Wednesday, February 11, 2015

CASA HOGAR



Unbound is the Catholic relief organization that brought me here to beautiful Honduras. They hook up sponsors with children, young adults and the elderly all over the world. For as little as thirty bucks a month, you can make a huge difference in the life of one of these kids.

The suffering and poverty here are almost beyond belief. So are the hospitality, generosity of spirit, and courtesy. The photo above is a carpet of pine needles strewn with bougainvillea that I'll wait to explain later. For now suffice it to say that I even got to walk on it is beyond humbling.

These are photos of Casa Hogar, a home and school for kids who've been abused, neglected or abandoned. For instance, one boy here had a mother who used to burn his fingers on a hot stove when he made the tortillas wrong. We met the staff and the children put on a beautiful dance program for us and invited us to tour the room where some of the girls are learning to sew and showed us around and we all had lunch together.















THIS IS ARLIN, WHO HAS SPECIAL NEEDS.
HE IS WELL-LOVED BY THE CHILDREN, WHO ARE CONSTANTLY
STOPPING BY HIS CHAIR TO PAT HIS HEAD OR HOLD HIS HAND OR GIVE HIM A KISS.
ARLIN IS LEARNING TO PLAY THE GUITAR AND PLUCKED OUT
A HAUNTING VERSION OF "GUANTANAMERO" FOR US. 









Then we visited with Sandra, one of the mothers who has a daughter and a son who live at Casa Hogar. She's a 32-year-old alcoholic from a family in which only two of the fourteen kids aren't alcoholic. Six of her brothers have been murdered. She was squatting in an abandoned adobe hut that contained one chest with shelves in it, one giant battered plastic container of water (the tap water is completely undrinkable), 4 battered plastic cups, a few chairs (or maybe we sat on cinder blocks) and a mattress. Period.

On the line hung two pairs of pants and a shirt which, along with the clothes she was wearing, I took to comprise her entire wardrobe. No kitchen. No electricity. Outhouse. She works occasionally hauling concrete,clearing land, or fixing shoes.

Her daughter, Norma, is 16; Jairo, the little boy, is 8. "Out of this ugly person came two beautiful children," Sandra laughed, except she wasn't really laughing.

Sandra lives in the same 'hood as Casa Hogar but rarely visits. The children come, when they can, to her.

They asked, and were granted, permission to stay with her for a while after we left.
 



4 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing about this -- it is heartbreaking to see the neglect, poverty, and abuse of these children. You did not say where the Casa Hogar is located; and how may one help out. Did you go there to help out or visit the home?

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  2. These children are beautiful! Looks like a beautiful place- so colorful! Do the girls sell any handmade sewn goods to buy? This looks like one of those organizations where money truly goes to the right place.

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  3. Is that Norma and Sandra in the last photo, Heather?

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  4. Confession: I only just scrolled through the post quickly to see the pictures, but I'll be back to read later today -- the photos you took are so beautiful! Those children!

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