At NPH Honduras, we pride ourselves on the educational opportunities we offer our children. After completing ninth grade at our Rancho Santa Fe school and giving a year of service back to the house, Pequeños can go on to study high school in the city and live in NPH student housing. If they wish to go on to college, they must give another two years of service back to NPH following their high school graduation. In 2007, we had over 100 students in our higher education program, studying in high schools, universities and in advanced vocational training programs in Tegucigalpa and other major cities around Honduras.
The cost of higher education increases every year. Here are some breakdowns: Average monthly cost per student Tuition Meals Housing Transportation Snack Materials Books Total:
$35.69 $64.37 $51.44 $25.48 $23.86 $27.07 $52.32 $280.23
Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ Honduras ™
Current Age: 25 Age when entered NPH: 11 Number of siblings: 7 Number of siblings still at NPH: 6 Year of university: 4 Years remaining: 1 Career choice: Nursing
“I wanted to do something in my life where I’m helping children and giving back some of what my brothers and sisters and I received growing up.”
Miriam, the second oldest of eight siblings came to Rancho Santa Fe in 1994 after the death of their mother. Because no relatives came forward to claim them, Miriam’s older sister worked in a neighbor’s house and earned 40 cents a day which they survived on for three months until NPH learned about their case. Miriam has also gathered a lot of experience working with the children in her extended family at Rancho Santa Fe and in her schooling. She spent her first year of service after junior high working as a caregiver for the younger girls — then went on to study elementary education in high school, receiving academic honors her final year. She returned to the Ranch and completed her second and third years of service working in the school, where she taught a class of children with learning disabilities.
Currently, Miriam is in her second trimester of the year. She has Biochemistry, Physiology, Anatomy and a Humanitarian Internship. “My most difficult class is Biochemistry and the most enjoyable is the internship. In the internship we go in small groups to neighborhood health centers and administer vaccinations and take blood pressure.” Miriam usually has long days. Classes start at 7 am and end at 4 pm. By the time she arrives home it is 5 pm and then she prepares dinner with her house mates and studies. Every other weekend, Miriam arrives at the NPH home to help as a caregiver in a girls’ section, ages 12-16 years old. Also during employee holiday break, like Easter and Christmas, she is the coordinator of the entire girls’ home, which includes about 140 girls.
Current Age: 24 Age when entered NPH: 10 Number of siblings: 7 Number of siblings still at NPH: 6 Year of university: 2 Years remaining: 2 Career choice: CPA
“You have to be diligent, hardworking and responsible or you will never succeed.”
Mayra, the third oldest of eight siblings, came to Rancho Santa Fe in 1994 after the death of their mother. Because no relatives came forward to claim them, Mayra’s older sister worked in a neighbor’s house and earned 40 cents a day which they survived on for three months until NPH learned about their case. Mayra finished her third year of service in our vocational workshop, where she managed the supply room and coordinated purchasing. This job sparked her interest in studying to become a Certified Public Accountant in university. Mayra’s college level studies will be a natural extension of both her years of service at the Ranch and a continuation of her three-year high school program in Administration and Business. She gained lots of
experience running “mini-businesses” while in school. In fact, her thirdyear business of selling licuados (fruit shakes) in the market was honored for being the most profitable and well-run. “In high school I learned a lot about the world of business and how you need to behave to compete,” says Mayra. Mayra also demonstrated her exceptional maturity on the home front during her high school years, acting as the coordinator of Santa Catarina, the house she shared with 11 other young women. Taking responsibility for herself and others comes naturally. Mayra is already planning for when she finishes her degree. She wants to work full-time and work on earning her Masters’ Degree in Auditing.
Current Age: 22 Age when entered NPH: 8 Number of siblings: 7 Number of siblings still at NPH: 6
n ship o a ub lar In C Scho IC Note: this does not cover DEM
Year of university: 2 Years remaining: 4 Career choice: Medicine
expenses and travel.
Edwin is the brother of Miriam and Mayra. He is the third oldest of the eight siblings who came to Rancho Santa Fe in 1994 after the death of their mother.
“I’m excited, but I’m also very nervous,” said Edwin the day he got the news. “It’s very hard to leave my friends and family and the life I’ve known for so many years so abruptly.”
