In the small town of La Paz, Honduras, two brave-hearted women looked around their community and saw a need. The children of La Paz, specifically from a small squatter neighborhood known as “La Invasion,” were severely lacking in educational support. In 2010, other women in the community joined them, and the group began tutoring a handful of children. Their desks were mats, and the classroom was a small house they were able to rent in the neighborhood.
The women called the ministry NiCo.
NiCo (which stands for Programa de Desarrollo Integral Niño—Comunidad) joined the Orphan Outreach ministry family in 2014. Since its inception, NiCo has served as a refuge for first, second and third graders who use their services. From tutoring to Bible classes, group and individual therapy, dancing and nutritional meals, the staff at NiCo takes every opportunity to demonstrate their unconditional love.
With the help of Orphan Outreach and its faithful partners like Porter’s, NiCo hopes to one day serve all 450 elementary school children in the La Invasion neighborhood. Doors have been opened to mission teams to provide teaching and mentoring at the community school. Last fall, NiCo’s community program expanded to include fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. And an early childhood development program has been established for the youngest students in the community. Kindergartners now receive specialized care to equip them for elementary school.
When asked what she loves most about NiCo, Sherlyn Lizeth Lara Marroquin says, ““I love to learn in the tutoring, to dance. I also love when North American teams come to visit the program. I always want to be in NiCo.”
Odalis Jireth Nolasco Chavez chimes in as well, adding, “I like the Spanish tutoring. I also like to play, draw and paint.” She says she enjoys the meal when there are baleadas (Honduran tortillas with beans and cheese), and that she likes to talk with Vanessa (psychologist), Janette (administrative support), and Maria (in charge of educational initiatives).
Your support of Porter’s Round-Up has helped equip NiCo to successfully launch the early childhood development program. As Austin South, Orphan Outreach Latin America Director shares, “Our goal is not to get kids to have perfect grades; our goal is to teach kids critical thinking skills, self-regulation of emotion, the values of telling the truth, of taking care of themselves and their home, and respecting others. Together, can impact this community by helping children to become better equipped to face life.”