Meet an Amiguito ~ Agustin*

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Agustin* has a lot of personality in a tiny little body.  As you will see in the accompanying pictures, getting him to do a normal smile for a photo is nearly impossible.  He is at Amigos with his four siblings- a little brother and three big sisters.  They're the largest sibling group at Amigos de Jesús.  When not in school (third grade) or doing chores, Agustin can be found with a sweet group of little boys, who love to make roads in the dirt and drive toy cars on them.  We love you, sweet boy! 

Read below to learn more about Agustin:

  1. Age: 8

  2. Birthday: January 20

  3. Grade/School: Third Grade

  4. What is your favorite part about school? I like playing soccer during recess. However, my favorite class is Spanish, and my favorite teacher is Profe Miguel, because he is an adult and smart.

  5. What is something interesting that you have learned recently in school? Math!

  6. What do you like to do in your free time? Hang out with the 'padrinos' because they do a lot of things. I also like to play soccer with my younger brother. I like to watch and play soccer.

  7. What do you want to be when you grow up? A policeman.

  8. Who are some of your friends in the 'hogar'? Felipe* (one of the older boys in Agustin's hogar) and my siblings. I like to play with them.

  9. What are you grateful for at Amigos de Jesús? I'm thankful for the other kids, my 'padrinos,' and my siblings.

  10. What is your favorite part of Amigos de Jesús? The cross-because it helps us.

  11. What do you like to do with the volunteers/your 'padrinos'? Play and talk to my padrinos.

  12. Who is your favorite person at the 'hogar'? Padrino Selvin (one of the ‘padrinos’ in Agustin's hogar), because he does a lot of stuff with us.

  13. What's the hardest part about being a kid? Missing a lot of people.

  14. How would the world be different if animals could talk? There'd be a lot more noise.

  15. What makes you happy? Smiling.

  16. If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what food would it be? Chicken

  17. Favorite animal: Rhinoceros

  18. Favorite song: “Happyby Pharrell Williams

  19. Favorite color: Red

  20. Favorite food: Chicken

  21. Favorite movie: Moana

*Name changed to protect privacy

 Día de la Identidad Nacional, June 2017

Día de la Identidad Nacional, June 2017

 Brothers in Boots!

Brothers in Boots!

 First Day of School, 2018

First Day of School, 2018

 Solos at the School Christmas Concert, December 2017

Solos at the School Christmas Concert, December 2017

 Climbing a fence!

Climbing a fence!

 Agustin with the Scarlet Macaw, the National Bird of Honduras.

Agustin with the Scarlet Macaw, the National Bird of Honduras.

 Agustin with his four siblings at school, 2016

Agustin with his four siblings at school, 2016

 Time for lunch!

Time for lunch!

Disciples of Our Children

It was Christ himself who declared that "whoever welcomes this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great" (Luke 9:48 NRSV). One could say that these words that Christ spoke nearly two thousand years ago are the cornerstone of Amigos de Jesús. In my own experience, that is exactly the case. With every step you take on the grounds of Amigos, you can't escape the reality that in every child's face you see, you are seeing Christ.

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The question arises, though, what exactly does Christ mean in His statement? What does He mean when He said that "unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3 NRSV). Children possess nothing. Of course, they may have a few possessions, but it wasn't them who bought or collected those things. They received them from their care-giver(s). Children also inherently have nothing to buy love or affection from other people with. The sheer fact that they exist demands that they be loved. They cannot be anything other than themselves, and that is exactly what God wants. God wants only ourselves, free of attachments. That is why God wants us to be like children because children don't have attachments that impede their ability to give and receive love.

As we mature into adults our ability to give and receive love becomes clouded because our world tells us that we only have worth based on what we possess. This is usually followed by us acquiring knowledge or skills so we can be "worth" something in the eyes of the world, and that leads to us believing we have worth because of the "things" we have acquired over time. Christ, in one single sentence, strikes down the belief that we are only worthy of love by the things that we possess. God made us for Himself. He made each and every person a beloved child of Himself, and there is nothing else needed for Him to love us. But since our world continually tells us the opposite, we refuse to believe God. Why would Christ use a child? Because they don't have years of disbelief creating a barrier between them and the love of God. When a child hears that they are loved, they don't ask "why?" They simply receive it. And they delight.

I have never experienced this reality with greater intensity than at Amigos. When I first walked through the gates of Amigos, it was a moment I will never forget. Countless kids lined the bridge excitedly waiting to welcome me, a complete stranger. As soon as I crossed the threshold, I was smothered in hugs from kids I had yet to even say hello to. My first response was of disbelief. How could I feel such overwhelming love when I hadn't done anything yet? I hadn't proven myself worthy of this love yet. I hadn't done anything to deserve their love. To the kids, that didn't matter. I was there. That was enough. This is what God wants from us. Pure delight in the person for simply being that person.

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That is why here at Amigos, we believe that we are disciples of the kids. It isn't the other way around. While we may have more worldly competency, it is the kids who show us how to love with depth and clarity. We as adults struggle with this. Our waters of love have been clouded by the things of this world, but the kids have the love of a shimmering, clear blue ocean where you can see with absolute clarity all the way to the bottom.

That is why Christ said, "he who is least among you all is the one who is great." It is the children who are great. We might possess things that may deem us great in the eyes of the world, but our love is choked and limited by those worldly "things."  The kids don't need all of that. They simply want a person to be there. To show up and tell them they are loved. They tell us this all the time by their laughs, by their smiles, by their hugs. Every move a child makes exudes love. We must follow that. We must learn that. Every day at Amigos I fall short of this, but simply being here and basking in the glory of these children has allowed me to get a glimpse of what heaven must be like - crystal clear and pure. Just like the love of a child.  

 

- Clay Mathews, 2018-19 Amigos Volunteer

Meet an Amiguita ~ Sara*

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Sara* been with us for just over a year and is flourishing in every aspect of life. She is fiercely protective and loving with her little brothers, but has also embraced the freedom to live her own childhood at Amigos de Jesús now that she is not responsible for her little siblings. She is spunky, loving, headstrong, and loyal and she loves to dance zumba, play with her friends, and try out new and adventurous things. Sara lives in our smallest house- just she and her siblings and one other child, all of whom are cared for with much love and dedication by Madrina Martha.

