February 2020 Trip Experiences
“This trip was special for me as our group consisted of brothers and sisters in Christ from St Francis of Assisi, Frisco Texas, along with our dear pastor (retired) Father Larry Pichard. Our trip preparation and packing suitcase event brought us all even closer to the mission of helping needy children in Honduras. We reviewed how we were going to be WITH the people of Honduras, to bring them love, some donations but to be WITH them. When the topic of not knowing Spanish came up it was always the same reply – just SMILE. They’ll know exactly what you are “saying.” It was surely a time of great anticipation as the weeks of trip preparation went by. At last we were in Honduras. What a joy-filled trip we had. We were greeted at the airport by children, staff and Sister Teresita. All smiling! Nothing but smiles. It continued throughout the trip. The smiles of the children both in Copprome/Hogar Providencia and Tutoring Centers were so filled with love. And, yes, upon introduction to the community of Brisas del Salto there were even more smiles – from the young to the elderly. Love was abounding. I loved watching our first time visitors and our second time visitors experience the reception by the children, staff, parishioners, former neighbors and strangers. My heart just about burst when I knelt down at the Cathedral Las Mercedes and the same man (who lives on the street) came and offered me his hand. I had met him 20 years ago almost to the day. He remembered me and I him. Our paths don’t cross often but I do know that smiles can spread love and memories sometimes better than words. My prayer is that more friends can visit* the people of Honduras to experience that special something that might not even be able to be explained by words. Smile.
(*and if you can’t visit Honduras, please consider signing up to be a Padrino (sponsor). A child who knows there is someone praying for them specifically and helping with their education has plenty of smiles for you.” Returning Missionary and FOLN Founder – Geralyn
“The Second Time Around
As I reflect back on my second trip to Honduras I’m struck by how much more I learned about the work of The Friends of Los Ninos. The first trip was all new obviously and I really didn’t know what to expect. This trip I looked forward to seeing old friends and also meeting our newest sponsee, Brenda Lily. I don’t speak Spanish and am always amazed at how it doesn’t make a difference. A hug and a smile is the same in any language.
Besides visiting Copprome and Brisas we also visited one of the Copprome outreach/tutoring centers. We delivered school supplies and got to see the value in these three centers. We also got to visit the Trade School that Marvin, the young man we have sponsored for 8 years, and Allen attend. Wether it’s a beauty, mechanical or hospitality trade school, these programs are vital in helping these kids find a job as they age out of the orphanage. Fr Larry and I were very impressed with the instructor and his approach to teaching each of his students.
As we walked around Copprome, we were able to see the results of some of the donations made by St Francis supporters for specific projects ; a new roof on the guard house, a new lawn mower and help paint many of the rooms at the orphanage.
Our visit to Brisas Del Salto was highlighted by seeing many of the children from 2 years ago as well as meeting Brenda Lily and her Mom for the first time. Brenda Lily attends high school and is a very beautiful, polite young lady. I was also impressed with the progress made on the projects at Brisas. We have doubled the size of the school, adding two more large rooms and they have completed the drainage projects. We were there in the rainy season and there was much less mud and very little flooding or standing water.
It’s always a pleasure to travel to Honduras with Fr Larry. He’s kind of like the Pied Piper as children flock to him to talk and hear him tell his stories. One of the highlights of this trip was not only being present as he celebrated Mass at The Cathedral in El Progresso but also at Copprome. Several of the children participated in the Mass as alter servers and lectors. Wonderful to see how well behaved they were and how they all participated in the prayers. I do believe the kids were most interested in gathering around Fr Larry at the end of Mass as he explained each of the vessels used in the celebration and what they meant.
Lastly, Sean lead a wonderful art project with the kids at Copprome. Like all kids, they love projects. This was painting a seen that Seans Grandmother had done many years ago. The kids loved it and it was fun to see how each child interpreted what they saw. All were different
That’s the thing about all these kids, each is different but each gives you one common thing, Love. I go to Honduras to give back but what I get in return is they fill my heart up with Love…. Like always, the Love they give is hard to put into words. There is no greater reward than being able to experience it first hand. I hope and pray each of you is someday able to experience this special gift.”
“Smiling from the Heart” – Returning Missionary – Charlie
“This was my first mission trip to Honduras. Had the opportunity to meet Brayan, my family’s sponsored child, for this first time, which was a moving experience. Being able to help the wonderful staff at Copprome made the trip very meaningful. I got to meet so many kind, generous people. Can’t wait to go again! God Bless all the children and staff!” First time missionary-Sean
“Two years ago I visited COPPROME, the orphanage of 40 children that we support in Honduras, and since the children were on vacation, we had the chance to get to know the children very well. On this trip I got to spend time with the Notre Dame Catholic High School student whom I am supporting. He was feverishly working on his homework on a math assignment with very complex equations—impressive. He wants to become an engineer although his fellow orphans call him “The President” because he is so driven and so smart. At the Mass we celebrated with the children at the orphanage he was my altar server—what a joy for me!” Returning Missionary -Father Larry
“From the moment we were greeted at the airport with hugs and a “WELCOME” sign to the time we exchanged our farewells, I felt the sincere warmth and love from the gracious people of Honduras.
I will share two memories of my journey. The first is about the children of Copprome Orphanage. This is more than an orphanage; it is a brightly colored, beautiful home that provides nutritious food, education, love and discipline to many children. I was amazed at how the older children cared for the younger ones, their daily responsibilities, the simplicity of their lives, the abundance of smiling faces, and the true sense of family. Each time we arrived, the children greeted us with hugs, smiles, and fought for our attention. One little girl took me to the book case in the education room and asked me to read Pinocchio to her in English.
The second special memory is of our journey to Brisas Del Salto. Again we were greeted with smiling faces, hugs, and gratitude. I was overcome with many emotions as these lovely people proudly took us on a walking tour of their village.
The Padrino Program through Friends of Los Niños is truly love in action. If I had one word to sum up this journey, it would be SIMPLICITY!” First time visitor – Vivian