This is why I donate to ANGELES PARA HONDURAS
Article for Angles para Honduras
This is why I donate to Angeles para Honduras:
Children of Berlin Plancitos
I first learned about life in Honduras about ten years ago from John Dewane at The North Hero House’s Pier Bar, on one of the Champlain Islands in northern Vermont. At the time, John only knew that he wanted to do something good for his homeland. His ambition for Honduras grew over several years into the wonderful foundation that it is today — Angeles para Honduras.
In 2019 Nancy Blasberg (my partner) and I attended John’s 50th birthday party at the beautiful Indura Resort on the Caribbean in northwestern Honduras. In addition to the resort, we went to Tela and San Pedro Sula where we saw the real Honduras and real Hondurans — people grinding out a tough life.
Over time, Nancy and I attended a few of John’s fund-raising functions, learning more about the struggles of families in Honduras. John noted that only $500 (USD) per year was needed to support a school-age child with lunch, clothing, books, and school supplies. We could help out. Just as John formed the foundation to help the children of Honduras, we contributed and became involved.
About the same time, I began rethinking my goals for the money I had stashed away (beyond my retirement needs). Since I had already provided for my three grown children, my estate goal become, as my Choate School chaplain often said, “to run hurriedly around the bases, and slide safely into home plate completely exhausted of energy and funds!” Supporting Angeles para Honduras now became a major goal for Nancy and me.
One day, John told us about the unfortunate fate of three young Honduran children (then 4, 6, and 8) whose parents had died within weeks of each other. While we knew of John’s plans for Angeles to eventually build an orphanage, we decided maybe there was something we could do right away. With John and Elvin, the Angeles Man-on-the-Ground in Honduras, we hatched a plan to donate money that would go directly towards these youngsters’ welfare: We write a check, and John converts our money into food, clothing, and essentials that Elvin takes directly to these orphans and their grandmother with whom they live near La Entrada. No middleman siphoning off a cut!
In September 2022, I traveled to Honduras with John to meet the three children and see the progress of Angeles para Honduras which had secured two and a half acres in Berlin Plancitos—high in the mountains of western Honduras. A great trip that fomented my eagerness to do good!
First the orphans… The kids live with their grandmother in a very modest building outside La Entrada. You can see happiness in their smiles in the photo at left as Fabian (8), Andrea (6) and Wendy (10) receive one of Elvin’s deliveries. On my trip I brought each child an L.L. Bean backpack with their name embroidered so they can take lunch and books to school. The visit put real meaning to our efforts and donations. In a few years these children will move on to live in Berlin Plancitos.
Then, Berlin Plancitos…. not unlike a small, hilly town in Vermont on a well-used dirt road. Two one-room elementary schoolhouses, but no secondary school. Lots of farmers. The children of Berlin Plancitos appear very happy and grateful for the support of Angeles para Honduras which began a few years ago. The day we were there, their school band played a welcome, and the children put on a dance performance to kick off their Harvest Festival. The local farmers displayed their produce for sale. I bought some and donated it to the school lunch program. I also saw the cleared acreage where the clinic, trade school and orphanage will be built.
Just before Christmas, Nancy and I received a beautiful letter written by the oldest expressing the gratitude of the three kids. Well written and heartfelt. We learned more about their young lives. Their letter deepened our bond with them and reinforced our decision to support Angeles para Honduras.
Angeles para Honduras is thriving because John Dewane has a clear vision and energy to make it happen. Nancy and I know we have made an excellent, informed choice in supporting Angeles . The clinic, trade school and orphanage will fit nicely into this village. And the children of Honduras all need our help. We hope you will join us.