Village Children Honduras

By Margaret Crenshaw

Because the Village Children Honduras (VCH) students who graduated with their “Bachilleratos” in December, 2015, are now making it “in the real world,” and because the Trinidad Conversation Project (TCP), whom many of our donors have supported, is now in partnership with Vecinos Honduras (VH), an established NGO working in the mountains of Honduras, we thought a mid-year update would be of interest.

Vecinos Honduras, has continued the work of TCP in five mountain villages in the Santa Barbara District and widened the scope of the program, including more interest in education. Roy Lara is now the field director for the VH-TCP program. (Three of the communities were in the TCP program for the last 7 years; 2 are new to the program.)

VCH Graduates Are Finding Their Footing

A number of VCH graduates have found paying jobs and others hope to attend university. Specifically:

  • Darlin Amaya Briones and Bonifacio Amaya Briones, both graduates of Pompilio Ortega Agricultural School, are working with Roy, using their education to instruct farmers in organic farming methods.
  • Darlin has started the university application process for admission to an agricultural engineering program, while Bonifacio has put off university applications until 2017. He hopes to study mechanical engineering.
  • Jose Roberto Paredes Torres, who received one year of help from VCH to complete Pompilio, has just been hired full-time by a large dairy company, Lacthosa, a supplier to five countries, including the United States.
  • Yesenia Alfaro, who graduated in social work from a day school in Santa Barbara, has moved there full-time and is seeking employment while also applying for a law program at the Santa Barbara branch of the University of Honduras.
  • Juan Gabriel Garcia Rosa has moved to San Pedro Sula and has a full-time job at a furniture factory.
  • Nolvia Gomez, an adult who returned to school with VCH help and was one of our best students, has also moved to San Pedro Sula. She is taking care of a new baby and is looking for a job.
  • Victor Melendez, unable to get a work permit until he turns 18, is helping his family in El Tule until he can qualify for work and find a job.

Finally, in the saddest news about our graduates, Adolfo Garcia’s father was murdered in March, so he now becomes the man of his family and has had to put off his dream of attending university.

These are our trailblazers. None would have gone beyond 6th grade without VCH.

Continuing Students

The students coming behind the graduates and supported by VCH – 10 students in grades 10 to 12 – have set their goals high, and now believe they can succeed.

  • Edy Alexander Garcia hopes to be a doctor.
  • Jose Elver Mejia wants to study law.
  • Marco Antonio Cruz hopes to study architecture.
  • Our two twins girls, Juana and Osiris Rosa, want to obtain university degrees in computing.
  • Ingris Vanesa Rios, one of VCH’s original students, will finish her “bachillerato” this December in computer technology and plans to return to El Tule and help in the community.
  • A 10th grader, Rudimillo Hernandez, is studying mechanics at the Instituto Nacional de Formación Profesional (INFOP), a highly regarded trade school near Tegucigalpa.

These are the skills that will help support new businesses and new opportunities in the mountain communities.

The Effect on the School in El Tule 

Finally, another 60 students now attend 7th – 9th grades at the school in El Tule, which prior to VCH’s involvement ended at 6th grade. The enrollment led to the hiring of Edith Amaya Briones when the 7th – 9th grades were opened. The expansion of the student population led to the hiring of a full-time math and science teacher, Carlos Borre.

Edith Amaya Briones, the head teacher at the school and the VCH administrator, notes that the school no longer has a problem with “desertion.” She says, “Parents and young people themselves have realized they need to succeed intellectually.”

Education has transformed El Tule. These educated individuals are already helping the work of the TCP-VH program in other mountain villages. They are planning creative ways to bring more resources and jobs to all the mountain villages. Young entrepeneurs! Lack of funds for higher education remains a problem, but VCH is optimistic that as part of a community working with Vecinos Honduras, the students will find scholarships or jobs that will allow them to continue higher education, if that is their goal.

For more information, email Margaret Crenshaw at crenshawm2@gmail.com.

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