Read below to learn more about Sara:

  1. Age: 9
  2. Birthday: June 9th
  3. Grade/School: 2nd
  4. What is your favorite part about school? Art class. 
  5. What's something you learned in school this past year (in 1st grade)? How to write my whole name.
  6. What do you like to do in your free time? I like to play with my friends and play soccer with all the kids here at Amigos.
  7. What do you want to be when you grow up? A 'madrina' in a children's home. And a teacher, too.   
  8. Do you have siblings here at Amigos? How many? I have two brothers. They are 5 and almost 3. 
  9. What are you grateful for at Amigos de Jesús? Because I came here with my brothers and it's a good place.
  10. What is your favorite part of Amigos de Jesús? Agro because I like to go look at the pigs.  
  11. What do you like to do with the volunteers/your 'padrinos'? I like to play with them.
  12. Who is your favorite person at the 'hogar'?  Madrina Lillian and Madrina Martha because I love them.  
  13. If you could ask God any question, what would you ask Him? I love him. And when can I see you? Miss, why do we never see God?
  14. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Chicken and 'tajadas' (fried plantain chips). 
  15. What makes you happy? Playing.
  16. Favorite animal: Lion
  17. Favorite color: Yellow
  18. Favorite food: Spaghetti
  19. Favorite movie: Ferdinand 
  20. Favorite song: Let it go

 

*Name changed to protect privacy.

  Sara being held up just after at her baptism in during 'Semana Santa' (Holy Week) in 2017.

Sara being held up just after at her baptism in during 'Semana Santa' (Holy Week) in 2017.

  Sara with one of the 'madrinas' she is close to after her graduation from 'Prepa' (Kindergarten). 

Sara with one of the 'madrinas' she is close to after her graduation from 'Prepa' (Kindergarten). 

  With her three 'Prepa' teachers during graduation last June.

With her three 'Prepa' teachers during graduation last June.

  Celebrating 'Día del indio Lempira', or Lempira Day with some of her classmates at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School last June.

Celebrating 'Día del indio Lempira', or Lempira Day with some of her classmates at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School last June.

  Sara with a friend dressed up and preparing for the Honduran Independence Day Parade in September 2018.

Sara with a friend dressed up and preparing for the Honduran Independence Day Parade in September 2018.

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Meet the Amigos ~ Summer 2018 Escuelita Volunteers

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Every summer at Amigos, we are fortunate to have a group of volunteers join us for 4-7 weeks to lead and teach in our ‘Escuelita’ (summer camp) program at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School. Escuelita volunteers teach and interact with our children almost entirely in English to help the kids continue learning and developing their English language skills during the summer. In addition to entertaining our children and introducing them to new and fun ideas, these volunteers also help give our ‘padrinos’ and ‘madrinas’ a well-deserved break during the day when school isn’t in session. This year, Escuelita volunteers offer music, art, religion, computers, science, and swim classes.

Just like our family, our Escuelita program continues to grow each year and we are very thankful to this group of 10 volunteers who have come to spend the summer with us. Read below to meet this year's Escuelita volunteers and to those 10 volunteers, ¡bienvenidos a la familia de Amigos de Jesús!

   Carly Baluarte, 21     Hometown:  Maple Glen, Pennsylvania  University/Degree:  The Catholic University of America, Economics BA and Spanish Double Major, Social Work Minor  Role in Escuelita:  Swim Instructor   Favorite thing about Amigos so far:  Other than the amazing scenery and life here in Honduras, the kids are my favorite part because regardless of everything, they have so much joy and laughter to share. 

Carly Baluarte, 21

Hometown: Maple Glen, Pennsylvania
University/Degree: The Catholic University of America, Economics BA and Spanish Double Major, Social Work Minor
Role in Escuelita: Swim Instructor

Favorite thing about Amigos so far: Other than the amazing scenery and life here in Honduras, the kids are my favorite part because regardless of everything, they have so much joy and laughter to share. 

   Carmel Stralen, 21     Hometown:  Sacramento, California  University/Degree:  Gonzaga University, Sociology and Elementary Education Major  Role in Escuelita:  Art Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  Playing games and soccer with the kids :) 

Carmel Stralen, 21

Hometown: Sacramento, California
University/Degree: Gonzaga University, Sociology and Elementary Education Major
Role in Escuelita: Art Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: Playing games and soccer with the kids :) 

   Darrell Falconburg, 23     Hometown:  Twin Falls, Idaho  University/Degree:  College of Idaho, History Major  Role in Escuelita:  Music Teacher   Favorite thing about Amigos so far:  My favorite part about being at Amigos de Jesús is getting to better know the kids and being with them after dinner in the hogares. 

Darrell Falconburg, 23

Hometown: Twin Falls, Idaho
University/Degree: College of Idaho, History Major
Role in Escuelita: Music Teacher

Favorite thing about Amigos so far: My favorite part about being at Amigos de Jesús is getting to better know the kids and being with them after dinner in the hogares. 

   Erin Broussard, 20     Hometown:  Wappingers Falls, New York  University/Degree:  Ithaca College, Writing and English Major  Role in Escuelita:  Escuelita Coordinator   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  My favorite thing about Escuelita so far is having the opportunity to make the wonderful children of Amigos laugh and smile! It fills my heart with so much joy and makes all of the hard work the volunteers put into Escuelita worth it!

Erin Broussard, 20

Hometown: Wappingers Falls, New York
University/Degree: Ithaca College, Writing and English Major
Role in Escuelita: Escuelita Coordinator

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: My favorite thing about Escuelita so far is having the opportunity to make the wonderful children of Amigos laugh and smile! It fills my heart with so much joy and makes all of the hard work the volunteers put into Escuelita worth it!

   Grace Brodeur, 22     Hometown:  Old Saybrook, Connecticut   University/Degree:  Recent graduate from The Catholic University of America, Mechanical Engineering. Will soon begin working as a Management Consultant in Washington, D.C.  Role in Escuelita:  Science Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  I've loved doing fun science experiments with the kids such as making lava lamps, an outdoor sun oven, and growing plants! 

Grace Brodeur, 22

Hometown: Old Saybrook, Connecticut
University/Degree: Recent graduate from The Catholic University of America, Mechanical Engineering. Will soon begin working as a Management Consultant in Washington, D.C.
Role in Escuelita: Science Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: I've loved doing fun science experiments with the kids such as making lava lamps, an outdoor sun oven, and growing plants! 

   Joseph Kerstiens, 22     Hometown:   Madison, Alabama  University/Degree:  Recent graduate from Mississippi State University, Business Administration and Political Science. Will begin law school this fall at the University of Tennessee.   Role in Escuelita:  Religion Teacher   Favorite thing about Amigos so far:  My favorite part about being at Amigos is seeing the sincerity of the kids' faith while also spending time getting to know them individually. 

