Most of our supporters know the basics. Our mission is to be a home away from home for the children who need it the most. Our day-to-day involves a lot of work which is then rewarded by the children’s boundless energy and the hilarious things many of them say and do. Looking at them, most people would never guess how difficult some of their home lives are; their mothers often have overcome insurmountable obstacles to get ahead and Casita Copán is the only thing that brings stability to their children´s lives. So, without further a due, here are five little-known facts about the work we do at Casita Copán:
1) We have a mango tree – and when it´s mango season, there is no stopping the kids!
Every year between the months of February and July, it is mango season in Honduras. Mangos can be found in almost every garden, and of all shapes and sizes. We Hondurans eat mangoes at every stage in their ripening process: from when they are tiny, green and tart to when they are huge, juicy and sweet. We eat them with salt, we eat them in juice or fresco. Right now, mangoes are the preferred currency for the children to trade in.
The fruit looks yellow, but Angie’s face says that mango is green!
2) Every month we celebrate all the kids’ (and staff) birthdays
With 54 children and a staff of 16, there are inevitably birthdays every month, almost weekly. To make sure everyone gets to have cake on this very special occasion, the last Friday of every month we have a birthday celebration for all the people whose birthday it was! Most recently we celebrated Emily’s birthday, along with Luisito, Angie, Juan Carlos and Jairo. Unfortunately, the amount of people blowing out candles means we can’t smash anyone’s face into the cake, a long-time Honduran tradition.
3) Most of the children are here with their siblings
Familial bonds are essential in order to end the cycle of child abandonment. This not only refers to the bond between mother and child, but also between a child and all of her brothers and sisters. We have 54 children in our program, but we actually only have 20 families (including the children in our Casitas). The older ones are always looking up for the younger ones, and even vice-versa.
4) The ancient Mayan Ruins are also a really fun playground
About once a month, one of the groups from the Children’s Center will visit the Mayan Ruins. They are a walking distance away, and a wonderful place to play and learn. They stay in the main area where there are a couple of pyramids and a big open space, and play various games of tag, hide and seek, and just run around. They learn about the value of taking care of this important space. After we leave, the last ”game” we play is cleaning up the space where they played.
5) Our kids got the moves!
Once a week, the children receive dance lessons from Franqui. They dance to a variety of music including bachata, pop, funk, and of course every Honduran’s favorite: our famous Punta! For mother’s day, the little ones did a typical Honduran dance, and the older ones did a choreography to Uptown Funk. They had a lot of fun in both and they looked fabulous for their mothers.