Our Mission

El Hogar provides a quality education and a safe and nurturing home to children living in vulnerable conditions in Honduras. Our goal is to break the cycle of poverty so that our students can fulfill their potential as productive and independent Honduran citizens.

Our Origins

It started in 1979 with five young boys living on the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Five members of the local Episcopal Church wanted to do something about child homelessness in the capital city. They rented a house, took in those five boys and nurtured and cared for them. With that, El Hogar de Amor y Esperanza was born.

In the years since, nearly 1,000 students have graduated from El Hogar, which has grown to include three campuses: an elementary school, a Technical Institute,
and an Agricultural School.

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About Honduras

Honduras is in the heart of Central America. It is a mountainous country with both an Atlantic and Pacific coast. With a population of approximately 9 million people, and the geographical area of equivalent of Virginia or Newfoundland, Honduras is rich in natural resources and diverse global exports. Honduras is a beautiful country but not without its challenges.

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Our Programs

Since 1979, El Hogar has been supporting children and youth from vulnerable situations in Honduras.  We help these students and their families break the cycle of poverty and unemployment by providing a home, a nurturing environment, an education and a marketable trade.  We support over 200 students each year in several programs in Honduras which include:

Hogar de
Amor y Esperanza
(HAYE)

The Home of Love and Hope
Grades 1 – 6

HAYE is an alternative care and educational center located in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.  Reinforcing the Family First model promoted by DINAF, the Honduran Child Protection Agency, HAYE also offers a day program where children in the community can attend school during the day and return home to their families in the evening.  Both residential and day students receive academic classes during the day and participate in enriching extracurricular activities in the afternoon.

Instituto Técnico Santa María (ITSM)

St. Mary’s Technical Institute
Grades 7 – 12

ITSM is a boarding school located in the Amarateca Valley, approximately 25 kms northwest of Tegucigalpa.  Students from HAYE will continue their studies at ITSM, along with youth from all over Honduras.  Students receive vocational training in carpentry, welding and electricity, as well as a traditional academic curriculum.  In 2018 our program expanded to offer co-educational classes to boys and girls in all academic and technical areas.  Students graduate from ITSM with a diploma in electricity.  We are working to expand the curriculum at ITSM in order to better prepare our students to meet the challenges they will face upon graduation.  

La Finca de
Amor y Esperanza

Our farm in Talanga is about 60 kms northeast of Tegucigalpa and operates year-round for production, helping to supplement food needs at our other centers.  Dairy production is our strength, and we produce between 200-300 litres of milk daily.  Along with supplementing the needs at our centers, we also sell to the local market.  We are exploring ways to increase and diversify production at the farm to increase profits, and plan to run entrepreneurial programs here in the future.

El Hogar Dental Clinic

Located on the campus of Hogar de Amor y Esperanza, El Hogar runs a dental clinic that provides free preventive and restorative dental care to all the students enrolled in El Hogar Projects, a primary care service often inaccessible through the public system.  The primary goal of El Hogar’s dental clinic is to ensure that our students develop a long-lasting, healthy smile that will improve their overall health. During the school year, El Hogar performs more than 150 dental cleanings, monthly dental hygiene education, fluoride treatments and fillings and extractions when necessary.   Since 2015 El Hogar has partnered with Advent Health Sharing Smiles to support the year-round functioning of our dental clinic.

Discover a place
where hope has a home

Honduras: Vibrant and Challenging

Denise Vargas, Executive Director in Honduras reflects on the culture and context of our home.

Whenever I say I´m from Honduras, I tend to lean forward as if to speak its name with my whole body:  so much to cradle in a single word.  If only I could say, I´m from a land that soars and plunges in every shade of blue, like our mountains into shores.  Blue like the endless morning skies that glide gently over jagged rooftops.  Indigo like the small-town bridges that bow over dried-up rivers.  Teal like our untold stories.  Every part of us and every corner of this country, from the bold pink bougainvilleas to the deep green of our pine trees, every single thing of beauty here carries a hint of violet from a mother´s tears or an old man´s struggle.  It´s what makes our country real and magical, fierce and generous, impossible to define, but infinite to experience. 

