We’re here! We were a day late because our flight out on Monday got cancelled due to the yucky NoVA weather, but we made it! Our flight to Houston was super easy (and tiny tiny!), but was delayed on the runway, which in turn made us late for our connection, meaning we sprinted through the Houston airport to arrive RIGHT before the doors were closing. We made it here with everything except two bags, the one with all my clothes in it and our bag of linens and supplies(which will hopefully be delivered tomorrow). Writing that, it really sounds like a bad trip — but honestly, we just rolled with the punches. It was a great start to my second adventure: to know that we’re ready for anything this throws at us! We arrived at the airport to an “Amigos de Jesus” sign and Yair’s smiling face. We waited at the airport for about an hour until the van arrived, and then made the easy 1.5 hour journey through gorgeous country to the Amigos hogar. We were greeted at the gates by beaming faces and loving hugs, and instantly felt part of the family.
Amigos de Jesus is a home for abandoned and orphaned children in Honduras, providing them with an education, food, shelter, and a loving place to call their own. Honduras is one of Central America’s poorest countries, with two-thirds of people living under the poverty line. It’s estimated that a quarter of the population over the age of 15 is illiterate. However, Amigos is doing providing for 122 beautiful Honduran kids who live in the hogar, and is financially supporting 400 additional children throughout the country. When it was founded, Amigos was just a home for boys, but welcomed their first girl in 2012 and has continued to grow. What’s really unique about Amigos de Jesus is the family structure. There are “padrinos” and “madrinas” (godfathers and godmothers) who act as the children’s parents: making sure they all bathe, eat, do their homework, make their beds, do their laundry, etc. – everything a parent would do in the States! Amy and Wilson are the directors of the home, but they’re really like mother and father to each and every one of these children. It’s absolutely beautiful to see all the kids run up to them before heading to bed for a hug and a “buenas noches.” Amigos is technically an orphanage – but it doesn’t really fit the mold. The kids aren’t up for adoption, and they don’t “age out” when they turn 18. They’re expected to always contribute to the hogar, whether it’s through chores, agricultural work, or construction projects. I’ve said it a billion times, but it’s a family!
Dinner last night was crazy, noisy, energetic, and a lot to take in, but in the best possible way! We eat with the kids (rice, beans, egg, and fresh tortillas) and spend time in the packed dining hall talking, laughing, and sharing together. After dinner is free time for the kids, so we talked to some other volunteers, played with the kiddos, and took it all in. At 7:45 pm, we all gathered for the prayer circle. Everyone at Amigos, the kids, the volunteers, and the staff, joins hands and prays together. There’s an opportunity for people to speak up and thank God for their blessings, or to ask for assistance, or to just share. It was breathtaking to be a part of this family, all praying together and thanking God for what they’ve been given. Amigos de Jesus truly is a family.
This morning Amy took us on a tour of the Amigos hogar, and we really got a feel for how immense of a place this is. They have 200 acres, with farmland, a primary school, a woodshop and housing for all the volunteers, staff, and children. We then went to help work in the kitchen, preparing plantains and rice for lunch – it is a big job to cook for over 150 people!
We’re here through the end of the week for “orientation,” and then we’ll be going to language school in Copan for two weeks, to improve our Spanish skills. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on my blog! I’d love to hear from you – and we have some (unreliable) internet access here at the hogar, so I’ll probably be able to post and respond more often than when I was in Tanzania! Muchas gracias por leer mi blog!
Headed out — WE’RE READY!
An Amigos de Jesus welcome!
The gorgeous scenery on the drive to the hogar 🙂
Where I’ll be staying for the next 8 weeks — my Honduran home!