Joseph Kerstiens, 22

Hometown:  Madison, Alabama
University/Degree: Recent graduate from Mississippi State University, Business Administration and Political Science. Will begin law school this fall at the University of Tennessee. 
Role in Escuelita: Religion Teacher

Favorite thing about Amigos so far: My favorite part about being at Amigos is seeing the sincerity of the kids' faith while also spending time getting to know them individually. 

   Katherine May, 19     Hometown:  Stafford, Virginia  University/Degree:  University of South Carolina, Nursing Major  Role in Escuelita:  Science Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  My favorite part about Escuelita is seeing the kids learn and have fun. They keep me laughing! 

Katherine May, 19

Hometown: Stafford, Virginia
University/Degree: University of South Carolina, Nursing Major
Role in Escuelita: Science Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: My favorite part about Escuelita is seeing the kids learn and have fun. They keep me laughing! 

   Leah Meissner, 19     Hometown:  Waxhaw, North Carolina  University/Degree:  University of South Carolina, Nursing Major  Role in Escuelita:  Art Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  Getting to know the kids personally and interact/play with them outside the classroom and loving everyone I've met! 

Leah Meissner, 19

Hometown: Waxhaw, North Carolina
University/Degree: University of South Carolina, Nursing Major
Role in Escuelita: Art Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: Getting to know the kids personally and interact/play with them outside the classroom and loving everyone I've met! 

   Randy Stralen, 19     Hometown:  Sacramento, California  University/Degree:  Saint Joseph's University, Music Major  Role in Escuelita:  Music Teacher   Favorite thing about Amigos so far:  Playing with the kids after dinner.

Randy Stralen, 19

Hometown: Sacramento, California
University/Degree: Saint Joseph's University, Music Major
Role in Escuelita: Music Teacher

Favorite thing about Amigos so far: Playing with the kids after dinner.

   Sara Salazar-Ramirez, 27     Hometown:  Florence, Texas  Current Profession:  Kindergarten Teacher  Role in Escuelita:  Computer Teacher   Favorite thing about Escuelita so far:  My favorite part of Escuelita has been getting to know each of the children with our awesome "All About Me" slides in computer class! 

Sara Salazar-Ramirez, 27

Hometown: Florence, Texas
Current Profession: Kindergarten Teacher
Role in Escuelita: Computer Teacher

Favorite thing about Escuelita so far: My favorite part of Escuelita has been getting to know each of the children with our awesome "All About Me" slides in computer class! 

 

 

Meet an Amigo ~ Profe Carlos

  Profe Carlos with one of our young men with special needs. The two have a very close friendship.

Profe Carlos with one of our young men with special needs. The two have a very close friendship.

Profe Carlos has been working at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School for almost four years now.  Beginning as a Special Education teacher, Profe Carlos now works full time as the disciplinarian, perhaps one of the most difficult roles at our school. As the first person to work in this role, Profe Carlos has set a high standard for the job. In fact, a large part of the consistency in our disciplinary protocol can be credited to the dedication and work that Profe Carlos has shown in his job. No matter the day, Profe Carlos is always ready to help with whatever is asked of him with a smile on his face. He is greatly appreciated not just by his fellow coworkers, but also by the students at our school, especially one of our young men with special needs who has a great love and attachment to Profe Carlos. We are very sad to see him go in the next couple weeks, but so happy to have had him at the school for these last four years! Good luck with your next step in life, Profe Carlos, you will be missed!

Read more about Profe Carlos in his interview below:

  1. Age: 23
  2. Hometown: Azacualpa, Santa Barbara 
  3. Position at School: Disciplinarian 
  4. Time working at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School: 3.5 years

 5. How did you hear about Amigos de Jesús? And why did you want to come work here?

I heard about Amigos de Jesús from one of the Dad’s that was here. I wanted to work here to learn and gather more experience.

6.    Before working at Amigos de Jesús, what were you doing?

I was working with a car manufacturing company before I came to work at Amigos.

3.    Did you know that you would be the disciplinarian before coming to ADJ?

No, I was the special education teacher for various children during my first year.

4.    Is the disciplinary position new to ADJ?

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Yes, I am the first person to be working in this position.

5.    Why was the disciplinarian position created?

There was a big need here. They needed someone to help control the behavior of the children. The principle, Profe Osman, told me, “We need you in this position. We think that you can do it because you have the correct character. We think that you can do it really well.” I said that I would try!

6.    What is your favorite part of your work at our school?

When I don’t have any child working with me, or when everything is quiet and cool, or when I see changes in the kids with difficult behaviors.  The change is slow and you usually don’t see it in a short time. Sometimes we have to wait one or two years before we start to see changes in how students behave. You need to wait a long time. In the beginning it’s frustrating, but then you understand that you need to give them time. It’s very rewarding to see those slow changes, though.

7.    I know that it’s hard but can you share a favorite memory of yours from your time working at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School?

Before, Jaime,* an older boy in the special needs class who is non-verbal, was very aggressive, because he was scared when he first came to Amigos de Jesús. Maybe he thought that we were going to try to hurt him or something. He would always come to school crying and fearful and trying to hit and bite people. We taught him little by little and now he has changed and he knows how to behave well. He doesn’t hit or bite anymore. I think that change was beautiful to watch, because I was there for Jaime’s most difficult moments and can now see him thriving and doing so much better.

8.    What has been one of your favorite memories or days with the children?

There are many, but sometimes when I go to special education, Jaime is looking for me so that we can play. He will jump on my back and I’ll turn him around in a circle. He just wants to spin in circles and then he gets dizzy and we hug and laugh.

Another time, we were playing when we had free time. Jaime climbed a tree and the branch he was on broke. He fell on the ground in a seated position. He just started laughing and laughing. It wasn’t very high, thankfully, so it was really funny.

  Profe Carlos with several of our students heading to the children's museum in San Pedro Sula this year.

Profe Carlos with several of our students heading to the children's museum in San Pedro Sula this year.

9. Do you have a favorite memory from your time as the disciplinarian?

It’s more difficult with the disciplinarian role, because the best moments are when the kids aren’t with me (because it means they are behaving well). But I’d say some of the best moments are when a child who was having a hard time behaving finds me and hugs me saying thank you for helping and that s/he understand he/she is difficult at times.