In April 2006, Edwin and another pequeña Dora Berrios, were both accepted into a competitive program run by the Cuban government, which grants scholarships to a select group of foreigners.
Edwin has always been dedicated to his studies, and completing medical school in Cuba will require an even deeper level of dedication. It is an intense program, but they will graduate in six years and be fully licensed doctors – as compared to the eight years it would take them in Honduras. The scholarship covers all of their tuition and room and board throughout the six years, but does not include any travel, hygiene or extra food expenses.
After a long and complicated application process, Dora and Edwin learned that they’d won the scholarships and had to pack up and be on a plane to Cuba just two short days later.
Current Age: 24 Age when entered NPH: 9 Number of siblings: 3 Number of siblings still at NPH: 1 Year of university: 3 Years remaining: 3 Career choice: Social Work
“Most kids in Honduras could only dream of having the chance to study like we have at NPH.”
Elsy, completed her second year of service in the Social Work department at Rancho Santa Fe – her home since 1992. Elsy, was nine years old when her mother died, and she and her three siblings came to NPH. Elsy graduated high school at the top of her class, earning a degree in Social Promotion. During her high school program, Elsy did internships in several extremely poor small towns around the country – training people in how to set up small businesses to support themselves. Most of the women she worked with were young mothers with several kids and without an education. Elsy’s internship gave her a glimpse of the harsh reality many families in Honduras face. She has seen countless cases of children who come from extremely difficult backgrounds.
“This is my home and my big beautiful family. I have so much to be thankful for. They have always encouraged me to go after my hopes and dreams.” That is exactly what Elsy is doing. In fact she’s already planning for what she’ll do after she gets her college degree. She wants to study law and eventually become a children’s rights lawyer. “I think the most important thing is figuring out what you want to do with your future and then just going straight after it,” says Elsy. Every other weekend when Elsy is at the NPH home, she helps out in the social work department. When she has semester breaks, Elsy also assists our social worker, evaluating cases.
Current Age: 24 Age when entered NPH: 11 Number of siblings: 5 Number of siblings still at NPH: 4 Year of university: 1 Years remaining: 4 Career choice: Electrical Engineering
Santiago and his 5 siblings arrived at NPH in 1995. Their mother abandoned them and their father did not have the means to care for them plus work full-time. Juan, their oldest brother at 13 years old was working to help support the family. The family lived in very poor conditions, sleeping on a dirt floor and neither of the six children knew how to read or write. Without having any prior education, Santiago has done quite well. Along with his academics he studied electricity at our vocational workshops and also completed his first year of service in our maintenance department.
Santiago graduated high school in November 2007 with top honors. During school breaks, Santiago lends a hand in our maintenance department.
Current Age: 28 Age when entered NPH: 6 Number of siblings: 2 Number of siblings still at NPH: 0 Year of university: 6 Years remaining: 1 Career choice: Electrical Engineering
“Education is the key to success.”
When Osman arrived at the age of six, he didn’t think much about where he was, just that he was near his brothers.
Osman says that with determination you can achieve a lot and without dreams you cannot live.
“Since I was a little boy I didn’t like to talk a lot, I prefer to observe and think,” explained Osman.
“My father once told me, when you ask God for something, make it something big, but be careful what you wish for.”
Maybe that’s why Osman finds such joy in studying and learning. His goal after finishing his career in engineering is to study physics and his ultimate goal is to leave the planet as an astronaut.
“Hopefully one day I will achieve my goals so everyone will know what this NPH home can do for the children.”
“When I was a child, the days were so long...I always thought, ‘what am I going to do with so much time?’ Now I think there is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything I need to do.”
Current Age: 27 Age when entered NPH: 19 Number of siblings: 0 Number of siblings still at NPH: 0 Year of university: 5th Years remaining: 1 Career choice: Civil Engineering
“I have been very blessed in my life and NPH was the biggest of all of those blessings. Coming to Rancho Santa Fe is one of those opportunities you only get once in a lifetime.”
