The Children of Angelitos Felices
$15,724 of $12,000 goal
Casita Copan is the wonderful happy ending to a project we fundraised for during our two-plus years living and working in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, where our friends and family back home helped us raise money for 13 children living in a decrepit and inadequate foster home known as Angelitos Felices (now closed).
A young American woman, Emily Monroe, had introduced us to the children. We raised money to improve their terrible living conditions, buy clothes and food, and take them on adventures (swimming at the local pool was a favourite) virtually every weekend for the entire time we lived in Copan.
Shortly after we left Copan and Honduras in April 2014, the stars aligned and the Angelitos children were given over by the government of Honduras to the care of Emily and her amazing staff at Casita Copan.
It was a life-changing move for those children. Now living in three small group homes with permanent foster moms, the children are thriving. They're going to school, eating nutritionally, wearing clean clothes of their own instead of having to dig out dirty and torn clothing from a giant heap of shared clothing. Looking at before-and-after photos of the kids is an endless reminder of what a difference each of us can make when we step up.
Watching the former Angelitos children grow into happy, healthy young people has been a tremendous experience, and we have continued to donate to Emily's work. We are returning to Honduras in February 2018 for a visit and would love to take $5000 with us to give to Casita Copan, which not only does so much for the kids we know, but also runs a daycare for impoverished single moms and offers so many programs to help those moms improve their own lives and those of their children.
Thanks for supporting the work of Casita Copan!
At Angelitos Felices children's home:
- New water system and renovated bathrooms
- Ceramic tile throughout the two-storey building
- New smoke-free and fuel-efficient wood cooking stove
- Renovated laundry area
- Roof raised in children's bedroom to end chronic and extensive leaking during rains
- Rain collection system to augment water supply
- Cement patio in front of the home where the children can play safely away from the street
- New doors and window shutters
- Four rounds of new and gently used casual clothing and shoes for the children
- Three rounds of school uniforms, school shoes and school supplies
- Weekly outings with the children, including twice-monthly visits to the local pool
- Steady stream of supplies to the children's home - food, cleaning products, diapers, craft supplies and more
- New beds/mattresses thanks to the efforts of a group of Louisiana visitors
- Two sets of sheets for every bed
- Medications for staph infections, minor pain, foot fungus
At Juan Ramon Cueva public school:
- New roof and other renovations for a dilapidated classroom that was in such disrepair it couldn't be used
At Sendero Maya kindergarten:
- New water system so the school would have running water and would no longer have to travel significant distance to the river anytime water was needed (including for the bathrooms and kitchen)
- We've supported all kinds of smaller causes, from helping a local teacher get the supplies she needed to be able to teach, to buying backpacks and school supplies for other Copan children in need. We've also helped build new houses for two impoverished families, bought medication for families in urgent situations, and supported other good causes in the community including Casita Copan day care and family support centre.
Thank you again for supporting us on this adventure. Know that you have been part of something amazing, and that many people's lives have been changed for the better because of your help.
Please consider Casita Copan if you want to support a similar cause in Copan Ruinas. Emily and her crew are doing excellent work. Here's their Web site: http://www.casitacopan.org/
Thank you all so much for the wonderful gift of support you have given the children at Angelitos during our two years here. We have been able to get so many things done because of your help and thoughtfulness. I feel we are leaving Angelitos in a much better physical condition than we found out, but I am saddened by what I fear will be a decline in weekly activities for the kids after we go.
Unfortunately, the lack of transparency in how the money is handled at Angelitos makes it very difficult for me to recommend that people continue supporting the hogar after we leave. However, a Canadian friend is now paying for monthly deliveries of purified water and milk, and we are making arrangements for that support to continue after we gone. And I am very sure that other people will come to Copan and help the Angelitos children directly while here, as that is what has always happened over the years long before we arrived on the scene.
In the end, your donations allowed us to invest almost $24,000 in building improvements, clothes, food and household goods, and activities for the children. (Email me at email@example.com if you want to see the spreadsheet.) That is an amazing achievement. Paul and I won't be here to witness "the rest of the story" for the 16 children living at Angelitos, but I feel sure that their young lives have been changed for the better because of your support.
I continue to have great hope for Casita Copan, the project started by Emily Monroe and doing so well in providing a really good day care and early-child development to more than 40 children, and working very hard to support their mothers too. Those who want to carry on supporting impoverished families and children in Copan Ruinas can rest assured that their donations will be well spent at Casita Copan, which one day soon hopes to be providing homes for orphans as well. Here's the Web site: http://www.casitacopan.org/
There are 9 school-age children at Angelitos. This donation has let us buy each of them two full uniforms (tops, bottoms, belts, socks, underwear, shoes) and a backpack, and we've still only spent half the money. We'll be using the rest for school uniforms for other needy children we're connected to - the kids start their new school year in February - and for clothes for the 5 smaller children at Angelitos.
Brad and Regan were troopers during the shopping trip with the kids, which took a fairly painful 3 hours. Man, was it crazy trying to get all those kids into the right size of uniforms. We were very grateful for the store staff, that's for sure - they were so patient and helpful. These uniforms mean a great deal to these children, because many public schools won't let them attend if they don't have uniforms. All the school-age children at Angelitos are passing into the next grade (many children repeatedly fail in the schools here) and are proud of their achievements. And they're wild about their new backpacks.
So...way to go, North American Tungsten! You've just made a big difference in the lives of impoverished Honduran children.
We'll be taking up 40 baleadas (a flour tortilla filled with eggs and beans, and one of the most popular dishes in Hondurans) and a whole lot of presents thanks to everyone's generosity. We know each of the children well after this much time together, so it made the selection of gifts a lot easier this year.
I really want to see more books and creative toys in that place, and was happy to find a hard-paged word book in Tegucigalpa in our last trip to the city that will serve well as a gift to the orphanage overall. And I found a copy of a Ramona book in Spanish - perfect for Rosario, the 10-year-old girl who shows such an interest in reading and writing.
Photos of the big day to follow, but here's a compilation of all the videos I've made so far of the kids. One of the gifts to the woman who owns the orphanage will be a DVD with this video plus all of the hundreds of photos I've taken of the kids in almost two years of hanging out with them.
Merry Christmas to all, and thank you again for the support that has allowed us to do so much for these children!
Wow, this is doing well! Also to the mark! Good luck! I wish I could help but, I'm in need of money myself... If anyone could maybe donate even the smallest amount that would be really helpful! gofundme.com/we-need-food
Wow, Jody and Paul, you guys are doing fantastic with the fundraising and getting all the work done at the orphanage. We love reading all your posts, we will continue to raise money at the Times Colonist for your wonderful work you are doing. God bless