10. What is the hardest part of being the disciplinarian?

The hardest part with discipline is when you want to see change in a short amount of time. You do your best, but you realize that it’s not enough, and what you want to happen is not happening. Sometimes, you are sad and frustrated. You are angry with yourself and start questioning if you are doing something wrong or if you need to change what you’re doing and change your plan. Then, when you have more experience, you learn that this change is not easy. This is a step-by-step process. It’s a matter of time. I’ve learned how to have peace with myself, and I don’t blame myself anymore. Instead, I understand that this is always how it will be. Someday, the child will change their behavior, but you just don’t know when. At least, that’s the hope that we have.

11. Can you describe something that you have learned or that the children have taught you during your time here at Amigos?

  Profe Carlos, pictured on the right, with several of the BECA teachers in the 2015-2016 school year. 

Profe Carlos, pictured on the right, with several of the BECA teachers in the 2015-2016 school year. 

The value of family and appreciating what you have and what God has given you. But also how to love what God has given you, because these kids have suffered a lot. Sometimes I don’t know how they smile when they have lived through really tough things. So that’s one of the things that I have learned – to value what God has given you. To appreciate your family, your friends. That’s what I’ve learned the most – to value what you have. Because I have seen kids.

12. You have taught at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School for several years now. Can you describe some changes that you have seen in your students?

When I was the special education teacher, I saw changes in two boys in particular. In the beginning, they didn’t understand orders like, “sit down,” “stand up,” “look at the board,” or “repeat this.” They didn’t know any of that. Zero. Nothing. Then I started to teach them, and I saw a change. Like with Jaime. I taught him what it meant to sit down, because he only wanted to stay standing and he always wanted to leave the classroom running. He would escape and I would have to run after him, and he cried a lot. But later, little by little, he changed. He started to see that he was safe and that I was a safe person.

13. Have you seen any changes in the students that you work with as the disciplinarian? 

  Pictured on the left with several of his coworkers and current teachers in the Superheroes (special education) classroom. 

Pictured on the left with several of his coworkers and current teachers in the Superheroes (special education) classroom. 

Many of the students can make better decisions now. They know what to do when they make a mistake. They know how to take extra time to themselves or take time outside when they are angry, but they could not do that before. We have created a culture in which they know how to act when they are angry. Now, they can use these tools to help themselves feel better. Before, they couldn’t do that. We have experienced many changes in the past couple years. Now the kids can do everything, and they are conscious of what they are doing. When I ask them, “Was that the right thing to do?” they can tell me, “No, it was wrong.” When I ask, “Do you deserve this consequence?” they can answer with, “Yes, I do.” I’ll ask, “Why?” and they can say, “Because I did this wrong.” Something like, “I broke something and I’m taking the consequence.” Before it was more like, “Yes, I did it, but I don’t want a consequence; it’s not my fault.” Now, they have the tools to understand and act correctly.

14. What’s something that you want for the children in the future?

I want a beautiful life for all of them in our society. I hope that they are ready for everything and that they can make good choices. I don’t want them to make mistakes or lose things, because they have already suffered a lot. We don’t want that for them. We want them to have families and maybe one day they will teach their children that there is hope in their lives no matter what they are going through. That’s what I hope—that they have a good life.

15. Can you explain a bit about what it’s like to work in a bilingual school with both Hondurans and North Americans?

It’s great for me! I learn a lot from the American people, like the culture and the language. I learned English here because I have done, and do my best, to learn it. It’s really good to share my experience with the American people and they are sharing their experiences with me, too. It’s cool to have friends like that from the United States. I have family there [in the United States], but now I also have friends there from the BECA and Amigos volunteer programs. I think you all are amazing people, because you left your families and you came here and you’re helping the children. You left everything behind—it’s great. I see hope in that. You are bringing hope to our children and to our people, and that’s amazing.

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16. Why is working at Amigos a unique opportunity?

Because in this school and in this organization, you have the opportunity to meet children who have needs, such as the need to be loved. They need to, and get to, see people who have values. The school is also located in a beautiful area and we teach two languages. Everyone knows that this is the best school in the area, and that’s why this is a unique place.

When the BECA program came here, everything changed. In the beginning, we were only teaching Spanish and that’s normal for schools in Honduras. But then they brought the BECA program, and people were talking about it. They were wondering, “How do I get my child in that school?” This is the best location with American teachers. We have the best location with the best people.

17. What is something that you would like to say to people interested in working at Amigos de Jesús?

If you want to learn, you will learn. If you want to grow up, you will grow up. If you want to be strong, you will be strong here. If you want to learn how to love, you will learn how to love here. A lot of things are happening here.

I know this is my last year here, but I am really thankful to everybody here, because I am full of new love for life and hope and family. Now, when I see someone in the street, such as a child, I understand what they are going through. We need to pray for our community and our department and our country. It’s always in God’s hands. Prayer is the only thing we can do.

  Profe Carlos, pictured in the back row on the left, with the first grade students and teachers during the Honduran Independence Day Parade in September 2017.

Profe Carlos, pictured in the back row on the left, with the first grade students and teachers during the Honduran Independence Day Parade in September 2017.

Meet an Amiguito ~ Fabian*

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Fabian* is an energetic and adventurous boy who is full of surprises. When he first arrived at Amigos de Jesús he was slow to adjust but with love, care, and a healthy life he is thriving. Fabian can most often be found exploring our grounds or spending time with his beloved 'madrinas' and 'padrinos.' He constantly surpasses our expectations and we love him for it!

Read below to learn more about Fabian:

  1. Age: 8
  2. Birthday: November 28th
  3. Grade/School: 2nd
  4. What is your favorite part about school? Playing soccer during gym class. 
  5. What do you like to do in your free time? Swim in the river, play with toy cars, swim, and spend time with my 'padrinos.'
  6. What do you want to be when you grow up? A policeman.  
  7. Do you have siblings here at Amigos? How many? I have two sisters. I also have two cousins here. 
  8. What are you grateful for at Amigos de Jesús? To be able to play. 
  9. What is your favorite part of Amigos de Jesús? Agro. 
  10. What do you like to do with the volunteers/your 'padrinos'? I like to watch movies with the volunteers and wash clothes with my 'padrinos.'
  11. Who is your favorite person at the 'hogar'? Padrino Wilson.  
  12. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Fly to the moon in a rocket. 
  13. If you could ask God any question, what would you ask Him? I'd tell him thank you for this hogar. 
  14. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Chinese rice and chicken fingers.
  15. What is something your 'padrinos' and 'madrinas' always tell you? To wash my plate and shower. 
  16. What makes you happy? Being free.
  17. What's the best gift you've ever been given? Toy cars. 
  18. What's the hardest part about being a kid? Being a little baby. 
  19. Favorite animal: Lion
  20. Favorite color: Red
  21. Favorite food: Pizza
  22. Favorite movie: Río

 

*Name changed to protect privacy. 

