When friends come over to visit

What is it about meeting old friends that just feels incredible? Could it be the comfort of having shared a past and reliving it over and over? Or perhaps it is the excitement of new jokes, gaffs and whatnots being born from this new moment, knowing full well you will eventually hear this story again and again? Whatever the reason, there is nothing quite like spending time with friends.

Last month, we received a special visit from some of our friends at the Retail Orphan Initiative (Retail ROI for short), a non-profit organization made up of ambassadors from the retail industry that help improve the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children around the world. They were:

from left to right: John, Michelle, Cory, Randy, Cole, Ravi, Daxy, Ujwala
  • Randy Cucerzan – the ever-patient team leader and longstanding friend of Casita
  • Cory and Michelle McDermaid – members of Retail ROI & Casita Sponsors (humble brag)
  • John Geyerman – member of Retail ROI and the main jokester
  • Ravi, Ujwala & Daxi Bagal – a lovely family of 3 and friends of Retail ROI
  • Cole Thompson – John’s friend, secondary jokester and the last-minute addition to the team
  • Kate McLean – a friend of Retail that was unfortunately unable to make it, but she’ll visit next year (no pressure Kate)


A few months ago, this merry band of familiar and fresh faces asked for the full Casita treatment, and we happily obliged their request. We took them to our old home, we unsuccessfully attempted to eat our body weight in meat and tortillas at a local food joint, we visited our joint special educational program at the Juan Ramón Cueva elementary school where we made pots with the students, we toured our new home where we showed our friends how to make Mercadito bracelets and “baleadas” with the help of our kids. What else? Oh – almost forgot, our friend Mario endured an avalanche of export quality American sarcasm and deprecating humor (that he took like a champ).

At one point we traveled two hours away to La Entrada to visit a project from a friend of Retail ROI that serves a community of families who live under severe conditions at the local landfill. This short visit was a particularly eye-opening experience for many of us since we were able to see how fortunate our community and we as Casita have been and continue to be.

Behind us, the municipal landfill of La Entrada, Copán

All in all, the days we spent together were a time of bonding and reflection in which two groups of people from very different backgrounds can be joined in values and united behind a singular vision to better the lives of children.

We loved every moment of our time, and we can honestly say, we can’t wait until the next visit from our friends.

Casita Copan is open once again for individual and group visits. So far this year we have hosted three large groups: visitors from Rotary IPA, an amazing brigade from our friends at Towson Presbyterian Church for which you can watch the video here and this latest visit from Retail ROI.

To schedule a visit from your group, please email us at mario@casitacopan.org.

We’d love to have you!