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What Holds us Together

An Update from Founder Emily Monroe

It was that time again, time to catch the shuttle to visit our Casita family. 3:15 am. Yes, that’s what time I wake up my 5-year-old son to get on the bus to make the (usually) 8 hour journey to the place that will always be our home, Copan Ruinas. “Is it time to go to Copan, mommy?” Adrian says as he jumps out of bed to grab his shoes. I can’t help wishing it were this easy to wake him up to go to school.

When we arrive at Casita, it feels like no time has passed. The kids immediately grab my arm and start dishing about their classmates, tattling on the other kids, complaining about their chores. Adrian runs to the classroom to hug his old teachers and start playing Legos with his friends.  There is an ease and comfort that we feel when we’re together that comes from years of shared moments and the passing so many of life’s hurdles together. But of course, there is also a bittersweet feeling when we realize that the time is passing too quickly and the visit will soon come to an end.

I have always been inspired by the bravery of the children of Casita Copan. Behind each of those stubborn, energetic personalities is a world of experience that seems too much for their age. But that is the amazing thing – somehow, there is always a step forward, an opportunity for change and growth. And I can’t tell you how proud I feel to see how much each child has grown, and how our staff and organization continue to grow.

During this year, I have been working closely with Daysi to help her as she transitions into the leader she has always been. It hasn’t been easy. There is still a ton left to organize and a lot of lessons we are still learning, but the most important takeaway for me is that even though change is hard, it is always possible and, in most cases, it is the healthiest thing we can do.

It is an incredible feeling for me to come back to Copan Ruinas and meet new children and staff for the very first time. Even though I am no longer directly in charge of the program staff hiring or the family selection process, I can still feel the values and love that I helped to instill in the organization along with the rest of the founding team. I realize that those values are what hold Casita together – compassion, toughness, courage, and love. We will always face challenges, both individually and as an organization, but I feel confident that our team – our staff, kids, donors, and community – will continue to embody the values that have helped us get this far.

Please reach out if you would like to hear more information about our leadership transition process, and you can also join us if you would like to help. We are so grateful to our community of supporters who continue to believe in our small organization and give hope to so many children in Honduras.