Carlos has a very different history than most of his peers at Rancho Santa Fe. He didn’t come to NPH until he was nearly 19 years old – when a counselor at his high school referred his case. “I was in my third year of high school in a Business and Finance program, but was going to have to quit because even though I had a full scholarship for tuition, I didn’t have enough money to pay my living expenses.” In 2000, NPH gave Carlos room and board in one of the student houses in Tegucigalpa. But after he graduated first in his class, he wrote NPH directors a letter asking that they consider making him an official part of the Rancho Santa Fe Family. They did — just in time for him to celebrate his 20th birthday party with a cake and all – something he’d never had in his entire life. Carlos’ father left when he was just
three years old and his mom suffers from cancer and a mental illness. His grandmother, who died in 2003, raised him and instilled in him his strong work ethic and love of learning. But she often didn’t have enough money for food, let alone anything extra like books or school. Most of his life, Carlos has had to rely on the kindness of others – some literally strangers, to get by. Teachers at his school gave him money to live on. His classmates shared their uniforms because he could never afford his own. Carlos has maximized his opportunity at NPH. He gave a year and a half of service to the Ranch, taking care of the younger boys. Then in 2003, he started a five-year Civil Engineering program at the State University in Tegucigalpa.
Current Age: 26 Age when entered NPH: 10 Number of siblings: 3 Number of siblings still at NPH: 1 Year of university: 5 Years remaining: 1 Career choice: Social Work
“Growing up at NPH was a second chance at life which God and Father Wasson gave me.”
Nidia and her three siblings arrived at NPH in 1992, soon after their mother and father passed away. Nidia is now fulfilling her dream which started in our Social Work department, back in 2002. She completed her second and third year of service assisting our social worker Silvia and this year she will be completing her third year of university. Nidia chose to study social work after her gratifying experience in this department. In 2007, she will begin her academic internship which is 800 hours, in an organization called PRAF, which assist’s families and single mothers with micro-loans for businesses. “When I came to do my year of service in this department, Silvia right away treated me like a co-worker and taught me the reality of Honduras. She showed me the poverty and forgotten people during social work
investigations and the great need for a home like NPH. This made an impression on me that changed my life forever.” Nidia completed her internship in 2007. In her spare time she is heading up a student academic committee that is focusing on evaluating standards of social workers in Honduras. This year she will complete her professional internship and then write her thesis. Nidia was 10 years old when she came to NPH Honduras with her three siblings. Her younger sister is still with NPH and is attending high school, and her brother has worked in our Sponsorship department for many years.
Current Age: 24 Age when entered NPH: 5 Number of siblings: 1 Number of siblings still at NPH: 1 Year of university: 2 Years remaining: 2 Career choice: Foreign Languages and Tourism
“Growing up at NPH has been the best because I never would have been able to have the opportunities that I have now.This has been my home, my whole life, and I am very thankful.”
Elzer completed his second year of service in our babies home. In fact, he didn’t think he was going to make it. “There were so many kids that my head was spinning,” says Elzer, who first joined our NPH family in 1990 when he was in the babies’ house. “But I told myself ‘I’m going to do this,’ — and I did.” Two years later, Elzer is completing his third year of service in our transportation department. Midyear, he was transferred due to the sudden need for an additional driver, but he still keeps close tabs on the little ones. He says his experience has taught him a great deal, especially patience. “I learned how to count to ten when the kids were upset, and then go back and ask what’s wrong,” says Elzer.
“When the little ones are sad or mad or crying, I go over and give them a hug, or a kiss on the cheek and then they feel better. The relationship with the child is really important because if you don’t have a good relationship with them, you won’t be able to manage them.” Elzer graduated from high school in 2004 with a degree in Letters and Sciences, and says his year of service has also influenced his career path. He dreams of opening his own Montessori preschool. “It’s a pleasure to do my years of service because it allows me to give back a little bit of what I’ve been given here,” explaines Elzer.
Current Age: 26 Age when entered NPH: 9 Number of siblings: 3 Number of siblings still at NPH: 0 Year of university: 3 Years remaining: 3 Career choice: Psychology
“In university there is definately a learning curve where you have to be more responsible and behave like a professional.”