Honduras is a remarkably diverse land of raw beauty and ageless mystery.  Within a few kilometers one can travel centuries: climb the wooden steps of Comayagua´s cathedral and sync your heart to the oldest working clock in the world, or dive into one of the Mayan tunnels to feel your pulse race as you near the Sepulturas.  From the height of rainforests to the depths of coral reefs, Honduras is a box within a box of contrasts.  A country bursting with vibrant, colorful traditions, kept alive in legends, poems and songs.  A place to experience simple pleasures: stopping by the side of the road to taste freshly made tortillas and cuajada is a hammock for the soul.  A land where adventures lure everywhere, in unexplored caves, ruffled waters, or simply in a casual stroll along the city markets where there´s no limit to what one can encounter. 

The same contrasts reside in our people.  Anyone visiting our country will be drawn to our campechano personalities: in general, Hondurans are welcoming, opinionated, ingenious and kind.  We boast hundreds of unique expressions and peculiar gestures that make any Honduran recognizable to another without speaking a word.  But we are also formidably complicated: we house corruption, hopelessness, indifference, intolerance and severe injustice.  Over 60% of Hondurans live and die in poverty, without adequate access to basic services such as education or healthcare.  Our institutions are weak, our political views grow increasingly polarized with the majority of our citizens lacking opportunities, and hope.

El Hogar embraces the beauty of our country´s reality, while remaining deeply aware of its challenges.  Our goal is to provide quality residential and educational services for impoverished youth so that they can lead their lives with the hope of a better future.  We believe that human potential is unlimited, and our mission is to empower local children and staff and provide the necessary ground for their best selves to blossom.   Deep inside, Honduras is simply a unique combination of beautiful extremes, concentrated in a noble country with a heavy name that we honor as our collective identity.

Meet Our Team

Our centers in Honduras are run by a dedicated staff of over 60 administrators, counsellors and teachers who work closely with our students to give them a rich education and a sense of pride in themselves and caring for others. 

Our Honduran leadership has many years of experience guiding our programs in order to fulfill our mission.

Denise Vargas

Executive Director

El Hogar Projects Honduras


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Claudia Castro

Claudia Castro

Director of Hogar de Amor y Esperanza

El Hogar Projects Honduras


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Yony Aguilera

Yony Aguilera

Director of the Farm

El Hogar Projects Honduras


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Norma Coello

Norma Coello

Sub-Director of the Technical Institute of St. Mary’s

El Hogar Projects Honduras


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Erika Skafel

Communications and International Relations

El Hogar Projects Honduras


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The Right Rev. Lloyd Allen

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras

El Hogar is a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras.


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Tim Monroe

Executive Director

El Hogar Ministries
in North America


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Candy Beckwith  

Administrative Assistant/Donations Coordinator

El Hogar Ministries in North America  


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Our Board

The Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen
Ex-Officio Board Member

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The Rt. Rev. Robert J. O’Neill
President Emeritus

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Kristin Mullin
Board Member

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Tethey Martínez de Murillo
Board Member

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Ann Grace
Board Member

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Elizabeth Thornton
Board Member

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Denise Sharp
President

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Denise Chew
Treasurer

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David Hennessy
Board Member

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Peter Cross
Board Member

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The Rev. Dina van Klaveren
Board Member

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Canadian Board

El Hogar Projects (Canada) is a registered charity that raises funds in Canada to support the work of El Hogar Projects in Honduras. It is based in Toronto, and run by a volunteer board of 12 members:

Neal Kelly and Margo Mingay (Co-Presidents)
Kim Echlin
Susan Franklin
Ann Fraser

Brenda French
Joanne Leatch
Graham Lute
Bill Meeker

Tim Morawetz
Rick Reycraft
Kate Roscoe


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