El Hogar was started about 33 years ago by an Episcopal priest whom is now retired in our diocese. It is supported nationally by the Episcopal Church but also relies on funding and volunteers from all faiths. The school in Tegucigalpa is the original site which was initially started to assist street boys in the city and provide them with a home, food and education. This site houses 103 students (27 girls and 76 boys). El Hogar has grown to now 4 cooperatives, 2 are strictly boy centers for vocational training, 1 co-ed elementary school (Teguc site) and the newest site is at Santa Maria for all girls. I was told that boys are more often cast off from families than girls, but many factors are changing the dynamics of the increase in need for girls. Girls are now being trained in vocations as well – El Hogar Esparanza for example has volunteers come in that train the girls in beauty skills (hair, nails, make up etc).
The Agricultural Center is about 1 hour outside of Tegucigalpa and houses 56 boys. They work the farm in the morning learning agriculture skills with cattle, chickens, farming (they produce corn, red beans, soy beans, zucchini, and plantains). They also have a Tilapia fish hatchery. As you may already know, Honduras is the leading country of import for the US for Tilapia. In the afternoons the boys attend classes for 3 years. They can obtain a high school diploma as well as learn the vocation of farming. After 3 years, they have the option of attending workshops at their Technical Institute. The Technical Institute houses 88 boys and provides technical training in carpentry, electricity, plumbing and mechanics. There is no volunteer housing available at this site only, but volunteers can commute here from other centers. The program can house a total of 15 per group at any given location (that is their van size). I’d love to talk more about this or you can find more information on their website at www.elhogar.org
Until next time. May God bless you and richly fulfill your life. Listen to His voice in your life and reach out to do the work he is calling you to do.