Wednesday, July 9, 2008


The Boy of Eternal Smiles
By Damon Guinn

Have you ever wondered what it’s like for a sponsored child to travel to a community center to pick up a gift? In Vida Nueva, Honduras, as many as 800 children and parents visit the center each day a gift distribution is held. Here’s your chance to join one of those children – “The Boy of Eternal Smiles” – on a trip through his community.

José Orellana Matute’s family lost everything they owned during Hurricane Mitch in 1998, but thanks to sponsorship and sheer determination, they are making a better life for themselves in the Vida Nueva, or “New Life,” community of Honduras. They’ve lived in the community for over nine years now, ever since it was set up as a relocation site for families who lost their homes during the storm.

“When we first came here,” José’s mother, Juana, says, “it was really difficult. The water in the wells made us sick to our stomachs. Then, after a while we started getting good water, and it was okay for us.”

What was once a polluted, precarious neighborhood overrun by thugs with guns started to change when Children International moved into the area. In fact, we were the first and only organization allowed to operate in the community.

Today, Vida Nueva is an up-and-coming neighborhood with 3,332 sponsored children who can safely play outside their homes and travel to the community center to get medical checkups and treatment, dental care, educational assistance, computer training and regular sponsorship gifts.

Risks in Vida Nueva still exist, but our dedicated staff members make sure your support reaches sponsored children like José each and every day.

Photo by Jesús Almendárez. Video by Miguel Cabrera Argueta. Both work at our sponsorship agency in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

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