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Many have asked me what was the single greatest thing I took away from my trip to Honduras, and the answer is, it’s impossible to say. I learned and experienced such a multitude of different things while I was away for 6 months, that to wrap them into one pithy statement is impossible. For those who don’t know me, or know only of me from my parents, I recently returned from a six-month journey to the northern coast of Honduras. Honduras is a country where the breathtaking beauty of the scenery contrasts sharply with the intense poverty that is evident everywhere you look. After graduating High School, I decided to experience a different world instead of jumping strait into more studies, so I packed my bags and with the goodwill of my parents set off to teach English with an organization named Helping Honduras Kids. I could not have chosen a better place for me to be. Helping Honduras Kids (HHK) is small enough to give important attention to each child, yet large enough to make an amazing difference in the community it reaches. I split my time between teaching Kindergarten and giving English lessons at the jungle school, and helping with homework and planning crafts after school for the 22 kids who live in the orphanage, named the Hogar de Amor. I met the families who live in the mountains around the school, who have nothing more than small stick huts and dirt floors, and spent nights talking with them about the extreme difficulties they face every day. I accompanied David Ashby ( the incredible director who is 71 years old and the heart of the organization) on donation drops to several community programs, and saw the gratefulness in the eyes of the people to see that someone cared and was willing to help. But most importantly, I fell in love with the children there who are somehow lucky enough to have this organization in their lives and to have a chance a decent future because of it. I became best friends with Denia Velasquez. Denia is 17 years old and the strongest girl I have ever met. Her mother died 5 years ago, leaving her to take care of her 3 younger brothers and sisters. The four sibling moved in with their 70 year old grandmother, and have been living in the small wooden shack which houses 11 people with only 4 beds. 2 years ago, they had to surrender the youngest girl, Paola, to live with David in the Hogar de Amor because she was suffering from malnourishment. Denia is at the top of her class in the private school David helps pay for, and wants to be a doctor. We talked a lot while I was there, and I stayed several times at her house. She wants to be a doctor but she may never have the opportunity. I could see the frustration in her eyes while she was trying to explain to me why she couldn’t. I kept saying there wasn’t any reason she couldn’t, she is so smart and dedicated, and she just looked at me and said, Kyla, I have to work. Who else will support my family. She has already made if further in school than anyone else in the community, she can’t put off earning money much longer. How do I respond to that? I, who have so many opportunities, and will be attending a private school for 4 years with a lot less direction than Denia has. I am writing this letter to ask for sponsors for the incredible children who need our help in order to achieve their dreams and be able to support themselves and their families in the future. Helping Honduras Kids, the organization I fell in love with, needs help. Their funds are dwindling quickly as donations have curbed greatly due to the economic troubles in the first world. A scholarship fund for the older kids, has been set up, but so far there are very few to support it. Will you consider funding a deserving child’s education for 60 a month? The money goes directly to pay that child’s education costs so they may can continue their studies. There could not be a better place in the world to put your money. I know, I was there, and all I want is for the kids I love to have a fraction of the opportunity in this world as I have. Thanks so much for your help. Please check out the organization and sign up to sponsor a child online at www.helpinghonduraskids.org. Form a special bond with a child or preteen who just wants to go to school. You won’t regret it. Sincerely, Kyla McClure


My experience at HHK