HURRICANE SPAWNS HEDAC: As a result of Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Unitied Friends of Honduras was established to provide relief in the form of clothing, toys and food baskets. Annual trips were made to targeted communities in or near Morazan, Yoro from 1999 through 2004.
We came to realize that to make a lasting difference we would need to somehow impact education so we re-organized in 2005 as HEDAC, Honduras Educational Development Assistance Corp., a 501(c)3.
HEDAC does not provide charity. We work with communities to jointly impact the advancement of education of the children in their respective communities.
HEDAC IS CURRENTLY MANAGING 7 KEY PROGRAMS:
Our recently completed construction of Centro de Estrellas (Center of Stars) is the first ever after school facility in Morazan and rare in the country of Honduras. It servies also as our base of operations from which we manage programs designed to advance education in our 13 urban and rural communities.
With an initial catalog of over 2,500 books, la biblioteca may be the first library focusing mainly on children's literature in Morazan or Honduras. it brings to students an opportunity to not only enjoy books but increase their reading abilities as well. The library program includes activities in reading and writing and includes a book club.
PACE, for the last several years has afforded students the opportunity to continue their education beyond the mandatory 6th grade but could not do so because of their poverty level. At any one time we have about 50 students in the program. It fluctuates as students drop out (for various reasons) and new students are added.
Over the years we have had teachers from various Chicago suburbs and also Wisconsin to volunteer part of their summer break to come down to Morazan and work with students and teachers in areas from learning English, writing, to music & art. The exchange has been beneficial not only to the children but also the teams who travel down.
Activities at Centro de Estrellas are meant to enhance & extend the learning experience for students. The Center facilitators lead activities in kung fu, arts and crafts, guitar, flute, sewing, Honduran cultural dance & music, creative writing, chess, & math.
A dedicated computer room offers computer access and internet availability for 15 students at a time. Students from the PACE program have found it very helpful for their school work to come to CdeE for doing research, writing papers, and completing class work. In the future there will be classes on computer use not only for students but hopefully adult learners as well, including teachers.