SUMMER MISSION TRIPS - EL HOGAR
St. Matthew's volunteers in El Hogar, Honduras
Since 2006, St. Matthew's has sent multigenerational work groups on week-long mission experiences with ages of the participants ranging from 15 to 70. Most recently the parish has sent teams to El Hogar – an orphanage associated with the Episcopal Church in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Urban Promise – a youth oriented ministry based in Camden, New Jersey.
The mission of El Hogar Projects is to provide a loving home and education in a Christian environment for abandoned,orphaned and desperately poor children, enabling them to fulfill their ultimate potential as productive human beings in Honduras.
El Hogar's main mission encompasses three schools:
- The Home of Hope and Love (El Hogar de Amor y Esperanza) which provides a safe home and education to about 75 boys from first through sixth grade. In 2007 El Hogar began taking in younger girls with plans for expanding one grade each year.
- The Episcopal Agricultural School and Farm which offers three years of education after sixth grade in animal husbandry and agriculture.
- St. Mary's Technical Institute which provides three years of education to the students after sixth grade in vocational training to become electricians, carpenters or welders—jobs they need to survive.
The workgroup team's main task is to serve the El Hogar Projects in any way that it can. This will be accomplished principally through two ways:
- The first way is by developing relationships with the children on the main campus by sharing meals with them, playing with them, going to church with them and other activities. The goal is to share and experience the love of God with them – and to see how God is already working in the children's lives.
- The second main way the teams help is through a construction project. Project have included helping with the dorms, cafeteria and classrooms at the technical school, and the new cinder block dorms at the main campus, replacing the aging wooden ones. On our last visit a member of the team also performed hearing tests for the children which they had never had before.
More information about El Hogar Projects can be found at its website: www.elhogar.org.