Matias and his three siblings arrived at NPH in 1991 when he was nine years old. The family was split after their mother died of a heart attack and their father was killed. Matias went to live with an aunt and helped her sell newspapers for money. The aunt wanted the children to live together and have better opportunities than she could provide and so she contacted NPH. In February 2004, Matias was diagnosed with a retinal detachment in his left eye. With the help of Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he had surgery in 2005 to repair his eye.
Matias studied three years in the electrical workshop on the Ranch, but because of his eye injury it was recommended that he pursue another career choice. “NPH is a huge help to many families and for our country as well. After university I would like to be able to help NPH however I can,” says Matias.
Current Age: 28 Age when entered NPH: 11 Number of siblings: 4 Number of siblings still at NPH: 1 Year of university: 4 Years remaining: 1 Career choice: Tourism
“My life has been divine at NPH. I have everything I need, love, health, happiness, peace and best of all, a huge family.”
Before Magda arrived at NPH she had a very difficult life. Her father made a living by playing the guitar and harmonica. After her parents separated, her older brothers went to live with her father and Magda and her two sisters stayed with her mother. The girls were removed from their mother’s home because of neglect and placed in a temporary girls home for youths with severe problems like drugs, gangs, alcohol and abuse. “I thank God that he took me out of that place I was before”, states Magda, “My life has been divine at NPH. I have everything I need, love, health, happiness, peace and best of all, a huge family.” Magda’s goal is to finish her degree in Hotel and Tourism and then go on to get her Masters in the same field.
On her work weekends at the Ranch Magda finds herself busy in the main kitchen helping to prepare the meals of the day. This semester Magda is taking five classes in which one is French, two hours daily. During the Christmas break she will be back at the Ranch helping out in the kitchen and caring for the children. “NPH is my refuge where I have received all that I need. The directors and caregivers at the Ranch have supported me throughout the years and taught me to always strive to reach my goals and dreams.”
Current Age: 26 Age when entered NPH: 6 Number of siblings: 2 Number of siblings still at NPH: 0 Year of university: 4 Years remaining: 1 Career choice: Accounting
Jairo came to NPH in 1987 after both parents passed away. He went to live with his grandmother but was soon running around in the streets. A social worker met him in the street and contacted NPH. Jairo had not been enrolled in school but when he arrived at the Ranch he did well with just a half year of kindergarten and went on to first grade. After completing his years of service in 2000 as a caregiver for the boys, he went to live with a family member in the capital. Jairo still comes to the Ranch every other weekend to lend a hand wherever is needed.
Current Age: 22 Age when entered NPH: 2 Number of siblings: 4 Number of siblings still at NPH: 0 Year of university: 3 Years remaining: 2 Career choice: Agriculture
Jose Priciliano or “Prisci”, arrived at NPH at the tender age of two years old. Three of his half siblings joined him after their mother was killed. A neighbor cared for the children meanwhile and contacted the authorities. Prisci had a very successful year completing his year of service in the farm and gardens. He worked hard and solidified his interest in agriculture. We were able to pull a few strings so he could take the entrance exam for an agricultural university. Not only was he accepted, but he also received a full scholarship. We’re very proud of Prisci, who is in his third year of university.
Current Age: 24 Age when entered NPH: 6 Number of siblings: 0 Number of siblings still at NPH: 0 Year of university: 2 Years remaining: 3 Career choice: Mechanical Engineer
“I grew up here...my objective is to be successful and to continue to study. NPH is the only place where I receive support and help.”
Luis was abandoned when he was four years old by his mother who is mentally ill. He was then placed in a state run temporary home before arriving at NPH. A unique event happened to Luis last year. After 18 years, he was reunited with his mother. She happened to meet an ex-pequeño on a bus and asked him if he knew of a boy named Luis. She then came to the Ranch during visitor’s day and gave quite a surprise to Luis after he had given up trying to find her. Luis had searched many times for his mother in the capital and even placed announcements asking people to contact him if they knew of her whereabouts.
Luis has a kind and special demeanor which has created a warm relationship with the youths he currently cares for. During his third year of service, Luis has cared for the special needs boys, a handful of teenagers that require extra attention and guidance due to their mental and physical conditions.
