduran President Carlos Roberto Flores said that fifty years of progress in the country had been reversed. Total losses were estimated at $3 billion USD. In 2010, 50% of the population were still living below the poverty line. By 2016 more than 66% were living below the poverty line. Estimates put unemployment at about 27.9%, which is more than 1.2 million Hondurans. Because interest rates are near 50%, citizens struggle to get by on a daily basis. This has also caused a breakdown in family structure, with many single-parent families and many children being raised in orphanages. Read on to learn how Casa de Esperanza is making a difference in Honduras.
Young adults leaving orphanages in Honduras have no vocational skills, much less the basic life skills needed to live independently. Through the Comayagua Boys Project, Casa de Esperanza is teaching young men these skills while also giving them the opportunity to further their formal education.
Very few can afford the socialized healthcare that exists in Honduras. Casa de Esperanza has been working to empower local community leaders. These leaders are able to promote disease prevention concepts and basic hygiene with the materials and supplies Casa provides.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch in 1999, Bill DeWitt, DDS went with volunteers fromWestern Michigan to Honduras to provide dental services and complete repairs on an orphanage. His wife Lori, a registered nurse, accompanied him on his next trip which would start them on their road to creating Casa de Esperanza.
Over the last six years, Casa de Esperanza’s mission has expanded to include medical & dental clinics, vocational training, & fundamental living skills through education projects.
Today, volunteers from Casa de Esperanza continue to return to Honduras several times a year to work on a variety of projects, such as dental and medical clinics, vocational training, as well as various construction endeavors.
Casa de Esperanza is always looking for help. From donations, to volunteers to run local events, to those willing to join a group trip, every little bit helps.