El Hogar de Amor y Esperanza (The Home of Love and Hope)
By Eleanor Simons
Grace Church supports El Hogar, a ministry for boys and girls in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. It was started in 1979 when three members of the English speaking Episcopal Church decided to do something about the sad problem of children living on the streets. They rented an old house and literally picked 5 boys off the streets one night.
Soon the house was full, and a cottage was added to house more boys. Within a year that was full, too. With help from some churches in the United States more dorms were built, and in 1993 an elementary school was added. When they finish sixth grade the boys go to a farm school for a year because Honduras is an agricultural country.
After a year on the farm the boys can decide to stay and learn more or go to the Technical Institute. There they learn to be carpenters, electricians or welders. These are skills that are needed in Honduras. In recent years girls have been accepted in the programs. The boys and girls that have finished at the institute or the farm have found good jobs and are able to support their families. Their children do not end up on the streets. The idea is to build a middle class for Honduras. Honduras is a country with many problems: poverty, corruption, poor education and healthcare systems. El Hogar provides hope to some children and their families. In past years Grace Church has sent groups of members on mission trips to Honduras, but more about that next week.