On July 1, 2014, Casita Copán changed dramatically. We welcomed 13 abandoned children into our care when the local orphanage was closed down by the government. The transition itself was a bit overwhelming as you can imagine, but the aftermath continues to prove that it was all worth it. Over this past year, we have watched these incredible children grow into healthier, stronger, smarter, happier and TALLER children and each has found a permanent place in the hearts of all of us who are part of Casita Copán.
Many of our supporters who helped make this transition happen met these children when they lived in the orphanage. The orphanage was a highly chaotic environment – sometimes there were good months with lots of donations, food, and outings, but other months the electricity was cut off, food was sparse, and adult supervision was virtually nonexistent. The biggest change we’ve noticed in the kids is in their behavior. They are finally starting to trust adults, and while they still struggle with expressing their emotions, they are learning to control their anger and frustration in healthier ways. They have reported less stress, fewer nightmares, and more concrete plans and dreams for the future. Each child who came to us back in July is now living at a “casita” which is a family-style home with a permanent caregiver. This model is incredibly important in providing the level of stability that a child needs to grow up into a healthy and capable adult.
We have also seen huge changes in the children physically. When they first came to Casita, they were undernourished with parasites and very weak immune systems. After a few months, they all shot up 5 or 6 inches (and some much more!) and started to gain healthy weight. They lost their “panzas” (the bloated stomach so common to malnourished children with parasites) and their hair and skin started to improve drastically. At first, nearly all of the children suffered from frequent skin infections and were very susceptible to any virus or bacteria, but now they are healthy and strong.
Life at Casita Copan and in each “casita” is still full of challenges (as life always is!), but thanks to our incredible supporters, we believe that we will continue to witness huge changes and growth in our kids. Some of our kids want to be teachers or artists, others want to start their own businesses. Most of our kids want to start their own families and raise kids of their own some day. Thanks to you, we believe that all of this and much more is possible.
Here’s a few pictures of our kids taken in 2014 and 2015 so you can see how they’ve grown up!