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.)
A number of VCH graduates have found paying jobs and others hope to attend university. Specifically:
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.
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.
These are the skills that will help support new businesses and new opportunities in the mountain communities.
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 email@example.com.