  Posing with a friend on Christmas Day 2017.

Posing with a friend on Christmas Day 2017.

  Fabian with his two teachers at his graduation from 'Prepa' (Kindergarten) in 2016. 

Fabian with his two teachers at his graduation from 'Prepa' (Kindergarten) in 2016. 

  Fabian, pictured third from the right, with his 'Kinder' (preschool) classmates and teacher in 2015. 

Fabian, pictured third from the right, with his 'Kinder' (preschool) classmates and teacher in 2015. 

  Fabian in 2014. Look how much he's grown! 

Fabian in 2014. Look how much he's grown! 

  Taking a ride on the only horse we have at the 'hogar' this past weekend!

Taking a ride on the only horse we have at the 'hogar' this past weekend!

Meet an Amiga ~ Profe Jeidy (2013-2018 Honduran Teacher)

  Profe Jeidy, on the right, at our school graduation ceremony last December with one of her fellow teachers and close friends who graduated from university.

Profe Jeidy, on the right, at our school graduation ceremony last December with one of her fellow teachers and close friends who graduated from university.

Profe Jeidy is one of our longest serving staff members at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School. Although she may come off as shy and soft-spoken, Profe Jeidy is more likely to be described by her colleagues as responsible, passionate, humble, independent, sincere and confident, always willing to help and share her knowledge with those around her (especially if that means sharing book suggestions with her students!). A strong and fearless advocate of the value of education and women’s rights, Profe Jeidy is a great example to those around her and, in particular, to our young girls. Having spent time working in the EducaTodos program, in the school office, teaching in the BECA classrooms, and as the volunteer coordinator for the Honduran volunteer teachers, Profe Jeidy is well-versed and knowledgeable in how our school runs. More than that, however, it is Profe Jeidy’s commitment and love to each one of her students, and her support and friendship to her fellow teachers, that make her so well loved.

Read more about Profe Jeidy in her interview below:

  1. Age: 24
  2. Hometown: La Arda, Santa Barbara
  3. Job at School: Volunteer Coordinator for the Honduran volunteers, 6th grade Spanish and Social Sciences teacher, and the Social Sciences teacher for 'colegio' 

4. How long have you been working at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School?

I started in January of 2013 so I’ve been working here for  a little over 5 years.

5. How did you first hear about Amigos de Jesús? 

I heard about Amigos for the first time in ‘colegio,’ in the school I was studying at to be a teacher. I was in my last year and was getting ready to graduate. I think it was in November that Profe Osman, Mr. Jose (BECA Volunteer), and a couple of ‘jovenes’ – oh, and an Amigos volunteer named Miss Rachael - came to my school to talk about Amigos. I really liked what they had to say so I asked Profe Osman if I could apply and when he said yes, I did. Before it was harder to become a volunteer because you had to do an interview with Madrina Amy and Padrino Wilson. So I came here [to Amigos] and had an interview. There was even a psychologist and I did a five page exam. We were here all morning doing the exam and my parents had to come to Amigos to get to know the school and ‘hogar.’ So I did all of that and then Profe Osman told me that he would call me to tell me if I would be accepted to be a volunteer or not. I remember that Profe Osman made a mistake with the start date. He told me that it was January 13 but it was actually the 16. So I showed up at the ‘hogar’ three days early.

6. What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is teaching the 6th graders. I love being in that classroom. I want to be there all day. Sometimes I ask Mr. Tim or Miss Christina if I can take an extra block. For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays I only have two hours with them, and I like it when Mr. Tim or Miss Christina tell me that I can have another hour with them. I’m happy when I’m around them.

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One of the reasons I like being with them so much is because I like the way that they learn. They learn so quickly and they are very curious. When we’re going over things in class and I explain something to them, I like to bring something related to class for them to see. Everything that they learn excites them a lot. They are always asking, “And what else? What more?” Sometimes I come up short and I tell them, “Okay, tomorrow I’m going to investigate this and I’m going to tell you about it,” and they are always like that - curious and asking questions. It’s fun when the kids see me outside of the classroom and ask me, “Profe, what are we going to do today?” So it’s also a challenge for me in that I always need to bring something new to class because they are always asking for more. The only fear I have is that one day they are going to be bored in my class. But for now they are working hard.

7. But you weren't always the 6th grade teacher correct? Can you talk about some of the other jobs that you've had since coming to Amigos in 2013?

Oh, that’s hard! Okay, well at the start I was a teacher and I was in charge of a resource room for kids that weren’t ready to be in second grade yet. It was cool when I first came because I was working with a group of kids that were in second grade but that still didn’t know how to read or do other grade-appropriate things like that. There was five in that group and they didn’t know how to read and only knew about half the alphabet. So during the time for Spanish class, they were with me learning in a more individualized form, and during the time for English class, they were with, at that time it was a volunteer named Chepe, in second grade.  

I also taught in EducaTodos and vocational training for awhile. I was the calligraphy, or writing, teacher because I have always liked Spanish and the rules of writing. Then I taught in the BECA classrooms for awhile. I stopped doing that [teaching in the BECA classrooms] in order to support and coordinate the EducaTodos program to help give it more shape and structure. After that I became the Volunteer Coordinator and it was also in that time that I started to help in the office while Profe Osman was finishing his last year of ‘carrera' [his last year of university]. I needed to do that job because there wasn’t a vice principal at the time so I was supporting Profe Osman. It was pretty hard since he wasn't able to be at school all day because of his classes and it was a lot of work on the computer. But anyway, it was what I needed to do and what the school needed from me, so I did it.  So that was last year and now this year I have a little more structure as I'm back in the classroom and I’m really happy because that’s where I wanted to be.  

  Profe Jeidy with some of her 6th grade students.

Profe Jeidy with some of her 6th grade students.

8. I know it's hard but can you share one of your favorite memories from your time at Amigos?

One of my favorite things is seeing new kids come here because I always think about the opportunity that they have to be here and how many kids there are outside of Amigos in Honduras that can’t have this opportunity. And it always moves me to see them come here and yeah, wow, just how awesome it is that they’re here. The ideal would be for them to be with their parents but it’s better that they are here at Amigos than being on the street for example. That’s one of my favorite things. What else…sharing the books I read in Spanish with the kids is another one of my favorite things. The kids in 6th grade, for example, like to ask me, “Profe, what book should I read? What do you recommend?” Those are some of my favorite moments, too. And they motivate me to read more, then, since they’re always asking me, “Profe, have you read this book yet?”  

