You may be asking yourself “Why should I sponsor a child at Casita Copán?” There are hundreds (if not thousands) of organizations that have sponsorship programs all over the world. Especially in Honduras, the choices are many, and they can be overwhelming. With so many nonprofits doing such a wonderful job we understand it is not an easy choice! Here, we will recap all the reasons to sponsor, with a few bonus ones at the end!
1. We let the Children to Embrace the Arts
Research shows that arts participation is linked to cognitive growth, writing fluency, and increased graduation rates. Every week, the children at our center receive two hours of arts education, in addition to their art classes in school. They either draw and paint, or they sing and dance! Art has become such an integral part of our curriculum that most children enjoy engaging in it during their free playtime.
2. Every Day We Teach Healthy Hygiene Habits
The majority (77%) of intestinal infections in Honduras happen to children under 5 years old; and they are a leading cause of infant mortality. These diseases are preventable with access to clean water, and the knowledge of how to use it properly to maintain good hygiene habits. Our children wash their hands every day before every meal, brush their teeth after, and have the option to take a shower before or after school.
3. We Encourage the children to reach their goals
A study has shown that children who are part of an international sponsorship program are more likely to pursue white-collar jobs in their adult years. While there is still a lot of research to be done to conclusively say that there is a causal link between child sponsorship and increased employment opportunities, talking to the 54 children in our program on a daily basis shows that these kids are not afraid to dream big! Our children want to be teachers, doctors, software developers, vets, and one wants to be a secret agent (we can’t tell you who; that information is classified).
4. You can build a special connection with a child in need
When you sponsor a child, you can write to them as much as you want, and they will also write to you! We will send you updates on their progress and keep you informed on any significant life events. And of course, you are always welcome to come visit your child in Copán! It is a beautiful colonial town, home to the world-famous ancient Mayan Ruins.
5. We allow the kids to be kids
Sadly, child labor is not uncommon in Honduras, both in rural and in urban settings. With the poverty rates being among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, families sometimes have to make the devastating choice of forcing the children to work to have another source of income. 7.8% of children in Honduras work, and this does not even account for the countless labor hours older siblings (usually girls) spend being in charge of house chores and childcare. At Casita Copán, children get plenty of playtime, and it is mandatory that they attend school to be part of our program. When they reach their teenage years they can join our Practicante program, which is appropriate for their age, includes extensive mentorship, and is completely focused on their development as they prepare to go to university and/or join the professional sphere.
6. To keep families together
The minimum age for children to enter our program is one years old. This is in order to foster the essential bond that forms between mother and child in the first year of life. Our mission is to prevent child abandonment, and to do so, we need to keep families together while providing the necessary support for both mothers and children. In addition, most of the children are here with their siblings.
7. To Encourage Their Education
It is no secret that education is the key to development in a country. Increasing opportunities for both boys and girls to attend school is one of the most important aspects of our work. While education is free in Honduras, many children do poorly in school because they are unable to purchase supplies, or they need to work to help support their family. Casita Copán encourages children to continue their education, and we hope that one day our children can attend university!
8. To provide necessary medical care
Healthcare in Honduras is free, but it is not often easily accessible. There are no hospitals in Copán Ruinas, and any injury more serious than a flesh wound necessitates a 3-hour trip to the closest hospital in Santa Rosa. In addition, some of our kids have chronic diseases that will always require expensive medication and specialized care. Thanks to our medical fund and our emergency fund, we are always prepared so that an unexpected health crisis does not impact a family in the long term negatively.
9. To provide children with a safe, family environment
Casita Copán is a home-away-from-home, and we really are a family. The children call their tutors tia and tio as a sign of respect but also because they are not teachers per-se, they are more like aunts and uncles (and big brothers and sisters in the case of our practicantes). The Casita Copán family includes the children, our staff, and of course the donors, sponsors and volunteers that make our work possible!
10. To change their world!
You can have an actual, long-lasting impact in the lives of 54 children in Honduras. When you sponsor a child, you not only change their world, but you help their mother, siblings, and everyone living in their household. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing about a sponsored child’s progress, and of course, to be pen pals with them!
11. Your Money Goes Directly to the Children
If you join our family as a one-time donor or as a sponsor, you can be sure that your money is going directly to the children. Since we are small and all staff are local, we can keep our overhead costs low, and that also means that every communication you receive from us was created by a real person living in Copán Ruinas, interacting daily with the children.
12. We are conscious of our impact in the community
The vast majority of food, clothes, medicine and services are purchased locally. Your donations benefit the people of Copán two-fold: first by providing essential services to vulnerable children, and secondly by improving the local economy by supporting local businesses. Being a small town in rural Honduras, there are many supplies that we must purchase in the bigger cities or import from the US in the form of in-kind donations from generous donors. But for everything we can, we buy locally.
13. We are 100% grassroots
Casita Copán was born out of the needs of the people. Our story is as Copaneca as it gets, with a majority of staff being locals from this town. The underlying principle of all our programs is cultural awareness. The Children´s Center has become an integral part of the of community, and we are certain that some of our kids will grow up to be her leaders.
Join our mission today and help us create a better future for the 54 children in our program!