AMIGA OF THE WEEK ~ Madrina Martha

Madrina Martha is the longest-standing madrina currently at Amigos. She will be celebrating her 5-year anniversary in December. She is well-loved by the entire Amigos family, but most especially her girls in Hogar 3, where she brings a sweet and caring energy in her role as their care-giver. Madrina Martha is known for her wonderful cooking skills. Each Christmas, she blesses us with delicious tamales. Amigos de Jesús would not be the same without "Madrina Martita."

Where are you from originally?
Yamaranguila, Honduras (a rural town about 7 hours from Amigos, also known as the coldest region in Honduras).

How long have you been at Amigos de Jesus?
Since December of 2011. I was in the first group of madrinas/padrinos at Amigos that were not married couples. Before Amy and Wilson came in 2010, all of the padrinos were couples who lived with the children.

How did you first hear about Amigos de Jesús?
I saw an ad in the newspaper about a home for children that was looking for full-time caregivers. Since I was not married, I had the freedom to be able to move to Amigos and live with the children. I love my job.

How has Amigos change since you first arrived?
When I first started here, there were only boys. In 2012, we began to get our first girls and over time there became harmony between the boys' side and the girls' side of Amigos. Also, when I first came, there were only dorm rooms near the office, not on the other side of the bridge. They began to build those when the girls started coming. Also when I first came, the children were divided into living spaces based on their ages and genders. About two years ago, they divided the children into hogares (homes) of mixed ages to make each living space feel more like a real family. Today there are three girls' homes, and 4 boys' homes.

Other changes are that there are now many more people at Amigos - children, padrinos/madrinas, office staff, and volunteers. And as time goes on we are creating a better and better work environment between all of the people who are here to take care of the kids. A big change that I am excited about is the chapel, which is under construction right now, but will allow us to participate in mass right here at Amigos.

How has your role at Amigos changed since you arrived?
I have worked with all of the children here at different points. At first, I worked with all of the boys, but mostly with the 12-14 year olds. Then I worked with the chiquitos (the youngest children, ages 3-5) for awhile back when we still only had boys. When the buildings on the other side of the bridge were built, I rotated between the 3 girls' dorms until I stayed permanently with Hogar 3 just over a year ago. There are 11 girls in my care in Hogar 3 ver much and I feel very happy being their madrina.

What do you like most about being a madrina?
I like helping them with the various activities they do everyday, doing homework with them, and also helping to teach them how to be good people. I also enjoy watching them play and seeing how they interact with each other.

Do you have a favorite memory from Amigos?
There are too many to pick just one! One of my favorites is when our very first girl arrived with her brothers in 2012. Another special moment for me was remembering how Oscarito looked when he first arrived. I will also always hold dear to my heart the beautiful moments I had taking care of the chiquitos.

In 2013, Amigos got many, many new children (due to state-run children's homes being closed down in Honduras, and children being relocated to privately-owned homes, like Amigos). So there were many months in a row that year when more and more children kept coming to us all of the time, and that was a very exciting time. 

What is one hope you have for the future of Amigos de Jesus?
I hope to see all of the children here grow to become successful and independent people, to make a better future for themselves despite all that they have been through. I hope that Amigos can continue to be a place where they can smile. I also hope to see all of the children here graduate one day.

Fr. Dennis and Madrina Martha in January 2016

Madrina Martha with the children during a mass at Amigos led by Fr. Dennis.