9. Can you share something that you have learned from being a teacher at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School and/or something that the children have taught you during your time as a teacher?

There are a lot of things that the kids have taught me but one of the biggest things they have taught me is to value family. They have taught me to be courageous and strong. I can’t image what my life would be like without my parents and I can’t imagine how they endure the fact that they aren’t with their parents. But even so, they get up everyday. They can laugh and they can put in the effort to behave well in school. For me, I can’t imagine myself in that situation. I think I’d be the most rebellious student in the school, the student that fought in class the most, the most angry, etc. I admire so many of them and the effort they make to control themselves. And despite the fact that we are always demanding more from them, they continue to work and give it their all.

I was talking to Psico (the psychologist who works at our school) about ‘Dia del Padre’ (Father’s Day) recently and how much I admire the kids when they sit there and listen to a song or see and take part in an event related to Father’s Day when they haven’t had a paternal figure. How they can be making decorations and crafts for a father when they don’t have anyone to give those crafts to. For as much as we have that kind of figure in the padrinos and madrinas, it’s not the same as having your biological father. But even so, they’re strong. And sometimes it hurts some of them. When we were preparing for the Father’s Day celebration, for instance, one of my students was crying as we were listening to the Father’s Day song because she said the lyrics hurt her. She was crying all of my class. So I told her it was optional and that she could leave, but no. She said she was okay and stayed. And then the next day she came to class and did everything to prepare for the event. That amases me. I admire the strength that they have - how they can broken down and hurt today but tomorrow get right back up again. I’ve learned that from the kids – to be strong.

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10. So you've been at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School for awhile now. Can you talk about some of the changes you have seen both in the students and in the school during your time?

In school, each year there is more structure. One specific example is the disciplinary protocol. When you compare how it was in 2013 and how the kids behaved then to how it is now, it is much better, more stable, and much more structured and consistent. In previous years, we had a meeting almost every week about the disciplinary protocol because something wasn’t working well and/or because we felt something needed to be changed and modified. We were always getting together to talk about it with the goal of having consistency for the kids and the truth is that all that work has been fruitful. I remember in 2013 how difficult it could be with the students. So it’s a really good change that the school has experienced, implementing a consistent and structured disciplinary protocol. Another positive change is the fact that the school itself is more structured. Each year there are new changes and I like this a lot because they [the administration] are always saying, “No, what we were doing last year isn’t enough. We are going to be better this year.” They are always thinking about ways to innovate and improve the school and looking for ways update and expand on the knowledge and skill sets of the teachers. They are taking us to trainings and bringing people here to teach and train us, which is really good because we have young teachers, some of whom don’t necessarily have a lot of teaching experience, so all the trainings help make them better people and teachers.

And with the kids, I have also seen many changes. Of course I’ve seen a lot of behavioral changes, for the better, but also in the freedom the kids feel to express themselves. Everything that they think, they have the freedom to say and this is something that I didn’t see as much before. They are talking about everything that happens to them, what they experience and think, and that’s a good thing. This happens both here at the school and in the  ‘hogar.’ It’s really cool because it means that they are growing in confidence and that they know that their voices can be heard as much by the teachers as by the ‘padrinos, ‘madrinas’, coordinators, and directors of the ‘hogar.’ It shows that they not only want to make themselves heard and will makes themselves heard, but also that they know there are people here who are listening to them. For example, some of the kids from the ‘hogar’ say that they don’t like it when kids from the community leave early or don’t have class but that they have to come to school anyways. They are making Profe Osman and all of us teachers think about what to do on the days that the students from the community don’t come. What’s something different, fun, and attractive that we can do with them on those days? They even talk about equality and the values we discuss in ‘acto civio’ [those values include: responsibility, effort, positivity, equality, tolerance, and obedience]. They are making themselves heard and I love seeing that.

11. What is something that you hope for for your students in the future?

I want them to be able to choose the career that they want to study. We recently had a meeting in the ‘hogar’ where the administration asked what would be the model school, or what are all the things we'd like to see in our school, as we continue to expand. It moved me a lot because they were asking the students what they wanted to do in the future. I really liked that because many people here in Honduras don’t have the opportunity to choose the career that they are going to study. For example, I didn’t want to be a teacher but my dad told me, “You are going to be a teacher and you need to study to be a teacher,” and I didn’t want to but I didn’t have another option. If I didn’t study to be a teacher, I wasn’t going to study so I said, “Okay, I’m going to be a teacher.” So I studied but I still wasn’t motivated to be a teacher but now I think that the best thing that could have happened to me in life was my decision to come to Amigos de Jesús, meeting so many people here, knowing the kids, etc. This is what I’d like in the future – that they continue to listen to the kids and what they want in their future. Some of them want to be journalists, others doctors, lawyers, and many other things. I hope that they are given the opportunity to be what they want to be in the future.

12.Can you explain a little bit about what it's like to work in a bilingual school with people who  come from different countries, cultures, backgrounds, and who speak different languages?

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It’s fun to get to know people outside of Honduras and outside of your own culture. It’s cool because we have the opportunity to know and learn about, at least through what the gringos say, another country. We can’t see the United States but we can listen to you all talk about how your culture and country is. I like that you guys, as outsiders, can be critical and talk about what you see in Honduras - what you do and don’t like. I also like that you guys bring new ideas from the United States that can help us teach the kids better because we know how Honduras is in education. For as much drive as we may have to teach well, if we weren’t taught well in the schools we went to, we can’t. The education from the United States is a lot better than the education here in Honduras so we can learn a lot from you guys. We can learn new methods of teaching.

Something else that I also like and admire about the gringos is the bravery you all have in coming to Honduras, especially with the face Honduras has in front of the whole world. And your parents are really brave in letting you come as well. We know that in the world’s view, Honduras is the place with the most crime, the most corruption, a place were there are a lot of gangs. In some places, it’s seen as a place of certain death. But you all have the bravery to come here, to leave many comforts behind in the States – hot water, air conditioning, heating, and many other things that you have there – to come here. What you are looking for I don’t know but it’s good that you guys are here.