Current Age: 26 Age when entered NPH: 11 Number of siblings: 3 Number of siblings still at NPH: 1 Year of university: 2 Years remaining: 3 Career choice: Psychology
Rafa arrived at NPH in 1994 with his three brothers. His mother died and his father did not have the economic means to support and care for them. Rafaâ€™s parents worked in the coffee fields which was temporary work. Rafa studied Business Administration in high school which helped him in his job in his year of service position in the warehouse.
Current Age: 26 Age when entered NPH: 13 Number of siblings: 1 Number of siblings still at NPH: 0 Year of university: 4 Years remaining: 1 Career choice: Accounting
After Dennisâ€™ parents passed away from cancer, he went to live with his grandmother and his sister went to live with an aunt. Dennis had completed primary school but missed a year of school because his grandmother could not afford to send him. He then ran around in the streets looking for things to keep him busy. His grandmother feared that he would get into trouble and also wanted him and his sister to be together so she contacted NPH. Dennis graduated high school with a degree in Business Administration and is now studying at the university and living with extended family. He still returns every other weekend to help care for the children in the babies home.
Current Age: 22 Age when entered NPH: 11 Number of siblings: 3 Number of siblings still at NPH: 0
n ship o a ub lar In C Scho IC Note: this does not cover DEM
Year of university: 2 Years remaining: 4 Career choice: Medicine
expenses and travel.
In April 2006, Dora Berrios 20 years old, was accepted into a competitive program run by the Cuban government, which grants scholarships to a select group of foreigners. After a long and complicated application process, Dora and another pequeño Edwin learned that they’d won the scholarships and had to pack up and be on a plane to Cuba just two short days later. Dora and her three brothers joined NPH in 1996 after the death of her mother. Dora has always been dedicated to their studies, and completing medical school in Cuba will require an even deeper level of dedication. It is an intense program, but they will graduate in six years and be
fully licensed doctors – as compared to the eight years it would take them in Honduras. The scholarship covers all of their tuition and the majority of their living expenses. After 2 years in the program they will then live with a Cuban family. Currently Dora lives in a student dorm with 7 other students. There is a total of 40 first-year students enrolled in the program but some are expected to drop out. “I spend a lot of time studying because I was not fully prepared for the amount of pressure and concentration that this career demanded,” explains Dora.
Current Age: 27 Age when entered NPH: 6 Number of siblings: 2 Number of siblings still at NPH: 1 Year of university: 5 Years remaining: Currently completing his internship Career choice: Law
“I chose to study Law because no matter what country you live in, people are always fighting for their rights as human beings.”
Arony’s mother abandoned him in the care of his father. His father then went to the US, leaving Arony with his grandfather. Arony’s grandfather contacted NPH when he realized he couldn’t provide adequate care for him. Arony finished his final year of university in 2007, but he would like to continue to study to receive his Master’s in Human Rights Law, an additional two years. Throughout his years of university he has completed five internships in different legal arenas. Arony spent his first year of service as a caregiver in one of our boys homes. His second and third years of service were completed in our vocational workshop administrative office and warehouse.
“I don’t know where I would be without NPH. I would not have a home nor a family and I am eternally grateful for that,” explains Arony. During his work weekends and vacations, Arony helps out as a caregiver in the boys or babies homes. Arony is currently working on completing his internship to take the bar exam.
Current Age: 26 Age when entered NPH: Number of siblings: 2 Number of siblings still at NPH: 1 Year of university: 6 Years remaining: Currently completing her internship Career choice: Law
“NPH has never charged me one cent for supporting me over the past 16 years, and I want to show them that I am not an expense, but an investment.”
Suyapa came to Rancho Santa Fe in 1990 along with her two siblings. Her mother had abandoned the family and her father was an alcoholic and unable to care for them. Suyapa is in her 5th year of university. She is completing an internship and then she will graduate. Afterwards, she has to work for two years and take the Honduran equivalent of a bar exam to get her law license. Throughout her years with NPH, Suyapa has taken advantage of all the opportunities NPH has to offer. She finished elementary and junior high school at Rancho Santa Fe, completed her first year of service working as a caregiver for the younger girls, then went on to high school in the city.