At the same time, there are difficulties in working in a bilingual school with Hondurans and gringos. For example, gringos don’t say, “hey,” or greet a lot but for us Hondurans, saying good morning, good afternoon, etc. is something…it’s like breakfast, lunch, and dinner – it’s essential to life here. If you don’t say hi to a Honduran, they think you’re mad at them and things like them. So we’ve tried to understand that about the gringos but I think it’s important that they all try to understand that about us - that we need you guys to say, “Hi, good morning, how are you?”  I think that something we need to do to is interact with each other more, spend more time getting to know one another more, talk more, try to understand each other and our cultural differences better. From both sides – the gringos and the Hondurans.

13. How is working at the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School unique?

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It’s special because the school is a unique one here in Honduras. It’s like Padrino Wilson said when I came to see Amigos for the first time, “Amigos de Jesús is a piece of heaven in Honduras.” The community is different, the students are different, the teachers are different – the entire family of Amigos de Jesús is different. It’s not like anything I’ll find in another school, whether that be another bilingual school or another public or private school in Honduras. It’s different for the way that we teach, for the effort that each teacher puts in to teach well. When a teacher comes to teach here, she can change her mind, way of thinking, and way of teaching. If someone is here for a year or a short time, for two or three months or even just to observe, she will have a change in her life and will leave Amigos de Jesús as a different person.

I know former teachers who taught at Amigos for a time are going to teach in other schools and take with them the things they learned here. I always say that I would like for more schools to come here and observe how classes are given at our school so that they can carry the techniques and ideas we have and use them in other schools. To me, the way we teach here is unique, special, and different because every teacher really makes an effort. They are all invested and are all moving in the same direction and working towards the same goals. All the teachers contribute something here. All of us feel part of the group and the mission of the school. This is very unique. In other schools in Honduras, sometimes the teachers go to class and say, “We have a meeting today so there’s no class” and the kids leave.

The mentality of parents also change when they send their kids to our school. For example, in other public schools, parents are happy when their kids don’t go to school. It’s sad but it’s true. In my community, where I live, for example, the days that teachers don’t arrive to give class, the parents are happy  and say, “Oh, great. Now this child can help me with this, and this child with that.” So they see that a child can help more being at home than in school, but that changes when parents send kids to our school.

14. Okay, last question I promise! What's something you would say to someone who is interested in coming to volunteer as a teacher at our school?

Being a volunteer at Amigos de Jesús changes the life of any person. I mean any person – a happy person, an unhappy person, a person who is  bitter about life or who feels like s/he doesn’t have a direction in life. If you come to Amigos, you will find a direction. You will find happiness and you will find a direction in your life. It’s like you find a compass and you figure out where you want to go. Amigos will become your compass. For me, I think as people we are always questioning which path to take, where to go, etc.  Coming to Amigos de Jesús and thinking about what you want to do in life is very good because you will find an answer.

Also, if you want to learn new things, if you want to learn about love and hope, Amigos de Jesús is the best place to learn about those things. Above all hope. It’s the best place to learn about hope.

  In addition to working at our school, Profe Jeidy is active in our kids lives outside of school. Here she's pictured with several other volunteers, teachers, 'madrinas,' and older girls after a soccer tournament.

In addition to working at our school, Profe Jeidy is active in our kids lives outside of school. Here she's pictured with several other volunteers, teachers, 'madrinas,' and older girls after a soccer tournament.

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Transformation

We recently revised our mission statement to read:  “The Amigos de Jesús family is a sanctuary of hope, healing and transformation in service to vulnerable children.”  I love this re-imagining of the mission that so deeply captures what Amigos de Jesus has always been and has always done.  Each word was considered and chosen with prayerfulness, with love, and with intention.  And when the mission statement finally came together everyone just knew it was us- all of us.

Each different word is worthy of its own essay.  For me this mission statement invites me to do what many in our Christian tradition feel called to do with the Lord’s Prayer- pray it word for word and sit with the meaning and depth of every phrase. 

Today I am reflecting on the word transformation, and what it means to me as I journey with our children, staff and volunteers in Honduras.

  • I think of Johnny,* a 10-year-old boy who has been with us just for a few months after many years fending for himself on the street.  After I accompanied him through a toddler-style meltdown involving biting, cursing and so much anger and fear he has let me into his transformation.  “Madrina, I am behaving better.”  “Madrina, I got mad today but didn’t hurt anyone.”  “Madrina, I did my chores.”  “Madrina, my padrinos say I’m behaving well.”  These are small steps but they are life changing.  Transformative.
  • I think of Raquel,* a staff member who loves our children fiercely but is afraid to open up.  As she watches the kids learn to trust and be transformed, she, too is learning the important skill of asking for help and being vulnerable.  She is transforming.
  • I think of Maribel,* a teenage girl who has been through so much in her lifetime, the least of which is severe malnutrition.  She shares with pride that her cheeks are filling out and her little-girl-sized pants are getting too tight.  She knows that there are people here who will celebrate these victories with her.  Who delight in watching her transformation.

No one is immune to the transformation that takes place at Amigos de Jesús and it is such a privilege to find myself transformed as I grow in relationship with each member of our large, beautiful family.  Gracias, Señor. 

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*Names changed to protect privacy

 

- Amy Escoto, In-Country Co-Director of Operations

The Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School

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The Amigos de Jesús Bilingual school is a unique place that transforms lives and fills with hope each of us who are fortunate enough to be part of this mission.  Here I have seen so many children have fun and learn, but more than that I have seen them gain back their confidence and desire to live; every day they show this with a smile, a joke or by teasing their teachers who have the gift of love and service.

I am certain that our school is living in an important moment in the transformation of Honduras and the best tool for the future of our country is a quality education.  Amigos de Jesús is an opportunity for children who never even imagined having the opportunity to go to any school, never mind a school like ours, a school that is rooted in our principles of: Responsibility, Effort, Positivity, Equality, Tolerance and Obedience; each of these with the purpose of forming people with their own identity, with pride in who they are and who they will become.

I feel so happy to be part of such a great team of people who work to make these dreams come true for the children of our home and for many children from the neighboring community who are now part of our family. 

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One aspect of our school that is important to mention is that our priority is always to adapt to the educational and emotional needs of the children. We are constantly designing alternative ways to ensure that each student has the opportunity to receive the attention that he or she needs and deserves.

Each year our school has grown significantly in the number of students and teachers.  We currently have 195 students in 15 different classes with 34 teachers, 26 of whom are Honduran and foreign volunteers.

Our school has the following programs:

  • Early education:  preschool and kindergarten
  • Elementary bilingual school: first through 6th grade
  • Alternative education program:  3 levels for children who need personalized attention for various reasons, often due to the abuse and neglect they received before arriving at our school.
  • Special Education and Educational Inclusion:  1 therapeutic and educational classroom of students with varying developmental delays, as well as inclusion in mainstream classes for these students as well as others who are thriving in their classes with additional support
  • Middle school:  7th through 9th grade for students

All of this incredible work is made possible only by a great team of people who work in support of the education of the children of Amigos de Jesús, including our Honduran and foreign volunteers, a small but strong group of paid teachers and school staff, the support of the children’s 'madrinas' and 'padrinos,' the School Parents’ Association, and our partnerships with BECA (Bilingual Education for Central America).


Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School, es una escuela única que transforma vidas, que nos llena de esperanza a cada uno de los que somos parte de esta misión. Aquí he visto a tantos niños disfrutar, aprender, pero más que eso, recuperar la confianza y el deseo de vivir; mostrando cada día una sonrisa, una ocurrencia o un berrinche y a maestros que han encontrado su don de amar y de servir.

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Estoy seguro que nuestra escuela está marcando un momento importante para la trasformación de Honduras y la mejor herramienta es dando una educación de calidad. Amigos de Jesús es una oportunidad para aquellos niños que jamás pensaron en tener la oportunidad de asistir a una escuela, y aún más a una escuela como la nuestra, que se arraiga a principios como la Responsabilidad, Esfuerzo, Sinceridad, Positivismo, Equidad, Tolerancia y Obediencia, todos estos con el propósito de formar personas con identidad propia, orgullosos de quienes son y de las personas que quieren llegar a ser.

Me siento alegre de formar parte de este gran equipo de personas que trabajamos por hacer posible este sueño para nuestros niños y niñas de la casa hogar y de muchas familias de comunidades vecinas, que ahora también son parte de nuestra familia. Es importante mencionar que somos una escuela que se adapta a las necesidades educativas de los niños, que busca programas alternativos que permitan dar la oportunidad de recibir la atención que necesitan y que se merecen.

Nuestra escuela cada año va teniendo un crecimiento significativo en cuanto al número de estudiantes y maestros, actualmente contamos con 195 alumnos de los diferentes niveles y 34 maestros, siendo estos hondureños y extranjeros.

La escuela cuenta con los siguientes programas:

  • Pre-Básica Bilingüe: cuenta con 2 aulas (Kínder y Preparatoria)
  • Básica Bilingüe: actualmente de Primero a Sexto Grado.
  • Programa de Aceleración Educativa: Es un programa que nos permite flexibilidad para poder matricular a niños que tienen sobre edad o que necesitan estar en grupos más pequeños y poder recibir atención personalizada. Se cuenta con tres Niveles.
  • Educación Especial e inclusión educativa: En esta aula los niños y niñas reciben un bloque de terapias y atención individualizada y un segundo bloque donde se incluyen a diferentes aulas.
  • Colegio: Se ha iniciado este año, los jóvenes que salían del programa de aceleración, tenían que ir al colegio público de Macuelizo o una escuela privada bilingüe ubicada en la comunidad de Sula, Macuelizo S.B, ahora ellos reciben las clases en nuestra escuela asegurándonos que estén recibiendo una educación de calidad.

Todo este gran trabajo no fuera posible sin la ayuda de todo un gran equipo de personas que trabajan en pro de la educación de los niños de Amigos de Jesús, y de los diferentes programas de voluntarios tanto hondureños como extranjeros y un reducido grupo de maestros empleados, así también el apoyo de los Padrinos/Madrinas, la Sociedad de Padres y resaltando la importancia de la alianza con la Organización Bilingual Education For Central América (BECA).

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- Profe Osman Quintanilla, Principal of the Amigos de Jesús Bilingual School

Meet an Amiguita ~ Cinthia*

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Cinthia* is a one of a kind little girl who is both sweet and demanding at the same time. She is spirited, energetic, and imaginative with a strong will, a big heart, and a fierce love and loyalty for her favorite people. She is always seeking creative solutions to problems and uses her big beautiful eyes to ask for help and get what she wants. Cinthia was one of the first girls at Amigos and one of the first little children to call the 'hogar' home. We have loved watching her grow up, learning and growing deeper each day into the person God created her to be.

Read below to learn more about Cinthia:

  1. Age: 9
  2. Birthday: March 9th
  3. Grade/School: 2nd grade 
  4. What is your favorite part about school? My favorite class is computer class. I also like when we watch movies
  5. What is something interesting that you have learned recently in school? How to draw with Profe Viviana.
  6. What do you like to do in your free time? I like to play tag because it's fun. 
  7. What do you want to be when you grow up? Be a doctor.
  8. What are you grateful for at Amigos de Jesús? I'm thankful that I can play with everyone at the 'hogar' and that we can play tag.
  9. What is your favorite part of Amigos de Jesús? The cross because I like to run back down the hill after walking up.  
  10. What do you like to do with the volunteers/your 'padrinos'? I like to run around with the volunteers. I also like to watch zumba videos. 
  11. Who is your favorite person at the 'hogar'? Miss Rachel (2017-18 ADJ Volunteer) because she puts on movies and zumba in my 'hogar.'
  12. If you could ask God one question, what would it be? I would tell him thank you for this 'hogar.' And thank you for all the food you give.   
  13. What is something your 'padrinos' and 'madrinas' always tell you? To behave well.
  14. What do you think about Honduras? It's pretty. 
  15. If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what food would it be? Cornflakes. 
  16. Favorite animal: Elephant 
  17. Favorite song: Baby by Justin Beiber
  18. Favorite color: Pink
  19. Favorite food: Hamburger and french fries 
  20. Favorite movie: How to Train Your Dragon

*Name changed to protect privacy

  Cinthia with one of her 'madrinas' and a friend after the two girls received their First Holy Communion this past April during 'Semana Santa' (Holy Week).

Cinthia with one of her 'madrinas' and a friend after the two girls received their First Holy Communion this past April during 'Semana Santa' (Holy Week).

  Cinthia at her graduation from 'Prepa' (Kindergarten) with one of the 'madrinas' she is close with.

Cinthia at her graduation from 'Prepa' (Kindergarten) with one of the 'madrinas' she is close with.

  During the 'Día de la Independencia' (Independence Day) Parade in September of 2012. 

During the 'Día de la Independencia' (Independence Day) Parade in September of 2012. 

  Cinthia posing with a volunteer cerca 2012.

Cinthia posing with a volunteer cerca 2012.

  Look at those sweet girls! 

Look at those sweet girls! 

  Cinthia dressed up for the Independence Day Parade this past September.

Cinthia dressed up for the Independence Day Parade this past September.