After giving another two years of service back to the Ranch, she entered university. Suyapa still devotes all of her weekday time to her studies in Tegucigalpa and comes back to the Ranch every other weekend and during school vacations to work, taking care of the younger girls and counseling them. “The message I keep trying to get out to them is that believing in themselves is the most important thing they can do, because if you don’t believe in yourself then no one else is going to believe in you either,” says Suyapa. Suyapa says she wants to stay in Honduras and give legal assistance to those who otherwise can’t afford it. She also wants to be the house lawyer for NPH.
Sandra Martha Current Age: 29 Age when entered NPH: 11 Number of siblings: 5 Number of siblings still at NPH: 1
d by e r so nors n o sp .S. do U
Martha Year of university: 6 Years remaining: 2 Career choice: Medicine Sandra Year of university: 2 Years remaining: 4 Career choice: Law
“It’s a long career path and expensive. There is a lot of responsibility and a lot to learn.”
Martha and her five siblings arrived at NPH in 1990. Their mother died from an incurable disease and their father did not have the means to care for them and work. Martha was the designated person responsible for caring for the family once her mother passed away. Within that role she has found her calling.
Martha had the opportunity to accompany Angela, a younger pequeña that had surgery on her legs, to the US and spent time caring for her while learning English. She also accompanied another pequeña who went to the US last year for surgery and was able to spend time in a physician’s office for exposure to the medical field.
Martha studied math and accounting in high school but it was during her second year of service in the internal and external clinic that she found what she says changed her future. “That’s when I decided that I wanted to study medicine,” says Martha.
Martha still spends her work weekends assisting in the Ranch clinics and caring for our new children that arrive.
Current Age: 27 Age when entered NPH: 10 Number of siblings: 0 Number of siblings still at NPH: 0
ted a u ad
Year of university: 5 Years remaining: Completed Career choice: Finance
Jose Saul, or “Chepe” as he’s called around the Ranch, graduated in 2007 from the Catholic University in Tegucigalpa with a degree in finance. “The goal of NPH is that young people finish their education and leave with a degree,” says Jose Saul, 27 years old. “I’m proud to be able to do that and thankful.” Jose Saul came to the Ranch at the age of the 10 from a hospital in Tegucigalpa, where he was abandoned after both parents died. His success is especially impressive because he suffers from Pott’s Disease, a result of Tuberculosis which leads to severe spinal damage. “I think one of the main reasons I was able to stick it out with my education is because I really enjoy what I’m studying,” says Chepe.
“Success has a lot to do with selfmotivation, determination and especially direction.”
Chepe, who studied commercial business and accounting in high school, has plenty of opportunities to share his advice with his younger brothers and sisters. He is the coordinator of one of the student houses in Tegucigalpa, a continuation of the job he held in his third year of service to NPH. “I constantly tell the kids that you have to investigate what you want to study before you start and make sure it’s something you like,” says Chepe. “This is probably going to be your only shot at studying and you won’t make it very far if you’re not interested in what you’re learning.” His ultimate goal is to work as an analyst, tracking earnings and expenses and helping to make a company profitable.
Current Age: 29 Age when entered NPH: 7 Number of siblings: 2 Number of siblings still at NPH: 1 Year of university: 7 Years remaining: 0 Career choice: Medicine
ed cy t a du den
grating resi ple
“Education is the only way to look at the world from another point of view.”
Merlin is fulfilling a dream he has had for the past two decades. “I remember that I was seven when I decided to be a doctor,” explains Merlin. Merlin and his two brothers were the first children to arrive at the NPH home back in 1986. Their father had Parkinson’s and could not work. As the economic situation got worse, the mother abandoned the family seeking another relationship. Merlin and his siblings were placed in a temporary home run by the goverment before coming to NPH. “One thing I love about NPH is having the chance to study,” says Merlin. He has been able to take advantage of that, learning both English and German.
In 2002, Merlin traveled to Germany for three months and stayed with a physician and completed an internship in his clinic. He also traveled to Switzerland to visit his Godparents, but Merlin always finds his way back to the Ranch. “I miss it when I’m not here. I miss the children and I feel like their big brother,” states Merlin. Merlin is currently completing his residency in a community hospital in Honduras.